14 Mar 2019 10:00

Rusagro Group net profit grows 50% to 3.8 bln rubles in Q4

MOSCOW. March 14 (Interfax) - Rusagro Group increased its IFRS net profit by 52% year-on-year to 3.771 billion rubles in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Russian agribusiness company reported.

EBITDA rose by 8% to 5.829 billion rubles in the fourth quarter, but the EBITDA margin dropped to 19% from 22% a year earlier.

The company's gross profit fell 29% to 5.105 billion rubles, and the gross margin dropped to 17% from 30%, as gross profit tumbled 45% in Rusagro's sugar business and 25% in the meat division.

The group's revenue grew 27% year-on-year to 30.777 billion rubles in the fourth quarter.

Revenue in the fourth quarter also increased compared to the previous quarter on the back of higher prices for agricultural products and increased volume in the oil and fat business, Rusagro CEO Maxim Basov was reported as saying in a company statement.

EBITDA improved in all business units except sugar, where EBITDA tumbled 51% because the company decided to sell more sugar later.

The sugar division's revenue fell 29% year-on-year to 6.649 billion rubles in the fourth quarter, but revenue grew by 31% to 6.966 billion rubles in the meat division, 29% to 13.8 billion rubles in the agriculture division and 120% to 11.619 billion rubles in the oil and fat division.

The oil and fat division returned to profitability with a good outlook for the rest of 2019 due to M&A activity, Basov said.

The group's revenue in 2018 overall grew by 5% to 82.978 billion rubles and gross profit increased by 35% to 24.158 billion rubles. The gross margin improved to 29% from 23% in 2017.

EBITDA grew by 16% to 16.179 billion rubles in 2018 and the EBITDA margin rose to 19% from 18%. Rusagro's net profit jumped 130% to 12.828 billion rubles in 2018.

The group's gross debt more than doubled from 46.651 billion rubles to 95.101 billion rubles last year, and the net debt soared more than eightfold to 54.342 billion rubles at the end of 2018 from 6.604 billion rubles a year earlier.

The net debt increased following the acquisition of Solnechnye Produkty (Solpro) and due to the decision to sell more crop and sugar late in the season, which does not coincide with the calendar year.