Basing on presented information, the company demonstrated sound operating and financial performance in Q3 2015, being focused on efficiency and repairing of its balance sheet, quality of which worsened following significant UAH devaluation.
As a consequence of foreign currency denominated prices decline, total revenues of Astarta in 9m 2015 decreased vs. corresponding period of previous year by 19% (to EUR 200.1M). In natural terms volumes of operations mainly increased or remained flat for main business directions (except for Farming), while average prices decline (in EUR terms) took place mainly for Sugar (52% of total realization in period, prices declined on average by 23%) and Dairy (9%, decline of prices by 19%). Reason of sugar prices decline is the fact that this product is mainly realized domestically, while Ukrainian market has been oversupplied during last period of time (while export is restricted by low world prices). As for dairy, reason of prices decline was general decline of world market prices and Russian ban on import of Ukrainian dairy products.
In natural terms the company increased sugar realization by 13%, soybeans processing – by 12% (up to 156k tons of soybeans processed, along with it part – on tolling basis, presumably with MHP, to optimize working capital usage). Dairy production remained flat despite slight correction in headcount, so efficiency further improved, volume realization in Farming declined by 26% (as Group just switched realization to later period). Basing on current report, total bunker harvest in current season increased by 16% up to 790k tons.
As for profitability, supported by UAH devaluation, EBITDA margin in 9m 2015 reached 54%, which is seen as not sustainable, as EBITDA in 1H made 70%, decreasing to more sustainable 26% in Q3. BS structure improved vs. 31/12/14, as during 9m 2015 debt of Astarta decreased by close to EUR 40M.