Greater efficiency helps Altri Group achieve a net profit of €117.4 million

24 nov 2022

The Altri Group, through Caima, Celbi and Biotek, reached a production of 852.1 thousand tons of cellulosic fibers, slightly below the same period of the previous year (-1.6%) given the scheduled stoppage of Biotek in May. In the third quarter, production reached 289.7 thousand tons.

In terms of sales, the year-on-year decline (-2.4%) was in line with the level of production, amounting to 863 thousand tons. They reached around 274.0 thousand tons in the third quarter, a figure 5.2% below the same quarter of 2015, having allowed the Group's stock level to improve.

Considering the maintenance of high prices for cellulosic fibers, the Altri Group's total revenues reached, in this context, €805.9 million, a growth of 37.7% compared to the nine months of 2021, reaching €284.1 million, a year-on-year increase of 30.6%, in the third quarter.

EBITDA reached €223.4 million in the nine months, an increase of 25.4% over the same period of the previous year, standing at €92.6 million (+16.4%) in the quarter. In the third quarter, EBITDA per ton of pulp reached €338, a record level in the history of the Altri Group, showing the focus on efficiency and profitability.

These are positive numbers that we present here, but I emphasize that they were achieved in a challenging environment, specifically with regard to the inflation of the various variable costs. Significant increases were recorded in the price of natural gas as well as chemicals. The average cost of wood was higher, largely reflecting the higher level of imports”, says José Soares de Pina, CEO of Altri.

As a result of this performance, the net income from continued operations of the Altri Group reached €117.4 million in the year, a year-on-year increase of 29.9%. In the third quarter, net income amounted to €47.7 million, a moderate growth (+3.8%) explained by the negative evolution of currency hedges with the dollar, recorded in financial results, and the increase in the effective tax rate in the quarter.

Prices supported by reduced stocks

A large part of the Altri Group's cellulosic fiber production is destined for foreign markets. Of the total sales made, 86% were destined for export, seeking to respond to the growth in international demand.

Demand for cellulosic fibers grew 3.6% year-on-year, with demand for Hardwood Pulp growing at a faster pace, 6.5%. Western Europe (+6.7%) and China (+3.9%) contributed to this evolution, which accelerated in the third quarter after showing negative levels of demand in the first half. Japan (+19%) and the rest of Asia/Africa (+14%) maintain healthy levels of growth.

This positive evolution, combined with the level of stocks in European Ports, which continues to be well below the averages of recent years during the third quarter, having reached the lowest level of the last five years in July 2022, has a positive impact on short fiber prices (BHKP), which remained at $1,380/ton during the third quarter.

Group’s investment more than doubles

During the first nine months of 2022, as a result of the strategy to continuously reinforce the efficiency of its operations, always having sustainable development as its objective, the Altri Group more than doubled the investment made.

Net investment reached €34.8 million, which compares with €16.8 million in the same period last year, which includes around €9.7 million related to the new biomass boiler for Caima. In the third quarter, the investment made was €16 million.

Despite this, "we maintain a low level of net debt (1.3x EBITDA) that allows us to maintain the financial capacity to consider the opportunities of the bioeconomy", says the CEO of Altri, noting that the Group remains "fully committed to the evaluation of a new industrial unit for the production of sustainable textile fibers in Galicia”.