Fibria Third Quarter Net Revenue Up Sharply on Pricing, Volumes
"This quarter was very positive for Fibria. Our new pulp mill in Três Lagoas started production ahead of schedule and under budget, bringing new volumes to market at a very favorable moment for pulp producers." – Marcelo Castelli, CEO, Fibria.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Brazilian market pulp producer Fibria produced 1.449 million tons of pulp in the third quarter, representing growth of 11% on the year-ago period. Compared to the second quarter of 2017, production grew by 9%. This performance benefited from the start-up of the Company's new pulp mill in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul, on August 23, three weeks ahead of schedule, which added 124,000 tons of pulp to Fibria's total production in the third quarter.
Sales volume in the quarter came to 1.475 million tons, advancing 2% on the year-ago period, supported by a better market environment, with supply restrictions, strong demand and low inventories, which enabled full implementation of the price increases announced by Fibria for July and September. Given the perspective that these good market fundamentals will remain in place, Fibria also announced price increases for October and November.
In the third quarter, the Company's net revenue amounted to R$2.844 billion, advancing 24% on the year-ago period. Net revenue growth in the period was driven by the 24% increase in the average pulp net price in USD and by the higher sales volume.
“This quarter was very positive for Fibria. Our new pulp mill in Três Lagoas started production ahead of schedule and under budget, bringing new volumes to market at a very favorable moment for pulp producers. With the new production line, Fibria moves forward in its strategy to continue improving its position as the industry's global leader, gaining structural competitiveness and a strong presence in the world market,” said Fibria CEO Marcelo Castelli.
Fibria's production cash cost stood in the third quarter at R$610 per ton of pulp, down 8% from the second quarter, reflecting its lower wood cost and higher result from the sale of surplus renewable energy, supported by the increase in power generation following start-up of the new mill in Três Lagoas and the better energy price. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, production cash cost decreased by 4%, mainly due to the higher result from the sale of surplus energy and the lack of scheduled maintenance shutdowns at the units.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in the third quarter came to R$1.256 billion, advancing 17% from the second quarter of the year, explained mainly by the higher pulp price in BRL and the lower production cash cost. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, EBITDA grew 66%, also due to the better pulp price in the international market and higher sales volume. Meanwhile, EBITDA margin stood at 49%, expanding 4 percentage points from the second quarter of 2017. Compared to the third quarter of last year, EBITDA margin expanded 12 percentage points.
In the third quarter, Fibria posted net income of R$743 million, compared to the net loss of R$259 million in the second quarter and to the net income of R$32 million in the third quarter of 2016. This performance is explained basically by the combination of the good financial result and stronger operating results.
The third quarter of the year also was marked by a continuation of Fibria's deleveraging process that began in the second quarter of 2017. The leverage ratio (Net Debt/EBITDA) in U.S. dollar fell to 3.28, down from 3.75 in the second quarter. At this level, the ratio is already below the limit established by the company's financial policy of 3.5 for 2017, which is extremely positive, since it further corroborates Fibria's investment-grade credit rating.
“Compared to the other expansion projects of companies in Brazil's pulp and paper industry, we executed the biggest project with the lowest peak in financial leverage, while still paying out R$2.8 billion in dividends during the period. The new plant's low production cash cost and low maintenance investment per ton, combined with the project's low financing cost, make Fibria's cash generation even stronger, which supports deleveraging at a faster pace than its industry peers, benefitting shareholders,” said Fibria's Chief Financial and Investor Relations Officer, Guilherme Cavalcanti.
Also in the third quarter, Fibria concluded a new issue of Certificates of Agribusiness Receivables (CRA) in the aggregate amount of R$941 million, ending the period with a liquidity position of R$6.4 billion which, combined with the still-untapped financing facilities of the Horizonte 2 Project, is enough to settle the company's entire debt by 2019 and to conclude the pending outlays related to the project.
In the area of sustainability, Fibria remains a global reference in the planted forest industry. The company was included, for the fifth time, in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets. Of the seven companies from the industry that participated in the selection process, only Fibria was selected as a component of the index's 2017-18 portfolio.
Fibria is a world leader in eucalyptus pulp production with an annual pulp production capacity of 5.3 million tons. The Brazilian company has industrial units in the cities of Aracruz (Espírito Santo), Jacareí (São Paulo) and Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul), and in Eunápolis (Bahia), where it operates the Veracel plant through a joint venture with Stora Enso. With the start-up of the Horizonte 2 project, Fibria's production capacity will be 7.25 million tons. To learn more, please visit: www.fibria.com.br.