Investor relations section

ADAMA Delivers Record Sales In Third Quarter And First Nine Months In Spite Of Europe Drought Drag

  • Q3 Sales up 3.4% to a record $872 million
    • Continued volume growth driven by demand for differentiated products and market share gains in all key regions, despite worst drought in 40 years across most of Europe, which reduced demand for high-end fungicides by several tens of millions. Global growth outside Europe was 10.0% in the quarter
    • In constant currency terms, Q3 sales grew by 10.7%
    • Continued price increases of 6% supported by solid demand conditions, largely offsetting softer currencies
    • As previously communicated, the negative impact of 2017 European hedge positions largely ended in the first half of the year, and had negligible impact in the third quarter
    • Nine-month sales grew 8.0% to a record $2,918 million (up 9.2% in constant currency terms), driven by 5.7% growth in volumes and increased prices. Growth outside Europe was 13.1% in the nine-month period
    • Excluding the negative impact of hedge positions on European currencies created in 2017, sales over the nine-month period grew 9.4% to $2,957 million
  • Q3 Gross profit of $279 million vs. $298 million Q3 record last year, largely due to European drought reducing sales of high-end fungicides, and thereby gross profit by several tens of millions
    • Gross margin of 32.0% vs 35.4% in Q3 last year
    • Strong price increases and continued differentiated volume growth offset by softer currencies and higher procurement costs
    • Gross profit over the nine-month period up 1.1% to a record $972 million, with gross margin of 33.3% vs. 35.6% in the same period last year
    • Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, gross profit over the nine-month period was $1,011 million and gross margin 34.2%
  • Operating cost, collection and supply chain discipline result in improved cost/sales ratio, record low receivable and inventory days, and improved working capital/sales ratio
  • Q3 EBITDA of $140 million vs. $161 million Q3 record last year
    • EBITDA margin of 16.0% vs 19.1% in Q3 last year
    • EBITDA over the nine-month period of $518 million (margin of 17.8%) vs. $546 million nine-month record (margin of 20.2%) in the same period last year
    • Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, EBITDA over the nine-month period was $558 million and EBITDA margin 18.9%
  • Q3 Net income of $46 million compared to last year’s Q3 record of $55 million
    • Net income margin of 5.3% vs 6.5% in Q3 last year
    • Net income over the nine-month period of $203 million (margin of 7.0%) vs. $255 million nine-month record (margin of 9.4%) in the same period last year
    • Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, net income over the nine-month period was $242 million and net income margin 8.2%
  • Continued strong cash flow generation
    • Operating Cash Flow of $99 million in Q3 and $221 million over the nine-month period
    • Free Cash Flow generation of $52 million in Q3 and $93 million over the nine-month period
  • Significant $327 million reduction in balance sheet net debt over the last 12 months to $435 million
  • Net debt / EBITDA ratio of 0.7x vs. 1.2x at same point last year

BEIJING, CHINA and TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, October 30, 2018 – ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd. (“Solutions”), together with Hubei Sanonda Co., Ltd. (the “Listed Entity”), to be named ADAMA (together, “ADAMA” or “the Combined Company”), today reported their combined consolidated financial results for the third quarter and nine-month period ended September 30, 2018.

Adjusted, US$m

Q3 2018

Q3 2017

%

Change

9M 2018

9M 2017

%

Change

9M 2018

(ex. ‘17 EU hedge)

Revenues

872

844

3.4%

2,918

2,702

8.0%

2,957

Gross profit

279

298

-6.5%

972

962

1.1%

1,011

Gross margin

32.0%

35.4%

33.3%

35.6%

34.2%

Operating income (EBIT)

87

108

-19.9%

359

391

-8.1%

399

EBIT margin

10.0%

12.9%

12.3%

14.5%

13.5%

Net income

46

55

-16.3%

203

255

-20.2%

242

Net income margin

5.3%

6.5%

7.0%

9.4%

8.2%

EBITDA

140

161

-13.5%

518

546

-5.1%

558

EBITDA margin

16.0%

19.1%

17.8%

20.2%

18.9%

Earnings per share – USD

0.0188

0.0235

0.0830

0.1088

– RMB

0.1281

0.1570

0.5367

0.7429

All income statement items contained in this release are presented on a combined, adjusted basis, reflecting the performance of the Combined Company. For a detailed description and analysis of the differences between the adjusted income statement items and the items as reported in the financial statements, see “Analysis of Gaps between Adjusted Income Statement and Income Statement in Financial Statements” in the appendix to this release.

Revenue growth in constant currencies in the third quarter was 10.7%, and 9.2% in the nine-month period.

Earnings per share are the same for basic and diluted. The number of shares used to calculate earnings per share in Q3 2017 is 2,341.9 million shares. The number of shares used to calculate earnings per share in Q3 2018 is 2,446.6 million shares, reflecting the issuance of shares in the private placement equity offering.

Commenting on the results, Yang Xingqiang, Chairman of ADAMA’s Board of Directors, said“The harsh drought in Europe stopped us short of achieving a great quarter, as the need for our leading fungicide products was absent. However, ADAMA continues to prove its ability to grow strongly elsewhere, and has once again posted record revenues in both the quarter and the nine-month period. The Company’s strong commercial and operational efficiency allowed us to deliver robust cash flow generation and lowest ever leverage level, ensuring that ADAMA can look to the future with confidence, and continue to execute on its growth strategy.”

Chen Lichtenstein, President and CEO of ADAMA, added, “The extraordinarily dry summer in Europe this year has been the toughest we have seen in decades, impacting our top line and profit in the quarter. In spite of this challenge, we continue to grow our business and gain share in key markets across the globe. In addition, expense discipline and working capital management mitigated the impact and we continue to generate strong cash flow. We continue to invest in the expansion and further differentiation of our product portfolio, building on our strong foundations to drive growth and profits going forward.”

Performance in Context of Market Environment

The third quarter saw extreme drought conditions across most of Europe. The unprecedented dry weather led to reduced disease pressure, impacting sales of high-margin fungicides. This resulted in lower sales and gross profit contribution from Europe, which moderated the Combined Company’s overall growth and adversely impacted the gross margin.

Softness of many currencies during the third quarter, most notably in Brazil (which seem to be reversing), India, Turkey and Argentina, impacted sales and profit contribution, yet was more than offset by the strong growth and price increases.

As previously communicated, the negative impact of 2017 European hedge positions largely ended in the first half of the year, and had negligible impact on the Q3 2018 results. There was, however, a marked effect over the nine-month period, with a negative impact of almost $40 million on sales and profits.  

ADAMA continues to deliver robust growth, driven by the introduction of new and differentiated products, and increased penetration in markets across the globe.

The Combined Company continues to maintain manufacturing cost discipline. Shortage in certain raw materials and intermediates, mostly owing to increased environmental focus in China, led to higher procurement costs and to some extent limited even greater volume growth.

Robust demand conditions facilitated increased prices in the quarter of approximately 6% across the portfolio.

The Company continues to advance collaboration opportunities with other ChemChina group entities, as well as other entities in China, to make the most of its positioning. 

The Company is to enter into an agreement, through a US affiliate, to acquire Bonide Products Inc., a provider of pest-control solutions for the consumer Home & Garden market with 2017 sales of approximately $70 million. With a nationwide distribution network, Bonide will provide enhanced access to an approximately $1.5 billion market. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals.

Financial Highlights

Revenues grew by 3.4% in the quarter and by 8.0% in the nine-month period in US dollar terms, compared to the corresponding periods last year. In constant currency terms, revenues grew by 10.7% in the quarter and by 9.2% in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding periods last year. Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, revenues increased by 9.4% to $2,957 million in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding period last year.

This increase was driven by volume growth of 3.8% in the quarter and 5.7% in the nine-month period. Especially strong performance was recorded in Latin America, India, Middle East and Africa as well as in Asia-Pacific, which more than offset the tens of millions of sales missed due to the severe drought in Europe. In addition to the volume growth, improved demand conditions facilitated a stronger pricing environment, largely compensating for the softer currencies and allowing the passing on of some of the impact of the constrained supply and higher procurement costs.

Gross profit in the quarter was lower by 6.5% to $279 million (gross margin of 32.0%), while gross profit in the nine-month period increased by 1.1% to $972 million (gross margin of 33.3%), compared to the corresponding periods last year. Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, gross profit increased by 5.1% to $1,011 million (gross margin of 34.2%) in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding period last year.

The lower gross profit in the quarter reflects primarily the impact of the missed high-margin sales in Europe due to the drought in the region, particularly of fungicides, which hurt gross profit by tens of millions. Apart from the drought impact, strong volume growth and increased prices more than offset continued higher procurement costs of raw materials and intermediates and the softer currencies, most notably the Brazilian Real and the Indian Rupee.

Operating expenses. Total operating expenses were contained at $192 million (22.0% of sales) in the quarter and $612 million (21.0% of sales) in the nine-month period, while accommodating significantly higher sales, compared to $190 million (22.5% of sales) and $571 million (21.1% of sales) in the corresponding periods last year, respectively.

Sales and Marketing expenses in the quarter were $144 million (16.5% of sales), in line with $143 million (17.0% of sales) in the corresponding period last year. Sales and Marketing expenses in the nine-month period were $463 million (15.9% of sales), compared to $432 million (16.0% of sales) in the corresponding period last year. This resulted primarily from an increase in sales, marketing and product development teams in growing geographies and higher other variable expenses as a result of the increased sales volumes.

General and Administrative expenses in the quarter were $28 million (3.2% of sales) compared to $36 million (4.3% of sales) in the corresponding period last year. This decrease resulted primarily from lower personnel-related expenses, as well as reversal of provisions related to successful resolution of legal claims. General and Administrative expenses in the nine-month period were $103 million (3.5% of sales) compared to $102 million (3.8% of sales) in the corresponding period last year.

R&D expenses in the quarter were $16 million (1.8% of sales) compared to $9 million (1.1% of sales) in the corresponding period last year. R&D expenses in the nine-month period were $40 million (1.4% of sales) compared to $28 million (1.0% of sales) in the corresponding period last year. These increases resulted primarily from higher spend on strategic research and development projects.

In addition to these factors, operating expenses in the third quarter benefited somewhat from the softer currencies against the US dollar.

Operating income in the quarter was $87 million and $359 million in the nine-month period, lower by 19.9% and 8.1% compared to the corresponding periods last year, respectively. Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, operating income increased by 2.0% to $399 million in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding period last year.

EBITDA in the quarter was $140 million and $518 million in the nine-month period, lower by 13.5% and 5.1% compared to the corresponding periods last year, respectively. Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, EBITDA increased by 2.1% to $558 million in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Financial expenses and investment income. Total net financial expenses and investment income in the quarter were $30 million compared to $34 million in the corresponding period last year. This decrease was primarily due to foreign exchange income related to balance sheet positions and lower interest costs due to reduced debt levels. These were partially offset by the adoption of a new accounting standard (which classifies interest income on sales as revenue) and an increase in costs of the CPI-linked bonds as a result of the increase in the Israeli CPI over the quarter, compared to a decrease in the index in the corresponding quarter last year. Total net financial expenses and investment income in the nine-month period were $97 million compared to $95 million in the corresponding period last year, reflecting the adoption of the new accounting standard and the increase in bond costs due to the higher Israeli CPI, largely offset by lower interest costs due to reduced debt levels.

Tax expenses. Net tax expenses were $11 million in the quarter, compared to $19 million in the corresponding period last year. This decrease was primarily due to lower profits accrued. Net tax expenses in the nine-month period were $59 million compared to $41 million in the corresponding period last year, reflecting mainly the devaluation of net, non-cash tax assets as a result of the weakening of the Brazilian Real against the US dollar, a trend which seems to be reversing.

Net income in the quarter was $46 million and $203 million in the nine-month period, compared to $55 million and $255 million in the corresponding periods last year, respectively. Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, net income was lower by 4.8% at $242 million in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Working capital was higher by only $51 million compared to the corresponding point last year, accommodating the strong sales growth momentum of more than $300 million during this period.

Inventories were higher due to significant product preparation in advance of the upcoming season, as well as the higher procurement costs. Notwithstanding the stronger growth momentum, due to the continued implementation of advanced supply chain alignment, inventory days have reached record low levels.

Strong collection and the impact of currencies have driven receivables lower in the third quarter and compared to the same period last year, notwithstanding continued sales growth in the quarter and over the last 12 months. Ongoing control of credit has resulted in receivable days at their record best levels for this time of year.

Net working capital has also benefited from a higher level of payables in comparison to the same point last year.

Cash Flow. Operating cash flow of $99 million was generated in the third quarter compared to $41 million in the same period last year. Over the nine month period, operating cash flow of $221 million was generated, compared to $369 million generated in the corresponding period last year. Strong working capital discipline facilitated the continued generation of robust operating cash flow, while accommodating the significant sales growth.

Net cash used in investing activities amounted to $44 million in the quarter and $85 million in the nine-month period, compared to $54 million and $125 million invested in the corresponding periods last year, respectively. Additions to assets include investments in product registrations and other intangible and fixed assets, including the transfer of products in Europe from Syngenta in the first quarter of 2018. Proceeds from disposal of assets include the divestment of certain products in Europe in the first quarter of 2018 in connection with the approval of the European Commission for ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta, while in 2017 similarly includes one-time proceeds resulting from the divestment of certain products in the US in the second quarter of 2017 in connection with the approval of the US FTC for ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta, as well as the sale of non-core assets. Investments in fixed assets, net of investment grants, amounted to $22 million in the quarter, and $77 million in the nine-month period, compared to $33 million and $77 million invested in the corresponding periods last year, respectively.

Free cash flow of $52 million was generated in the quarter and $93 million in the nine-month period, compared to $19 million used and $192 million generated in the corresponding periods last year, respectively.

Leverage: Balance sheet net debt at the end of the quarter was $435 million, down by $327 million compared to net debt of $762 million as of September 30, 2017. This puts the Combined Company’s net debt/EBITDA ratio at 0.7x, compared to 1.2x at the same time last year.

Regional Sales Performance

Q3 2018

$m

Q3 2017

$m

Change

USD

Change

CER

9M 2018

$m

9M 2017

$m

Change

USD

Change

CER

Europe

168

206

-18.5%

-19.2%

870

892

-2.5%

-5.0%

North America

124

125

-1.0%

-0.9%

530

486

+9.0%

+8.5%

Latin America

277

231

+20.2%

+40.2%

588

497

+18.4%

+30.4%

Asia Pacific

131

125

+4.9%

+8.4%

487

444

+9.7%

+6.8%

Of which China

59

61

-3.8%

-0.7%

231

187

+23.4%

+18.3%

India, Middle East & Africa

172

157

+9.7%

+17.7%

442

383

+15.4%

+18.7%

Total

872

844

+3.4%

+10.7%

2,918

2,702

+8.0%

+9.2%

CER: Constant Exchange Rates

Europe: Sales were lower by 19.2% in the quarter and by 5.0% in the nine-month period in constant currency terms, compared with the corresponding periods last year.

The unprecedented drought that began towards the end of the second quarter continued throughout the third quarter, resulting in a decline in highly profitable sales in the region. The dry weather caused a reduction in disease and insect pressure, mainly impacting sales of high margin fungicides, as well as delaying the planting of the winter cereal crops, pushing some herbicide sales into the fourth quarter.

New products were registered in the quarter, including TRIVOR®, a unique insecticide combination product for sucking pests in citrus, as well as NIKITA®, a novel three-way herbicide mixture with triple modes-of-action for corn, both in Italy.

In US dollar terms, sales in Europe were lower by 18.5% in the quarter and by 2.5% in the nine-month period compared with the corresponding periods last year. Excluding the 2017 European hedge impact, sales in the region increased by 1.9% to $909 million in the nine-month period.

North America: Sales were lower by 0.9% in the quarter, yet increased by 8.5% in the nine-month period in constant currency terms, compared with the corresponding periods last year.

The slight decline in sales in the quarter was largely due to dry weather conditions in Texas and Western Canada, which was largely offset by increased selling prices.

In the US, the generally stronger pricing environment continued in the face of industry-wide supply shortages, compensating for the higher procurement costs.

Consumer and Professional Solutions continues to perform well, with strong momentum in both professional pest and industrial vegetation management.

In US dollar terms, sales in North America were lower by 1.0% in the quarter, yet increased by 9.0% in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding periods last year.

Latin America: Sales increased by 40.2% in the quarter and by 30.4% in the nine-month period in constant currency terms, compared with the corresponding periods last year. This strong performance was a result of recent product launches, alongside increased pricing across most countries in the region.

ADAMA continued to grow strongly in Brazil, with a robust increase in volumes and increased prices partially compensating for the volatility of the Brazilian Real.

During the third quarter, the recently launched CRONNOS TOV® exceeded expectations both in Brazil as well as in Paraguay, with strong market acceptance of this novel three-way mixture fungicide meeting unmet needs in soybean rust.  

In US dollar terms, sales in Latin America increased by a significant 20.2% in the quarter and by 18.4% in the nine-month period compared with the corresponding periods last year, reflecting the softness of local currencies.

Asia-Pacific: Sales increased by 8.4% in the quarter and by 6.8% in the nine-month period in constant currency terms, compared with the corresponding periods last year.

The robust performance in the quarter was driven by increased volumes and prices, notwithstanding the continued severe drought conditions in Australia and Indonesia.

In China, sales of branded and formulated products continue to grow strongly, as ADAMA continues to expand its product portfolio and geographic reach, and despite typhoon conditions in the south of the country in August. A number of new registrations were obtained, including the herbicide AGIL® in potato, the insecticide GALIL® in citrus, and BANJO FORTE® a broad-spectrum fungicide in pepper. ADAMA is markedly shifting away from selling unformulated, technical product to intermediaries, by prioritizing the sale rather of distinctive branded, formulated products through both its domestic and global commercial networks, and in so doing benefiting from the full product positioning as well as end-to-end margin.

Thailand, Korea, and Japan performed well, supported by an expanded and increasingly differentiated portfolio and favorable weather conditions. In spite of the continued drought in Australia, ADAMA continues to grow its share in the country.

ADAMA registered a number of new and differentiated products, including RIMON® FAST, a unique mixture insecticide in the Philippines, OUTSHINE®, a differentiated combination herbicide for cereals in Australia, as well as BREVIS®, ADAMA’s unique fruit thinner for apples in Australia, and NIMITZ®, the proprietary nematicide in Vietnam.

In US dollar terms, sales increased by 4.9% in the quarter, while sales increased by 9.7% in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding periods last year.

India, Middle East & Africa: Sales grew by 17.7% in the quarter and by 18.7% in the nine-month period in constant currency terms, compared with the corresponding periods last year, driven by significant volume growth as well as substantial price increases, as a result of strong demand for the Combined Company’s portfolio and generally favorable weather conditions.

India saw solid growth in the quarter. ADAMA continues to expand its portfolio of differentiated products in the country, with the launch in the quarter of BARAZIDE®, a tailor-made mixture insecticide developed specifically for the Indian market, SHAMIR® a novel fungicide with dual modes of action and NIMROD®, a systemic fungicide with both protective and curative activity against powdery mildew.

Sales in Africa grew strongly in the quarter, with South Africa enjoying a robust recovery after the breaking of the drought in the Cape, and as well as significant growth in West Africa.

In US dollar terms, sales increased by a strong 9.7% in the quarter and 15.4% in the nine-month period, compared to the corresponding periods last year, with the softness of local currencies, most notably the Indian Rupee and Turkish Lira, against the US dollar, somewhat moderating the strong growth in constant currency terms.

Further Information

All filings of the Combined Company, together with a presentation of the key financial highlights of the period, can be accessed through the websites of the Combined Company at www.adama.com and www.sanonda.cn.

##

About the Combined Company

The Combined Company, which will be named ADAMA subject to required approvals, is comprised of Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd. and Hubei Sanonda Ltd., and is one of the world's leading crop protection companies. We strive to Create Simplicity in Agriculture – offering farmers effective products and services that simplify their lives and help them grow. With one of the most comprehensive and diversified portfolios of differentiated, quality products, our 6,600 strong team reaches farmers in over 100 countries, providing them with solutions to control weeds, insects and disease, and improve their yields. For more information, visit us at www.adama.com and follow us on Twitter® at @AdamaAgri.

Contact

Wayne Rudolph
Head of Investor Relations
Email: ir@adama.com

Zhujun Wang
China Investor Relations
Email: irchina@adama.com

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