AFARAK GROUP: INTERIM REPORT Q3/2019

13:00 London, 15:00 Helsinki, 29 November 2019 – Afarak Group Plc (“Afarak” or “the Company”) (LSE: AFRK, NASDAQ: AFAGR)
AFARAK GROUP: INTERIM REPORT Q3/2019
TOUGH QUARTER FOR AFARAKLow market prices and slow demand cause further losses in the FerroAlloys segment while the Speciality Alloys segment performance was at the same level as last year.QUARTER THREE 2019 HIGHLIGHTSRevenue for the third quarter of 2019 decreased by 21.1% to EUR 33.6 (Q3/2018: 42.6) million;Processed material sold decreased by 15.5%, to 21,554 (Q3/2018: 25,521) tonnes;Tonnage mined decreased by 40.6%, to 93,039 (Q3/2018: 156,518) tonnes;The Group’s EBITDA was EUR -4.5 (Q3/2018: -2.5) million and the EBITDA margin was -13.5% (Q3/2018: -5.9%);EBIT was EUR -10.1 (Q3/2018: -4.3) million, with the EBIT margin at -29.9% (Q3/2018: -10.0%);Profit for the period totalled EUR -16.3 (Q3/2018: -2.8) million;Results negatively affected by a provision of EUR 1.5 million in relation to the FIN-FSA penalty payment 1; higher cost of professional fees by EUR 0.5 million due to the repurchase of own shares; and an impairment write-down related to the Mogale business of EUR 4.5 million;Cash flow from operations stood at EUR 6.0 (Q3/2018: 2.3) million. Net interest-bearing debt increased to EUR 52.7 (30 September 2018: 9.9) (30 June 2019: 30.2) million;Cash and cash equivalents at 30 September totalled EUR 8.8 (30 September 2018: 5.8) (30 June 2019: 6.1) million.QUARTER ONE TO QUARTER THREE 2019 HIGHLIGHTSRevenue in the Speciality Alloys segment decreased by 7.4%, to EUR 67.2 (Q1-Q3/2018: EUR 72.6) million;Revenue in the FerroAlloys segment decreased by 34.1%, to EUR 48.7 (Q1-Q3/2018: EUR 73.8) million;EBITDA in the Speciality Alloys segment was EUR 6.6 (Q1-Q3/2018: 8.6) million;EBITDA in the FerroAlloys segment was EUR -18.1 (Q1-Q3/2018: -6.3) million;Profit from quarter one to quarter three decreased to EUR -45.5 (Q1-Q3/2018: -7.4) million;Results negatively affected by a provision of EUR 1.5 million in relation to the FIN-FSA penalty payment; higher cost of professional fees by EUR 0.6 million due to the repurchase of own shares; and an impairment write-down related to the Mogale business of EUR 22.0 million.MARKET SENTIMENT FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER 2019The market remains weak for the FerroAlloys segment as the charge chrome benchmark price, for quarter four dropped further from USD 104 c/lb in quarter three to USD 102 c/lb. Selling prices in the Speciality Alloys segment are expected to also be lower during the fourth quarter of 2019.CEO GUY KONSBRUCK“As previously anticipated the third quarter was another challenging quarter for Afarak.The Speciality Alloys segment performed well during the quarter. The declining pricing environment constrained the financial performance, but by right-sizing of the production base, and improving our cost profile, the company succeeded to have a good performance, given the market circumstances.In the FerroAlloys segment, we adapted to an even worse slowdown in demand and declining pricing environment, by further reducing our output. Unfortunately, a generally negative short-term trend in the stainless steel industry, combined with over-supply situation of both chrome ore and ferrochrome has been delaying a possible turnaround. The company continues its focus on cost reduction and cash preservation throughout the group, during this soft market phase.The long-term prospects for stainless steel and also the ferrochrome industry remain solid. All South African and other ferrochrome producers are today under serious pressure and many have already reacted, like Afarak, with production cutbacks, which eventually should lead to a resolution of the over-supply situation. The business environment in South Africa remains challenging and Afarak, together with other smelting and mining companies, continues to seek support from the government to reduce energy cost; improve energy availability; and provide protection from low-cost producers via duties on chrome ore exports. A quick improvement is not to be expected so far.In our Serbian Magnesite Asset, we have completed the refurbishment of the ore beneficiation plant. The restart of the rotary kiln is delayed to the end of 2020, due to some unexpected technical setbacks.”Afarak Group Plc
Board of Directors
For additional information, please contact:
Guy Konsbruck, CEO, +356 2122 1566, guy.konsbruck@afarak.com
1 The Company is conducting an appeal against this fine
AttachmentAfarak_Quarterly_2019_Q3_FINAL_EN