10 Apr 2018 18:11

PhosAgro planning to repay outstanding debt for 2018 of around $250 mln - CEO

MOSCOW. April 10 (Interfax) - PhosAgro is planning to repay its outstanding debt for this year from its own funds, the fertilizer producer's CEO Andrei Guryev said on the sidelines of the Moscow Exchange Forum.

"There are currently no plans for any refinancing deals. We will repay around $100 million this year for a JBIC loan [funds raised for the construction of an ammonia unit in Cherepovets] and the rest, we will most likely pay off as appropriate," he said.

As of the end of March, PhosAgro still had $248 million to pay back to lenders in 2018. At the beginning of the year PhosAgro refinanced $500 million in Eurobonds, placing a new issue of the same amount maturing in April 2023 and with a coupon rate of 3.949% per annum.

PhosAgro had net debt of 120 billion rubles or $2.1 billion at the end of 2017 and a net debt/EBITDA ratio of 2.3x.

Guryev said that the company will continue paying dividends this year based on 50% of adjusted net profit to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). "We have operated on the basis of dividends of 50% of net profit to IFRS and I think we will continue to pay out at this level," he said.

Sales volumes will be higher in Q1 this year than in 2017 due to the launch of a new urea production facility in Cherepovets, the PhosAgro chief said. "The first quarter will be better in terms of volumes and we are seeing rising prices in every segment. DAP is currently stabilizing at around $400 per tonne FOB," he said

Guryev said that prices for phosphorus fertilizers will be kept up by a rise in the cost of apatite concentrate as well as good demand, particularly in India. The company should feel the positive impact of a weaker ruble in H2. "We are seeing a good market in India where subsidies for phosphorus fertilizers and prices for phosphoric acid have risen. The dollar exchange rate could also have a positive impact for us. On the whole I am quite optimistic about this year," he said.

Responding to a question on how U.S. sanctions against Rusal could impact on PhosAgro deliveries of aluminum fluoride to the company, Guriev said: "We are looking into this, I cannot yet comment."