13 Apr 2018 09:39

Severstal expects net debt/EBITDA ratio of 0.5 at year's end, to maintain dividend policy

MOSCOW. April 13 (Interfax) - Severstal is forecasting a net debt/EBITDA ratio of around 0.5 at the end of the year, the Russian steelmaker's CFO, Alexei Kulichenko told Interfax.

"The debt/EBITDA ratio will certainly gravitate toward 0.5 at the end of the year," Kulichenko said.

He again affirmed that the company's dividend policy will remain unchanged, despite the latest developments related to the imposition of new U.S. sanctions and introduction of prohibitive duties.

"We have such a balanced policy that nothing can have an impact on it. We will pay dividends given a debt level, preferably, of not lower than 0.5, but certainly not exceeding 1. The more volatile the situation, the more we gravitate toward the lower boundary. We're now balancing at somewhere about 0.4. We're not planning any changes in dividend policy. All of our programs and plans for development fit into it. We consider the debt level to be optimal," Kulichenko said.

He also said that the company is not considering the possibility of issuing bonds in the near future. "This year is closed," Kulichenko said when asked about remaining scheduled debt repayments for this year. "2021 and 2022 are left," he added.

"Around a year prior to the event is the time to assess options. In principle, we have a huge number of approved lines from banks. Therefore, we can always cover debt by partially drawing a line. We will assess the best option from the ones we have. For now, they are all available. What will happen in three years, time will tell. Right now we're not considering entering the bond market. What will happen in three years is still early to say," Kulichenko said.