Source - EQS

MMC Norilsk Nickel / Miscellaneous - High Priority
MMC Norilsk Nickel: NORILSK NICKEL REPORTS FIRST HALF 2016 INTERIM CONSOLIDATED IFRS FINANCIAL RESULTS

29-Aug-2016 / 10:16 CET/CEST
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The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


PRESS-RELEASE
 

Public Joint Stock Company «Mining and Metallurgical Company «NORILSK NICKEL»

('NORILSK NICKEL', 'Nornickel' or the 'Company')

NORILSK NICKEL REPORTS FIRST HALF 2016 INTERIM CONSOLIDATED IFRS FINANCIAL RESULTS

Moscow, August 29, 2016 - PJSC 'MMC 'NORILSK NICKEL' the largest refined nickel and palladium producer in the world, today reports IFRS financial results for six months ended June 30, 2016.

1H 2016 HIGHLIGHTS

- Focus on Tier 1 assets, cost controls and investment discipline enabled Norilsk Nickel to deliver the industry leading profitability despite weak commodity markets. EBITDA margin of 47% was the highest among global diversified mining majors as a result of control over cash operating costs inflation and the exit from international and non-core assets.

- Consolidated revenue decreased by 22% y-o-y to USD 3.8 billion, mainly owing to lower realized metal prices and one-off decrease of metal production due to the downstream reconfiguration in the Polar division was in part positively offset by sales of metal from stock accumulated in 4Q2015.

- EBITDA was down by 34% y-o-y to USD 1.8 billion following a reduction of revenue, while net profit decreased only by 13% y-o-y to USD 1.3 billion, as one-off operations in 1H16 decreased relative to the prior period.

- CAPEX increased by 24% y-o-y to USD 0.7 billion as a result of the capacity expansion and modernization of Talnakh concentrator and advancement of other downstream reconfiguration investment projects as well as the Chita (Bystrinsky) project being at an active construction phase. All major investment projects were carried out on time and on budget.

- In line with the strategy of de-risking the greenfield Chita project, the Company arranged an 8-year USD 800 million project financing facility from Sberbank CIB .

- Net working capital was down by 8% y-o-y to less than USD 1 billion as a result of the decrease of saleable metal inventories.

- Free cash flow decreased to USD 0.6 billion, owing to lower EBITDA, increased capital expenditures and slower rate of working capital release in 1H16.

- Balance sheet remained strong with Net Debt / EBITDA ratio at 1.4x as of June 30, 2016. Solid financial position of Norilsk Nickel is confirmed by investment grade credit ratings, which have been reiterated by Standard & Poor's and Fitch credit rating agencies.

- As part of ongoing sale of non-core assets, the Company completed the sale of 100% shares of Nordavia airlines.

- Norilsk Nickel maintains one of the industry leading dividend yields. In 1H16, we continued to pay regular interim dividend distributing to shareholders USD 665 million or USD 4.2 per share.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

- In July 2016, the Group received the first tranche payment from Chinese investors, Highland Fund, in respect to the sale of 13.33% of share capital of Chita (Bystrinsky) project in Chita region.

- In August 2016, the last ton of refined nickel was produced at the Nickel Plant in the city of Norilsk. A major milestone of the Company's downstream reconfiguration strategy was reached as the outdated production capacities of Nickel Plant were shut down in August ahead of the schedule.

- In July-August 2016, the Group amended terms of USD 570 million outstanding credit lines with a group of European banks resulting in a reduction of interest rates and extension of debt maturities to 5 years.

KEY CORPORATE HIGHLIGTS

USD million (unless stated otherwise) 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Revenue 3,843 4,907 (22%)
EBITDA1 1,795 2,708 (34%)
EBITDA margin 47% 55% (8 p.p.)
Net profit 1,304 1,493 (13%)
Capital expenditures 706 569 24%
Free cash flow2 619 2,179 (72%)
Net working capital1 951 1,0303 (8%)
Net debt2 4,723 4,2123 12%
Net debt /12М EBITDA 1.4x 1.0x3 0.4x
Dividends paid per share (USD) 4.2 13.4 (69%)
ROIC2 27% 31% p.p.)
 

1) A non-IFRS figure, for the calculation see the notes below.

2) A non-IFRS figure, for the calculation see an analytical review document ('Data book') available together with Consolidated IFRS Financial Results on the Company's web site.

3) Reported as of December 31, 2015

MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

The President of Norilsk Nickel, Vladimir Potanin, commented the results:

'The first half of 2016 was a very challenging period for the global metals and mining industry. Against the backdrop of persisting global macro uncertainty and ongoing slowdown of the Chinese economic growth rates, in February 2016, nickel price fell below the levels last seen during the 2008 crisis, while copper and PGM prices reached multi-year lows. In these circumstances, we believe that our operating model focusing on Tier-1 assets and production efficiency has yet again proven its high robustness and ability to generate industry-leading returns for our shareholders. In the first half of 2016, we posted the industry highest EBITDA margin of 47% and generated free cash flow of USD 600 million.
Amidst weak commodity markets, our financing standing remained strong and leverage - at a low level. The working capital level of USD 1 billion, that was reached, we consider as optimal and intend to maintain as our medium-term target. We expect that subject to the exchange rates and metals prices sustaining at approximately spot levels, our 2016 annual margin will remain at the current level, while our financial leverage will stay conservative.
We continued to execute on our downstream reconfiguration program and delivered the development of our key investment projects on time and on budget. As result, our capital investment program was ramping up in the first half of 2016 driven by the ongoing modernization of production facilities, shutdown of the obsolete Nickel plant and active phase of Chita project construction. As result capital expenditures increased almost by a quarter, while we reiterate our 2016 capex guidance at USD 2 billion.
Most projects related to the modernization of Nadezhda metallurgical smelter have been completed, and in May, we launched the Phase-2 of upgraded Talnakh concentrator with expanded capacity. Just a few days ago, the refined nickel production at Nickel Plant was idled ahead of the schedule that should have an immediate positive impact on the environmental situation in the city of Norilsk.
The development of Bystrinsky project in Chita region has progressed materially. The construction of the open pit, concentrator and power lines is on schedule. As part of de-risking this project, we have closed two landmark transactions, having raised a long-term project financing from Sberbank and sold a minority stake to strategic equity investors from China.
Overall, we believe that the metal markets have stabilized, while we are going cautiously optimistic on the current developments in the global nickel market, which for the first time in the past few years has entered into a deficit. In this environment, we are seeing a rising investment appeal for our shares, while we continue delivering industry-leading dividend returns to our shareholders.'

HEALTH AND SAFETY

The lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) decreased from 0.7 in 1H2015 to 0.4 in 1H2016 as a result of implementation of cardinal Safety Rules and a new policy allowing employees to reject unsafe work assignments. Sadly, the Company suffered 6 fatal injuries in the reported period (vs 4 in 1H2015). Each accident has been reported to the Board of Directors and has been thoroughly investigated in order to prevent fatalities in future.
The Company's management considers the health and safety of its personnel with a zero fatality rate as the key strategic priority and continues to implement a wide range of initiatives to improve the health and safety records. The initiatives scheduled in 2H16 include the following:

- implementation of a new corporate standard for HSE change management of cardinal Safety;

- additional training of managers to identify root causes of accidents using best global practices;

- roll out of employee incentive plan aiming at the enforcement of of new HSE standards.

METAL MARKETS

Nickel in 1H2016 - price bottomed out from its 12-year lows on the back of robust Chinese demand, emerged Philippine supply risk and further monetary easing from central banks.

In 1Q2016, nickel price continued to slide on the downward trend from the previous year hitting a 12-year low of USD 7,710 per tonne in February. Since then, nickel price recovered strongly to USD 9,400 per tonne at the end of June and further in July-August to the levels above USD 10,000 per tonne. The average LME nickel price in 1H2016 was USD 8,662 per tonne, 37% lower than in 1H2015.
The recent rally in nickel was driven by a combination of macro and sector-specific factors. Firstly, the continuous monetary stimulus by European and Asian central banks coupled with the lack of interest rate action from the US Federal Reserve caused a reverse in the investors' bearish sentiment towards mined commodities, which triggered fund inflow into these markets.
Secondly, the demand from Chinese stainless industry delivered strong growth numbers beating the market expectations. In 1H2016, primary nickel demand from this industry increased by 11% y-o-y driven by increased output of nickel-intensive 300-series stainless steel. The growth of stainless production was mainly attributed to the launch of a new plant by Delong Nickel as well as the expansion at Beihai Chengde, Tisco and other producers. The growth of primary nickel consumption in the Chinese stainless industry was additionally supported by a lower scrap ratio. Another driver of nickel demand globally was the electric battery sector posting a solid growth in primary nickel off-take.
Finally, the newly elected president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, which publicly criticized the mining industry's negative environmental impact, launched a nationwide audit of mining companies and halted the issuance of new permits for exploration. The audit has already resulted in a number of nickel mines getting shut, affecting some 12% of the country nickel ore output. With the investors' memories being still fresh of the implication that the 2014 Indonesian export ban had on the nickel price, the expectations that something similar might be implemented in Philippines contributed to the nickel price recovery in the recent months. This expectation was confirmed in middle of August, when the Philippines Parliament was reported to receive a new mining law, a draft of which was initially submitted to the Parliament in 2014, and which reportedly contains similar principles to that of the Indonesia mining law.

Nickel outlook - cautiously positive; robust demand from stainless and tighter supply from Philippines, but beware of refined metal stocks and growing supply from Indonesia.

The prospects for the ore supply from Philippines remains unsettled. As the result of the ongoing audit of the mining industry, 8 mines with total annual output of around 50 thousand tonnes of contained nickel (approximately 12% of the country's nickel supply in 2015) have been suspended. Another 100 thousand tonnes of contained nickel mining capacities are at risk of failing the environmental audit. In total, we believe that up to 150 thousand tonnes of nickel units (8% of global primary supply) could be at risk. Moreover, in August the Philippine Lower Chamber of Congress was reported that it would seriously consider introduction of ore export ban mirroring the Indonesian mining legislation, which resulted in the ban on the shipments of unprocessed mined materials introduced in January 2014.
From the demand perspective, we believe that the government stimulus and ramp-up of stainless steel capacities in China would keep the nickel consumption growth rates at robust levels at least until the end of this year. Aggressive nickel restocking by stainless steel mills reported year-to-date coupled with the rumours that the Chinese State Reserve Bureau is buying 30-50 thousand tonnes of refined metal in 2016 should provide additional support for nickel price.
At the same time, the growth of nickel pig iron (NPI) production in Indonesia, that is expected to deliver over 80 thousand tonnes of nickel units in 2016, is beating market expectations. In spite of nickel price being well deep into the cost curve, a 25% nickel price recovery from February's lows provided some relief to high-cost producers outside China. Their cost cutting efforts helped by mining currencies depreciation combined with re-financing exercises push back further long awaited industry rationalisation.
Finally, one should be cognisant of global nickel inventory, the visible part of which as represented by the LME and SHFE warehouses is running high at 480 thousand tonnes or approximately 80 days of global consumption. The high global nickel inventory is preventing the market from developing a physical deficit and thus will be keeping a cap on the upside of price recovery in the near term.
Overall, we continue to hold a neutral view on nickel price in the short-term, while watching closely the developments in Philippines, whereas widening market deficits in 2016-2018 should support a sustained recovery of the metal price.

Copper in 1H2016 - ramp-up of new projects and supply disruptions running below historical averages outweigh solid physical demand

On the back of the general negative sentiment towards base metals, copper price started the year very weak hitting a seven-year low of USD 4,310 per tonne in January. However, after the launch of new economic stimulus in China that boosted investments in electrical grid the metal price recovered to a local maximum of USD 5,103 in March. Nonetheless, the average 1H2016 LME price was down 21% y-o-y to USD 4,701 per tonne. The market was broadly balanced in the first half of 2016, with a surplus of less than 1% of the market, with the solid demand growth in China (+3% y-o-y) balanced by the steady ramp-up of large projects and lower-than-expected supply disruptions.

Copper outlook - neutral; supply growth from new mines and cost deflation to keep the price under pressure

We maintain a neutral outlook on copper as we expect the robust demand growth from China and decline of mined grades in Chile and North America to be largely offset by a wave of new supply coming from major projects in Peru and Asia. The ongoing cost deflation and access of highly levered producers to cheap refinancing provides no incentive for supply rationalization and thus will cap a recovery of the copper price. However, should the supply disruption to accelerate or further upside surprises from demand given the low global level of exchange inventory, price reaction could be quite sensitive to potential short-term market deficits.

Palladium in 1H2016 - price recovery was gaining momentum on the back of solid global demand and ETFs metal flow stabilisation

After a massive market sell-off in 4Q 2015 driven by the liquidation of ETF holdings, palladium prices started to recover in 1H16 reaching in April USD 626 per ounce. Although the average price in 1H 2016 of USD 546 per ounce was down 29% y-o-y, it recovered strongly in July-August to a psychologically important level of USD 700 per ounce. The growth was driven by both loosen monetary policies and delays on the expected US Federal rate increase, which boosted prices of all precious metals,) and strong global light vehicle production (+3% y-o-y). The outflow of metal from ETFs slowed down substantially in the first half of 2016, thus removing the selling pressure, which was particularly strong in 2015.

Palladium outlook - positive, deficit to widen

Given the booming car sales in the US and China, driving up demand for catalysts for gasoline vehicles (palladium intensive) we increase our forecast for primary palladium consumption growth in 2016 to 5% y-o-y (+0.4 MOz). The zero interest rate environment should incentivize a recovery of investment demand after major ETFs sell-off in 4Q 2015. We also expect a 4% y-o-y decrease in supply in 2016 owing to production losses in South Africa (following accidents at Impala and production cuts at Lonmin) and reduced refined output of Norilsk Nickel due to the ongoing reconfiguration of our downstream assets. Thus, we believe the palladium market deficit to widen, which should support the price in the mid-term.

Platinum in 1H2016 - strong industrial demand and gold rally

While in 2H2015 platinum market suffered from overall negative economic sentiment and expectations of a Fed rates hike, 2016 started on a more positive note with price increasing from USD 850 per ounce in January to USD 1,000 per ounce in June. We believe that investor fatigue toward PGMs that dominated the market in 2015 has disappeared as both industrial (from automotive and glass industries) and investment demand (especially from retail investors) were gaining pace.

Platinum outlook - positive; deficit to persist

We revise our primary platinum consumption growth forecast up from 1% to 2% in 2016 driven by a stronger-than-anticipated recovery of European car sales as well as the robust demand from jewellery and chemical sectors. Despite lukewarm demand from ETFs we expect retail investors to support investment demand. At the same time, we expect a moderate decline in primary supply driven by lower output by South African producers and downstream reconfiguration at Norilsk Nickel. All-in-all, we expect the platinum market structural deficit to widen to around 450 thousand ounces in 2016.

KEY SEGMENTAL HIGHLIGHTS

USD million (unless stated otherwise) 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Revenue 3,843 4,907 (22%)
GMK Group 2,831 3,800 (26%)
Group KGMK 284 410 (31%)
NN Harjavalta 283 432 (34%)
Other metallurgical 3 27 (89%)
Other non- metallurgical 813 636 28%
Eliminations (371) (398) (7%)
EBITDA 1,795 2,708 (34%)
GMK Group 1,753 2,714 (35%)
Group KGMK 55 156 (65%)
NN Harjavalta 9 36 (75%)
Other metallurgical (8) (12) (33%)
Other non-metallurgical 150 (22) 8x
Unallocated (164) (164) -
EBITDA margin 47% 55% (8 p.p.)
GMK Group 62% 71% (9 p.p.)
Group KGMK 19% 38% (19 p.p.)
NN Harjavalta 3% 8% (5 p.p.)
Other metallurgical (267%) (44%) (223 p.p.)
Other non- metallurgical 18% (3%) (21 p.p.)
 

In 1H2016, EBITDA of GMK Group decreased by 35% y-o-y to USD 1,753 million. The decline was primarily driven by lower metal prices. The positive effect of RUB depreciation against USD was negatively offset by the increase in the cost of sales in real terms, and the extension of PGM export custom duties to PGM alloys and salts.

EBITDA of Group KGMK was down by 65% y-o-y primarily due to lower metal prices. This negative effect was partly positively offset by the decrease in cash costs and selling expenses driven by the depreciation of RUB.

EBITDA of NN Harjavalta decreased by 75% y-o-y to USD 9 million primarily due to lower metal prices, which were partly compensated by the decrease in prices of purchased semi-products.
Negative EBITDA of the segment 'Other metallurgical' insignificantly decreased by USD 4 million y-o-y.

EBITDA of the segment 'Other non-metallurgical' increased by USD 172 million in 1H 2016 and turned positive primarily as a result of the increase in sales margin of the Group's trading subsidiaries, which benefited from rising metal prices during the 1H2016 as compared to falling metal prices during 1H 2015.

SALES VOLUME AND REVENUE 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Refined metals
Russian operations      
Nickel, thousand tons 122 109 12%
Copper, thousand tons 182 177 3%
Palladium, thousand troy ounces 1,434 1,312 9%
Platinum, thousand troy ounces 370 322 15%
Finland      
Nickel, thousand tons 23 21 10%
Semi-products
Finland      
Copper cake, copper, thousand tons1 3 6 (50%)
Botswana      
Nickel concentrate, nickel, thousand tons1 - 1 (100%)
Nickel concentrate, copper, thousand tons1 - 1 (100%)
South Africa      
Nickel concentrate, nickel, thousand tons1 6 1
Nickel concentrate, copper, thousand tons1 3 - 100%
Metal sales
Group      
Nickel, thousand tons2 145 130 12%
Copper, thousand tons2 182 177 3%
Palladium, thousand troy ounces2 1,434 1,312 9%
Platinum, thousand troy ounces2 370 322 15%
Gold, thousand troy ounces2 70 59 19%
Rhodium, thousand troy ounces2 45 43 5%
Cobalt, thousand tons2 2 3 (33%)
Silver, thousand troy ounces2 1,092 983 11%
Semi-products, nickel, thousand tons 1 6 1
Semi-products, copper, thousand tons1 6 7 (14%)
Semi-products, palladium, thousand troy ounces1 47 49 (4%)
Semi-products, platinum, thousand troy ounces1 19 19 -
Semi-products, gold, thousand troy ounces1 4 4 -
Semi-products, silver, thousand troy ounces1 42 64 (34%)
 
  1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Average realized prices of metals produced by Norilsk Nickel in Russia from its own feed
Metal      
Nickel (USD per tonne) 8,808 13,712 (36%)
Copper (USD per tonne) 4,741 5,989 (21%)
Palladium (USD per troy ounce) 545 771 (29%)
Platinum (USD per troy ounce) 938 1,157 (19%)
Cobalt (USD per tonne) 23,169 30,367 (24%)
Gold (USD per troy troy ounce) 1,213 1,208 -
Rhodium (USD per troy ounce) 656 1,046 (37%)
Revenue, USD million
Nickel 1,278 1,816 (30%)
Copper 862 1,059 (19%)
Palladium 810 1,035 (22%)
Platinum 347 372 (7%)
Semi-products 88 103 (15%)
Other metals 180 206 (13%)
Revenue from metal sales 3,565 4,591 (22%)
Revenue from other sales 278 316 (12%)
Total revenue 3,843 4,907 (22%)
 

1) Volumes are stated in respect of metal content in semi-product.
2) All information is reported on the basis of 100% ownership of subsidiaries, excluding sales of metals purchased from third parties.

Nickel

Nickel remained the largest contributor to the Company's revenue comprising a 36% of total metal sales in 1H2016 down from 40% in the 1H2015 as nickel price fell the most relative to other metals within the Company's commodity basket.

In 1H2016, nickel revenue decreased by 30% y-o-y (or USD 538 million) to USD 1,278 million primarily due to lower nickel price (-USD 663 million), which was partly offset by higher sales volume (+USD 125 million).

The average realized price of nickel produced in Russia from own feed decreased by 36% y-o-y from to USD 8,808 per tonne in 1H2016 from USD 13,712 per tonne in 1H2015.

Sales volume of nickel produced in Russia from own feed increased by 12% y-o-y (or 13 thousand tons) to 120 thousand tons. The increase in sales volume was driven by the sale of part of metal from a temporary stock accumulated by the Company in the fourth quarter 2015.

The volume of nickel sales from purchased semi-products was flat y-o-y amounting to 2 thousand tons.

Sales volume of nickel produced by Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta increased by 10% y-o-y to 23 thousand tons in 1H2016 as Harjavalta started to process the Company's Russian feed.

Copper

In 1H2016, copper sales accounted for 24% of the Company's total metal sales, down 19% y-o-y (or USD 197 million) to USD 862 million primarily owing to lower realized copper price (-USD 221 million) which was partly offset by the increase in sales volume (+USD 24 million).

The average realized price of copper produced in Russia from own feed was down by 21% y-o-y to USD 4,741 per tonne in 1H2016 from USD 5,989 in 1H2015.

Physical volume of copper sales from Russian feed increased by 3% y-o-y (or 5 thousand tons) to 180 thousand tons. The increase in sales volumes was driven by sale of part of metal from the temporary stock, which was built in the fourth quarter 2015.
The sales of copper produced from third party materials was unchanged y-o-y and amounted to 2 thousand tons.

Palladium

In 1H2016, palladium sales accounted for 23% of the Group's total metal revenue. The Group's palladium revenue decreased by 22% y-o-y (or by USD 225 million). The negative impact of lower realized price (-USD 297 million) was partly offset by the increased sales volumes (+USD 67 million). Additional USD 29 million of palladium revenue in 1H2016 came from the re-sale of metal purchased in the open market to fulfil the Company's contractual obligations ( vs USD 24 million in 1H2015).
Sales of palladium produced in Russia from own feed decreased by 22% y-o-y to USD 775 million. The decline was driven by lower realized palladium price (down 29% y-o-y) from USD 771 per troy ounce in 1H2015 to USD 545 per troy ounce in 1H2016, which was partly offset by higher palladium sales volume (by 11% y-o-y) resulting from the sale of metal from temporary stock.

Platinum

In 1H2016, platinum sales accounted for 10% of the Group's total metal revenue. The platinum revenue decreased by 7% y-o-y (or by USD 25 million) to USD 347 million primarily due to the adverse effect from the realized platinum price (negative USD 70 million), which was partly offset by higher volumes of platinum sales (+USD 45 million).

The revenue from platinum produced in Russia from own feed decreased by 5% y-o-y to USD 343 million. The reduction was driven by a 19% y-o-y decline in the average realized platinum price (from USD 1,157 per troy ounce in 1H2015 to USD 938 per troy ounce in 1H2016), which was partly offset by the increase in sales volumes due to the sale of metal from temporary stock.

Other metals

The revenue from other metals was down by 13% y-o-y (or by USD 26 million) to USD 180 million owing to the decline in revenue from sale of cobalt (-35%) and rhodium (-34%), which was partly offset by the higher silver (+4%) and gold sales revenue (+19%).
Decline of revenue from other metals was driven by both the lower realized prices (-USD 24 million) and decrease of physical sale volumes (-USD 2 million).

Semi-products

In 1H2016, revenue from sales of semi-products (copper cake and nickel concentrate) decreased by 15% y-o-y (or by USD 15 million) to USD 88 million, and accounted for 2% of the Group's total metal sales revenue. The decrease was mainly driven by lower realized prices and the divestiture of Tati Nickel in the second quarter of 2015.

Other sales

In 1H2016, the revenue from other sales amounted to USD 278 million (down by 12% y-o-y) and decreased primarily due to Russian rouble depreciation against US dollar (negative effect of USD 51 million), which was partly positively offset by the increase of other sales in real terms by USD 13 million.
The increase of other sales in real terms was driven by higher revenue of the Company's transport subsidiaries primarily due to increased volumes and prices of services provided to third parties (USD 17 million). This was partially negatively offset by a decline in other revenue due to divestiture of non-core assets (negative effect of USD 15 million).

COST OF METAL SALES

Cost of metals sales

In 1H2016, the cost of metal sales decreased by 7% y-o-y (or by USD 120 million) to USD 1,645 million owing to:

- Reduction of cash operating costs by 6% y-o-y (USD 84 million);

- Decrease in depreciation charges by 12% y-o-y (USD 28 million);

- Change in metal inventories y-o-y (negative effect of USD 8 million).

Cash operating costs

In 1H2016, total cash operating costs decreased by 6% y-o-y (or by USD 84 million) to USD 1,356 million.

The decrease was mainly driven by the depreciation of Russian rouble against US Dollar (USD 182 million) and sale of non-core assets (USD 27 million). The negative impacts on cash operating costs were as follows:

- USD 69 million increase of cash operating costs owing to domestic inflation;

- USD 56 million increase of other expenses.

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Cash operating costs      
Labour 543 584 (7%)
Purchases of metals for resale, raw materials and semi-products 294 289 2%
Materials and supplies 203 198 3%
Third-party services 72 119 (39%)
Mineral extraction tax and other levies 67 59 14%
Electricity and heat energy 47 58 (19%)
Transportation expenses 40 39 3%
Fuel 25 35 (29%)
Sundry costs 65 59 10%
Total cash operating costs 1,356 1,440 (6%)
Depreciation and amortisation 214 242 (12%)
Decrease in metal inventories 75 83 (10%)
Total cost of metal sales 1,645 1,765 (7%)
 

Labour

In 1H2016, labour costs decreased by 7% y-o-y to USD 543 million.

Positive effect of Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar (reduction of labour costs by USD 103 million) was partly negatively offset by the indexation of RUB-denominated wages and the headcount increase (increase of labour cost by USD 62 million).

The share of labour costs in the Group's total cash operating costs in 1H2016 decreased by 1% y-o-y to 40% of total.

Purchases of metals for resale, raw materials and semi-products

Expenses on the purchase of metals for resale and semi-products for processing increased by 2% y-o-y to USD 294 million in 1H2016.

Purchase of semi-products was down by USD 89 million y-o-y owing to the decrease in market prices for purchased concentrates and matte. This positive impact was partly offset by the increase in the volume of semi-products purchased by NN Harjavalta (increase of cost by USD 39 million) owing to the replacement of a tolling contract with Boliden with a sale and purchase agreement.

Expenses for metals purchased for re-sale to fulfill contractual obligations increased by USD 55 million y-o-y.

Materials and supplies

Materials and supplies expenses increased by 3% y-o-y to USD 203 million in 1H2016.

Positive effect of Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar amounted to USD 31 million in terms of cost reduction.

However, the positive depreciation effect was negatively offset by the increase of the cost of materials and supplies in real terms driven by the following:

- USD 16 million - local-currency inflation;

- USD 21 million - repairs of mining equipment as well as the equipment at Nadezhda metallurgical plant and Kola MMC owing to the ongoing downstream reconfiguration program.

Outsourced third party services

In 1H2016, cost of third party services decreased 39% y-o-y to USD 72 million.

Positive effect of Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar amounted to USD 13 million in terms of cost reduction.

Other changes in outsourced third party services were driven by the following factors:

- USD 19 million - cash cost reduction due to the divestiture of Tati Nickel in April 2015;

- USD 21 million - decrease in tolling expenses due to replacement of tolling contract with Boliden with a semi-products sale and purchase agreement at NN Harjavalta;

- USD 6 million - increase in other services, including repairs and maintenance of equipment, primarily due to inflation.

Mineral extraction tax and other levies

In 1H2016, mineral extraction tax and other levies increased by 14% y-o-y to USD 67 million.

Positive effect of Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar amounted to USD 10 million in terms cost reduction in 1H 2016.

That was more than offset negatively by USD 18 million increase in cash cost owing to higher cost of mined ore and increase in road usage charges in Norilsk region in rouble terms.

Electricity and heat energy

In 1H2016, electricity and heat energy expense decreased by 19% y-o-y to USD 47 million.

The decline was primarily driven by Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar.

Transportation expenses

In 1H2016, transportation expenses remained stable y-o-y and amounted to USD 40 million.

The increase in transportation tariffs in Russia was offset by Russian Rouble depreciation against US Dollar.

Fuel

Fuel expenses decreased by 29% y-o-y to USD 25 million in 1H2016 driven by Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar (cash cost reduction by USD 6 million) and lower oil price (cash cost reduction by USD 4 million).

Sundry costs

Sundry costs in 1H2016 increased by 10% y-o-y and amounted to USD 65 million.

Positive effect of Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar amounted to USD 9 million in terms cost reduction.

The increase in sundry costs in real terms (USD 15 million) was driven primarily by inflation.

Depreciation and amortisation

In 1H2016, amortisation and depreciation of production assets decreased by 12% y-o-y and amounted to USD 214 million.

Positive effect of Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar (reduction of cost by USD 42 million) was partly offset by the increase in depreciation charges (USD 14 million) mainly due to additions of mining and refining assets at the end of 2015 - beginning of 2016.

Decrease of metal inventories

The decrease in metal stock in 1H2016 was USD 8 million lower than in 1H 2015 resulting in a respective decrease in cost of sales. This change was primarily attributable to the following factors:

- USD 75 million - decrease of metal stock in 1H2016 mainly due to the sale of metal from the stock accumulated in 4Q2015;

- USD 83 million - decrease in the stockpile of work-in-progress materials at the Company's Russian operations and NN Harjavalta, as a result of processing of the stockpiled nickel materials at NN Harjavalta and sale of Tati Nickel in 1H2015.

COST OF OTHER SALES

In 1H2016, cost of other sales decreased by 21% y-o-y to USD 250 million.

Positive effect of Russian rouble depreciation against US Dollar amounted to USD 56 million in terms of cost reduction.

Change of cost of other sales in real terms (up by USD 11million) was driven by the following factors:

- USD 16 million - cost reduction due to sale of non-core assets (primarily Nordavia-RA);

- USD 8 million - increase in aviation companies expenditures owing to the business expansion;

- USD 3 million - cost reduction due to other factors.

SELLING AND DISTRIBUTION EXPENSES

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Export duties 54 16 238%
Staff costs 5 5 -
Transportation expenses 3 2 50%
Marketing expenses 2 12 (83%)
Other 3 7 (57%)
Total 67 42 60%
 

 

Selling and distribution expenses increased by 60% y-o-y (or by USD 25 million) to USD 67 million. The growth was driven by a threefold increase of export duties (up by USD 38 million) owing to the extension of 6.5% PGM export duties to PGM alloys and salts in June 2015. The Company expects that export duties on all PGM products will be cancelled by the Russian government on September 01, 2016, as part Russian Federation WTO accession package.

The increase of export duties was partly offset by the following factors:

- USD 5 million - cost reduction owing to the depreciation of RUB against US dollar;

- USD 10 million - decrease in marketing campaigns in Asia and Europe.

GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Staff costs 171 168 2%
Taxes other than mineral extraction tax and income tax 26 27 (4%)
Third party services 20 25 (20%)
Rent expenses 10 10 -
Depreciation and amortisation 10 9 11%
Transportation expenses 3 3 -
Other 19 20 (5%)
Total 259 262 (1%)
 

In 1H2016, general and administrative expenses decreased by 1% y-o-y (or by USD 3 million) to USD 259 million. Increase of staff costs (up by USD 3 million) driven by salaries upward revision in line with domestic inflation was offset by lower cost of third party services (cost reduction by USD 5 million) owing to the depreciation of Russian rouble against US dollar.

FINANCE COSTS

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Interest expense on borrowings net of amounts capitalized 203 109 86%
Unwinding of discount on provisions 23 19 21%
Total 226 128 77 %
 

Increase in finance costs by 77% y-o-y to USD 226 million was mostly driven by higher interest expense on borrowings due to increase in gross debt.

INCOME TAX EXPENSE

In 1H2016, income tax expense decreased 24% y-o-y to USD 370 million driven mostly by lower revenue.

The effective income tax rate in 1H2016 amounted to 22%, which was above the Russian statutory tax rate of 20%. This was primarily driven by non-deductible social expenses and allowance for deferred tax assets. These factors were partly offset by the effect of varying tax rates applied on international subsidiaries of the Group.

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Current income tax expense 348 481 (28%)
Deferred tax expense 22 5 4x
Total 370 486 (24%)
 

The break up of the current income tax expense by geography :

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Russian Federation 346 464 (25%)
Finland - 15 (100%)
Rest of the world 2 2 -
Total 348 481 (28%)
 

EBITDA

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Operating profit 1,536 2,426 (37%)
Depreciation and amortisation 256 280 (9%)
Impairment of property, plant and equipment 3 2 50%
EBITDA 1,795 2,708 (34%)
EBITDA margin 47% 55% (8 p.p.)
 

In 1H 2016, EBITDА decreased by 34% y-o-y (or by USD 913 million) to USD 1,795 million with EBITDA margin amounting to 47% (down from 55% in 1H2015). Negative impact on EBITDA came from the decrease in realized metal prices and the increase of PGM export duties costs, which were partially compensated by RUB depreciation against US Dollar and cost reduction as a result of the disposal of non-core and international assets.

NET PROFIT BEFORE IMPAIRMENT CHARGES AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE GAINS/LOSSES RECONCILIATION

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Net profit 1,304 1,493 (13%)
Impairment of property, plant and equipment 3 2 50%
Foreign exchange (gain)/loss (310) 122 (4x)
(Gain)/ loss from disposal of subsidiaries and assets classified as held for sale (6) 306 (52x)
Net profit before impairment charges and foreign exchange gains/losses 991 1,923 (48%)
 


STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Cash generated from operations before changes in working capital and income tax 1,828 2,758 (34%)
Movements in working capital 16 241 (93%)
Income tax paid (320) (439) (27%)
Net cash generated from operating activities 1,524 2,560 (40%)
Capital expenditure (706) (569) 24%
Other investing activities (199) 188 (2х)
Net cash used in investing activities (905) (381) (138%)
Net cash used in financing activities (1,237) (2,234) 45%
Effects of foreign exchange differences on balances of cash and cash equivalents (23) 126 (118%)
Other 1 (50) (51х)
Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents (640) 21 (32х)
 

In 1H2016, net cash generated from operating activities decreased by 40% y-o-y to USD 1.5 billion owing to the following:

- USD 913 million - decrease in EBITDA;

- USD 225 million - slower working capital release in 1H2016 as compared to 1H2015.

Reconciliation of the net working capital changes between the balance sheet and cash flow statement is presented below.

USD million 1H2016 1H2015
Change of the net working capital in the balance sheet, less: 79 368
Foreign exchange differences 21 (36)
Change in income tax payable (26) (34)
Changes of working capital within assets classified as held for sale (1) (31)
Non-cash changes, including reserves (57) (26)
Change of working capital per cash flow 16 241
 

CAPEX BREAKDOWN BY PROJECT

USD million 1H2016 1H2015 Change,%
Polar Division, including: 402 369 9%
Skalisty mine 30 88 (66%)
Taymirsky mine 28 24 17%
Komsomolsky mine 27 11 145%
Oktyabrsky mine 24 19 26%
Talnakh enrichment plant 114 84 36%
Nickel plant closure activities 11 20 (45%)
Kola MMC 44 45 (2%)
Chita (Bystrinsky) project 132 51 159%
Other production projects 113 95 19%
Other non-production assets 2 3 (33%)
Intangible assets 13 6 117%
Total 706 569 24%
 

In 1H2016, CAPEX increased by 24% y-o-y to USD 706 million primarily due to completion of the second stage of Talnakh enrichment plant (+USD 30 million) and construction of Chita (Bystrinsky) project (+USD 81 million).

Other factors driving the increase in CAPEX in 1H2016 were:

- Development and maintenance of the mineral resource base in Polar division and Kola MMC;

- Capital repairs at Nadezhda metallurgical plant with increase of its production capacity from 2.0 mtpa to 2.4 mtpa.

- Reconstruction of refining capacities at Kola MMC to replace outdated and less efficient technology of electrolytic refining of anodes with a more efficient electrowinning technology;

- Development of Pelyatkinskoe gas condensate field and reconstruction of power generation facilities to ensure reliable energy supply to the Company's production assets and Norilsk residential area.

DEBT AND LIQUIDITY MANAGEMENT

USD million As of June 30 2016 As of December 31 2015 Change,
USD million
Change, %
Long-term 7,473 7,142 331 5%
Short-term 664 1,124 (460) (41)%
Total debt 8,137 8,266 (129) (2%)
Cash and cash equivalents 3,414 4,054 (640) (16%)
Net debt 4,723 4,212 511 12%
Net debt /12M EBITDA 1.4x 1.0х 0.4x  
 

As of June 30, 2016 the Company's total debt decreased by 2% y-o-y (or by USD 129 million) to USD 8,137 million. The Company's short-term debt decreased by USD 460 million from the year-end 2015 to USD 664 million, while the long-term debt increased by USD 331 million to USD 7,473 million as of June 30, 2016. As a result, the proportion of short-term debt in the total debt portfolio as of June 30, 2016 decreased to 8% from 14% as of December 31, 2015.

Net debt increased by 12% y-o-y to USD 4,723 million with Net debt/12M EBITDA ratio increasing to 1.4х.

In 1H2016, the Company executed several debt financing transactions aimed at diversification and optimization of the Group's debt portfolio. The Company placed 10-year local bonds in the amount of RUB 15 billion to partially refinance its 3-year local bonds in the amount of RUB 35 billion maturing in February 2016. In addition, the Company arranged a project financing credit facility from Sberbank CIB in the amount of up to USD 800 million for the period of 8 years to finance the construction of Chita (Bystrynsky) project.

In 1H2016, the Company continued to optimize its committed lines portfolio and entered into the syndicated revolving facility agreement with a consortium of Chinese banks with the facility limit of CNY 4.8 billion (USD 730 million equivalent as of the date of the agreement). Following this agreement, the total limit of the committed lines available to the Company reached USD 2.3 billion as of June 30, 2016.

As of June 30, 2016, the Company's credit ratings assigned by Standard and Poor's and Fitch rating agencies remained at the investment grade level (BBB-, BBB-). The Company's credit rating assigned by Moody's was at Ba1 level in line with the sovereign rating of Russia.

Consolidated financial statements for 1H2106 can be found on the Company's website: http://www.nornik.ru/en/investor-relations/financial-statements-and-reports/ifrs-statements-documents

This announcement contains inside information in accordance with Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014 of 16 April 2014.

Full name and position of person making the announcement - Vladimir Zhukov, Vice - president, Investor Relations

ABOUT THE COMPANY

PJSC 'MMC 'NORILSK NICKEL' is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world's largest producer of refined nickel and palladium and a leading producer of platinum, cobalt, copper and rhodium. The company also produces gold, silver, iridium, selenium, ruthenium and tellurium.

The production units of PJSC 'MMC 'NORILSK NICKEL' include Polar Division, located at the Norilsk Industrial District on Taimyr Peninsula, and Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company located on the Kola Peninsula in Russia as well as Harjavalta nickel refinery in Finland.

PJSC 'MMC 'NORILSK NICKEL' shares are listed on the Moscow and on the Saint-Petersburg Stock Exchanges. PJSC MMC 'Norilsk Nickel' ADRs trade over the counter in the US and on the London and Berlin Stock Exchanges.

Media Relations: Investor Relations:

Phone: +7 (495) 785 58 00 Phone: +7 (495) 786 83 20

Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected]

Attachment A

INTERIM CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT (UNAUDITED)
FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2016
US Dollars million

  For the six months ended 30 June 2016   For the six months ended 30 June 2015
       
Revenue      
       
Metal sales 3,565   4,591
Other sales 278   316
       
Total revenue 3,843   4,907
       
Cost of metal sales (1,645)   (1,765)
Cost of other sales (250)   (317)
       
Gross profit 1,948   2,825
       
General and administrative expenses (259)   (262)
Selling and distribution expenses (67)   (42)
Impairment of property, plant and equipment (3)   (2)
Other net operating expenses (83)   (93)
       
Operating profit 1,536   2,426
       
Finance costs (226)   (128)
Gain/(loss) from disposal of subsidiaries and assets classified as held for sale 6   (306)
Income from investments, net 51   99
Foreign exchange gain/(loss), net 310   (122)
Share of (losses)/profits of associates (3)   10
       
Profit before tax 1,674   1,979
       
Income tax expense (370)   (486)
       
Profit for the period 1,304   1,493
       
       
Attributable to:      
Shareholders of the parent company 1,309   1,498
Non-controlling interests (5)   (5)
       
  1,304   1,493
EARNINGS PER SHARE      
       
Basic and diluted earnings per share attributable to shareholders of the parent company (US Dollars per share) 8.3   9.5
 

Attachment B
INTERIM CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION (UNAUDITED)
AS AT 30 JUNE 2016
US Dollars million

    30.06.2016   31.12.2015
ASSETS        
Non-current assets        
         
Property, plant and equipment   7,817   6,392
Intangible assets   64   50
Investment property   91   83
Other financial assets   254   62
Other taxes receivable   2   -
Deferred tax assets   42   42
Other non-current assets   157   117
         
    8,427   6,746
Current assets        
         
Inventories   1,921   1,698
Trade and other receivables   178   167
Advances paid and prepaid expenses   115   55
Other financial assets   58   1
Income tax receivable   228   234
Other taxes receivable   171   199
Cash and cash equivalents   3,414   4,054
    6,085   6,408
Assets classified as held for sale   218   217
         
    6,303   6,625
         
TOTAL ASSETS   14,730   13,371
         
EQUITY AND LIABILITIES        
         
Capital and reserves        
         
Share capital   6   6
Share premium   1,254   1,254
Treasury shares   (196)   (196)
Translation reserve   (5,019)   (5,348)
Retained earnings   7,267   6,523
         
Equity attributable to shareholders of the parent company   3,312   2,239
Non-controlling interests   16   22
         
    3,328   2,261
Non-current liabilities        
         
Loans and borrowings   7,473   7,142
Provisions   405   357
Deferred tax liabilities   246   205
Other long-term liabilities   43   30
         
    8,167   7,734
Current liabilities        
         
Trade and other payables   1,313   1,008
Loans and borrowings   664   1,124
Dividends payable   568   698
Employee benefit obligations   279   215
Provisions   230   205
Derivative financial instruments   3   2
Income tax payable   18   5
Other taxes payable   133   95
         
    3,208   3,352
Liabilities associated with assets classified as held for sale   27   24
         
    3,235   3,376
         
TOTAL LIABILITIES   11,402   11,110
         
TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES   14,730   13,371
 

Attachment C
INTERIM CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)
FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2016
US Dollars million

  For the six months ended 30 June 2016   For the six months ended 30 June 2015
       
OPERATING ACTIVITIES      
       
Profit before tax 1,674   1,979
       
Adjustments for:      
Depreciation and amortisation 256   280
Impairment of property, plant and equipment 3   2
(Gain)/loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment (1)   11
Share of losses/(profits) of associates 3   (10)
(Gain)/loss from disposal of assets classified as held for sale (6)   306
Finance costs and income from investments, net 181   29
Foreign exchange (gain)/loss, net (310)   122
Other 28   39
       
  1,828   2,758
Movements in working capital:      
Inventories (36)   (30)
Trade and other receivables (20)   98
Advances paid and prepaid expenses (43)   2
Other taxes receivable 60   (2)
Employee benefit obligations 39   1
Trade and other payables (8)   152
Provisions (10)   -
Other taxes payable 34   20
       
Cash generated from operations 1,844   2,999
       
Income tax paid (320)   (439)
       
Net cash generated from operating activities 1,524   2,560
       
INVESTING ACTIVITIES      
       
Purchase of property, plant and equipment (693)   (563)
Purchase of intangible assets (13)   (6)
Purchase of other non-current assets (22)   (15)
Purchase of other financial assets (150)   -
Loans issued (12)   -
Net change in deposits placed (50)   80
Interest received 27   65
Proceeds from sale of other financial assets -   44
Proceeds from disposal of property, plant and equipment 1   -
Proceeds from disposal of assets classified as held for sale 7   -
Dividends received -   14
       
Net cash used in investing activities (905)   (381)
 

INTERIM CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)
FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2016 (CONTINED)
US Dollars million

  For the six months ended 30 June 2016   For the six months ended 30 June 2015
       
FINANCING ACTIVITIES      
       
Proceeds from loans and borrowings 651   400
Repayments of loans and borrowings (1,013)   (332)
Financial lease payments (4)   -
Dividends paid (665)   (2,126)
Interest paid (285)   (143)
Acquisition of own shares from shareholders -   (2)
Advances received for sale of treasury shares 79   -
Buy-out of non-controlling interest -   (31)
       
Net cash used in financing activities (1,237)   (2,234)
       
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents (618)   (55)
       
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period 4,054   2,793
       
Cash and cash equivalents related to assets classified as held for sale at the beginning of the period 43   5
Less: cash and cash equivalents related to assets classified as held for sale at the end of the period (42)   (55)
Effects of foreign exchange differences on balances of cash and cash equivalents (23)   126
       
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 3,414   2,814
 

Attachment D
NET WORKING CAPITAL

US Dollars million 30.06.2016 31.12.2015 Change incl. effects of foreign exchange differences
         
Finished goods 488 541 (53) 46
         
Work-in-process 750 605 145 77
         
Semi-products 29 58 (29) 8
         
Other inventories 654 494 160 71
         
Trade and other receivables 178 167 11 4
         
Advances paid and prepaid expenses 115 55 60 14
         
Taxes receivable 399 433 (34) 31
         
Employee benefit obligations (279) (215) (64) (34)
         
Trade and other payables* (1,232) (1,008) (224) (180)
         
Taxes payable (151) (100) (51) (16)
         
Total 951 1,030 (79) 21
 

* Net working capital doesn't include balances with shareholders.



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Language: English
Company: MMC Norilsk Nickel
1 st Krasnogvardeysky av., 15
123100 Moscow
Russia
Internet: www.nornik.ru
ISIN: US55315J1025
WKN: A140M9
Listed: Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart; Open Market in Frankfurt ; London, Nasdaq
Category Code: MSCH
TIDM: MNOD
Sequence Number: 3359
Time of Receipt: 29-Aug-2016 / 10:16 CET/CEST
End of Announcement EquityStory.RS, LLC News Service

496499  29-Aug-2016 

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