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ASTARTA published interim report for the six months of 2019

Key Highlights
In the reporting period ASTARTA’s consolidated revenues increased by 1/3 to EUR228m, driven by strong growth in the agricultural segment. As sales of corn more than doubled thanks to abundant harvest in 2018, the agriculture segment contributed 47% of total revenues in 1H19. Soybean products and dairy revenues were also higher on bigger sales volumes and favorable pricing, while sugar prices remained at historically low level. Exports’ share increased from 52% in 1H18 to 64% of consolidated revenues in 1H19. EBITDA increased to EUR64m for 1H19, compared to EUR60m. The reported net profit amounted to EUR30m.

ASTARTA capitalized on corn price growth by pushing through sales volumes more than two-fold to 512kt. Segment revenue amounted to EUR106m, while exports reached 95% of total grain volumes. EBITDA amounted to EUR51m, at the same level as in 1H18. By end of July, the Company started harvesting early grains bringing in total harvest of 263kt (+5% y-o-y), including 255kt of winter wheat.

Sugar revenues were down by 1/5 to EUR55m as the Company reduced sugar output and sales (153kt in 1H19 versus 185kt in 1H18) amid depressed pricing environment. EBITDA amounted to EUR4m in 1H19 compared to EUR7m in the previous year.

In the reporting period Ukrainian sugar prices remained under pressure from oversupply, limiting the potential for meaningful price recovery. The international sugar prices remained suppressed from overproduction in previous seasons and, as a result, strong global supplies. Considering that global consumption is forecast to increase, sugar balance is expected to turn around in the next season lifting the prices from this year’s lows.

Soybean processing
Soybean products’ revenue increased by 1/5 to EUR46m in 1H19 supported by firm sales volume growth which offset price declines. Exports were strong at 87% of total sales volume versus 75% in the same period last year.  EBITDA increased several-fold from EUR2m in 1H18 to EUR5m.

Dairy Farming 
The revenues of the dairy farming segment grew to EUR17m (up by 14% y-o-y). The sector also enjoyed improved profitability (EBITDA growth from EUR1m to EUR3m in 1H19/1H18) amid more favorable milk price environment.

Comments of CEO, Victor Ivanchyk:
«In the first six months of 2019 ASTARTA focused on maximizing its operating cash flows through release of working capital and sale of abundant inventories. This allowed to improve our leverage by net repayment of EUR49m of finance debt and underpin our financial position ahead of the new harvesting campaign». 

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Anastasia Novikova

Press Secretary