In 2019 revenues of ASTARTA increased by 20% y-o-y to EUR 448m and EBITDA by 15% y-o-y to EUR78m. Nearly half of total revenues was generated by the Agricultural segment on its strong volume sales growth. Exports contributed EUR253m, or 56% of the Company’s revenues of which sales to the EU markets totaled EUR152m. Last year ASTARTA focused on maximizing Operating Cash Flows through release of working capital and sale of inventories from EUR16m in 2018 to EUR173m in 2019. Capital discipline along with continued focus on productivity and costs resulted in the reduction of Net Debt (including lease liabilities) to EUR276m (-15% y-o-y) bringing Net Debt to EBITDA ratio to 3.5x from 4.8x in 2018. Net profit stood at EUR 1.7m.
The segment revenues increased by 62% y-o-y to EUR 206m as ASTARTA accelerated sales of corn by 99% y-o-y to 714kt on strong 2018 and 2019 harvests. Exports accounted for 80% of revenues in 2019 vs 72% in 2018. In 2019, ASTARTA maintained its last year’s record output and produced more than one million tons of grains and oilseeds – 1,014mt. The Agriculture segment EBITDA totalled EUR53m in 2019.
Revenues amounted to EUR 117m (down by 2% y-o-y) on decline in sugar sales volumes by 7% to 301kt in 2019 amid negative development of local and global sugar prices for the two consecutive years. In 2019 ASTARTA exported 20kt of sugar (compared to 131kt in 2018) as global prices remained subdued. The Company responded to the sugar market challenges by decreasing thearea planted under sugar beets to 35 kha (12% less y-o-y), lowering production volumes by 14% to 302kt, and broad cost-reduction measures, leading to EUR2m EBITDAAt the same time ASTARTA preserved leadership position locally with a market share of over 20% and improved extra white sugar output to 76kt (up by 37% y-o-y).
The Soybean processing generated EUR83m of revenues, demonstrating 11% growth y-o-y on stronger product sales volumes. The Company had a market share of 14% in local soybean processing volumes in 2019 with 231kt of soybeans crushed, up by 7% y-o-y. Exports contributed 89% of revenues. EBITDA totalled EUR7m in 2019.
Revenues of the Dairy segment grew by 18% y-o-y EUR35m. Higher product prices offset the 10% milk output reduction from 106 kt in 2018 to 96 kt in 2019. Productivity increased to 20 kg per day per cow on back of technological changes in animal feeding and improved animal housing conditions. In 2019 milk quality improved, and the share of extra class milk in total output grew from 12% to 60%. The dairy segment EBITDA amounted to EUR16m.
Comments of CEO, Victor Ivanchyk:
Looking back, I must confess that last year was not easy, but at the same time, very motivating – our business had a clear task to mobilize internal resources, and the Company today is a more resilient business than a year ago. Bespoke system for the efficiency improvement (Lean-based) and further implementation of new IT-solutions in agribusiness management delivered us cost and resource savings. It is important for the Company to stay at the forefront of business sustainability practices. In 2020, we continue to develop our vision in three priority areas: operational improvements, digitization and ESG compliance. I believe that these initiatives will find support from all our stakeholders and lay down solid fundamentals for our joint success.