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ASTARTA published interim report for the nine months of 2019

Key Highlights
Consolidated revenues for the 9M19 increased by 32% y-oy to EUR 334m mainly driven by strong sales of agricultural produce. Export sales were up contributing 58% of the Company’s revenues. The Agricultural segment contributed 47% to the total revenues or EUR 155m, on 2.6x growth of corn sales volumes.  Revenues of the Sugar segment stood at EUR 87m (down by 10% y-o-y) on lower sales volumes and ongoing two-year unfavorable pricing trend. The Soybean processing segment’s revenues grew by 15% y-o-y to EUR 62m and the Dairy revenues increased by 17% to EUR 25m. Consolidated EBITDA declined to EUR 46m (down by 33% y-o-y) and net profit to EUR 4m (down by 70% y-o-y) due to lower contribution of the remeasurement of agricultural produce and higher costs of sales. 

Key drivers for growth of the 9M19 revenues were sales of corn which increased more than two-fold y-o-y to 515kt and strong wheat sales of 240kt (up by 23% y-o-y) of the 2019 harvest. Exports by value were strong at 85% vs 76% of the revenues for the same period last year. Revenues grew by 104% y-o-y to EUR 155m making the segment the biggest contributor to the Company’s consolidated revenues with a 47% share. In October 2019, ASTARTA’s agricultural subsidiaries completed harvesting of oilseeds with sunflower yield at 2.9 t/ha (flat y-o-y) and soybean yield at 2.5 t/ha (down by 14% y-o-y). The total harvest of oilseeds was 170kt

Sugar revenues decreased by 10% y-o-y to EUR 87m in the 9M19 on flat sugar price and decline in sugar sales volumes by 12% to 240kt (including 16kt of export sales) amid unfavorable development of local and global sugar prices for the two consecutive years. The Ukrainian sugar production campaign for 2019/20 season started with 31 sugar plants, the lowest in the history of Ukraine, and the area planted under sugar beet was reduced by one third. Adjusting to the market environment, in 2019 the Company decreased area planted under sugar beets and reduced the number of running sugar plants from seven to six. The Company forecasts its sugar production of 300kt (down by 15% y-o-y) in the 2019 production season. As of the November 14th, the Company produced c. 235kt of sugar. Overall the Ukrainian sugar plants by the date produced over one million tons of sugar.

Soybean processing
Soybean processing revenues increased by 15% y-o-y to EUR 62m in the 9M19. The segment improved its profitability despite lower product prices on stronger sales volumes. Gross Margin was recorded at 16% vs 13% a year ago. EBITDA amounted to EUR 6m compared to EUR 5m for the 9M18. Exports of soybean products grew to EUR 55m (up by 34% y-o-y). 

Dairy Farming 
Supported by favorable market environment as well as appreciation of hryvna, the Dairy segment revenues increased by 17% y-o-y to EUR 25m in the 9M19. The average milk price increased by 26% y-o-y to 308 EUR/t. Sales volumes of milk declined by 8% y-o-y to 72kt reflecting reduction in the herd from 26 to 24k heads in the reporting period. EBITDA increased to EUR 7.2m from negative EUR 2.9m a year ago.

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Alla Yurchuk

Press Secretary