Imerys delivers a solid financial performance in Q3 2021 in a challenging inflationary environment
- Third quarter revenue up 21.0% to €1,104 million (€3,262 million in the first 9 months of the year)
- Another quarter of solid organic growth at +18.6% vs. Q3 last year, driven by strong sales performance and despite supply chain disruptions
- Accelerating price mix impact at +3.6% in the third quarter (vs. +1.5% in the first half) in an exceptionally high-inflation environment
- Good profitability momentum with current EBITDA up 17.7% to €194 million in the third quarter (€594 million in the first 9 months) and current EBITDA margin at 17.6% (18.2% in the first 9 months, above 2019 level)
- Net income from current operations doubled to €233 million for the first 9 months (+70% in Q3)
Alessandro Dazza, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“ Imerys achieved another quarter of solid, double-digit organic growth and current EBITDA increase as we strived to serve our customers in a challenging context. While market conditions have changed since we reported our results for the first half year at the end of July, we are determined to ensure that pricing discipline and tight cost management continue to offset the impact of higher input costs on our profitability. We expect demand for Imerys’ specialty minerals solutions to remain strong in most markets and are confident in our ability to deliver on our objectives for 2021. ”
1The definition of alternative performance measures can be found in the glossary at the end of the press release.
2Weighted average number of outstanding shares: 84,706,741 in 9 months of 2021 compared with 81,305,809 in 9 months of 2020.
Third quarter highlights
Agreement to sell the US kaolin assets serving the paper and board market in North America
On July 24, 2021, Imerys signed an agreement to sell to Thiele Kaolin Company, one of the world's leading producers of processed kaolin clay, certain assets and mining resources supplying hydrous kaolin to the paper & packaging markets. These assets, which are part of Imerys’ Performance Minerals Americas business segment, posted revenue of approximately $76 million in 2020 with 109 employees. This transaction is expected to be completed around the end of the current year.
Imerys expects to generate net proceeds of ca. €100 million from the sale of these assets and other disposals initiated in 2021 (such as its stake in Fiberlean Technologies, related production facilities and other minor non-strategic assets).
Update on Chapter 11 process of North American talc entities
On October 13, 2021, the Court overseeing the North American Chapter 11 cases issued a ruling that certain ballots cast in favor of the North American talc entities plan of reorganization (the “Plan”) will not be counted. This means the approval of the Plan now falls just short of the required 75% majority vote. This ruling is expected to result in a resolicitation of the votes on an updated Plan that will extend the Chapter 11 timeline into 2022.
The Group does not expect this ruling to have any material effect on the settlement with Imerys SA and its affiliates embodied in the Plan, which is in part already consummated through the sale of the assets of the North American talc entities to a third party. The representatives of current and future potential claimants continue to support the settlement with Imerys SA and its affiliates under the terms and conditions currently outlined in the Plan.
The Group continues to consider that the balance of the provision in the financial statements as of the end of 2020 is appropriate to cover the expected financial impact of the Chapter 11 process on Imerys.
Imerys expects demand for its specialty minerals solutions to remain sustained across most market segments well into 2022.
Pricing discipline and tight cost management should continue to offset the impact of higher input costs.
In current market conditions, Imerys targets current EBITDA between €735 and €755 million in 2021, a significant improvement from the €631 million recorded in 2020.
COMMENTARY ON THE THIRD QUARTER AND NINE MONTHS 2021 RESULTS
Revenue for the fIrst nine month of 2021 was €3,262 million, up 17.3% year-on-year at constant scope and exchange rates, including an exceptional growth of 28.9% in the second quarter. Group sales volumes were up 15.2%, in the first nine months, confirming the demand recovery across all underlying markets despite logistics and supply issues.
In a context of high inflation, Imerys’ price mix accelerated in Q3 (+3.6%), averaging 2,2% for the first nine months versus the prior year.
Revenue included a significantly negative currency effect of €75 million (-2.7%), primarily as a result of the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the euro in the first part of the year.
The scope effect was €52 million for the first nine months, related mostly to the positive contribution of recent acquisitions (Haznedar group, Cornerstone, Sunward Refractories and Hysil) and the divestiture of the kaolin operations in Australia.
Current EBITDA reached €594 million for the first nine months of 2021, a 30.8% increase vs. 9 months 2020. Current EBITDA margin improved by 200 basis points to 18.2% versus the first 9 months of 2020.
It benefitted from positive volume contribution (€205 million) and strong price mix (€39 million), which compensated for the €32 million increase in variable costs, a consequence of extremely high inflation on freight, raw materials, energy and packaging costs. For the full year, the Group targets a positive price mix cost balance, leveraging its purchasing savings, hedging positions and continuous operational improvement actions.
Fixed costs and overheads were up €75 million vs last year, following increased activity at all production sites. The currency effect was negative at €18 million.
Current operating income reached €363 million for the first nine months of 2021, a 73.0% increase compared to the first nine months of last year.
Net income from current operations
Net income from current operations, Group share, totaled €233.2 million, up 99.7% vs. 2020. Net financial result was negative at -€29.6 million. The income tax expense of €90.0 million corresponds to an effective tax rate of 27.0%, compared with 28.0% in the first nine months of 2020. Net income from current operations, Group share, per share, was up 91.7% to €2.75.
Net income, Group share, totaled €216.2 million in the first nine months of 2021, after -€17 million of other income and expenses, after tax.
COMMENTARY BY SEGMENT
Performance Minerals (56% of consolidated revenue)
Revenue generated by the Performance Minerals segment was up 16.9% like-for-like in the first 9 months of 2021. On a reported basis, revenue was up 13.5% after a negative currency effect of €45.5 million (-2.8%).
Revenue in the Americas was up 10.5% at constant scope and exchange rates in the first 9 months of 2021, of which +11.3% in the third quarter, despite persisting logistic issues which created a significant order backlog. The overall rebound in activity was supported by sales of paints, rubber, polymers and ceramic products in the construction industry and a better performance of filtration and agriculture markets in the consumer goods sector.
Revenue in Europe, Middle East and Africa increased by 16.8% at constant scope and exchange rates in the first 9 months of 2021. During the third quarter (+14.5%), the Group benefited from a dynamic construction sector, especially in renovation (paints & coatings, tiles and sanitaryware) and better consumer goods market (filtration and life science applications). The automotive market continued to suffer from the global semiconductors shortage.
Revenue in Asia-Pacific was up 27.8% at constant scope and exchange rates in the first 9 months of 2021 (+30.3% in the third quarter) thanks to the continued, strong demand for carbon black and synthetic graphite for mobile energy and the recovery of paper & board, ceramics and filtration.
High Temperature Materials & Solutions (44% of consolidated revenue)
Revenue generated by the High Temperature Materials and Solutions segment was up 17.5% in the first 9 months of 2021 at constant scope and exchange rates. On a reported basis, revenue increased by 19.6% with a positive scope effect of €51.8 million (+4.2%) and a negative currency effect of €21.9 million (-1.8%).
Revenue in High Temperature Solutions, which is serving the iron & steel, thermal and foundry markets, increased by 17.0% year-on-year at constant scope and exchange rates in the first nine months of 2021, posting growth of 15.2% in the third quarter. The business continued to benefit from various commercial initiatives and the strong underlying market recovery, particularly in India and China, and to a lesser extent in Europe and the US. The rebound was supported by the dynamism of the iron & steel and foundry segments, despite increasing supply issues, notably in the automotive market. Haznedar in Turkey continued to perform above expectations.
Revenue in the Refractory, Abrasives & Construction business area was up 19.5% at constant scope and exchange rates in the first nine months of 2021, driven by a strong recovery (mainly in refractories and abrasives) in demand for industrial equipment and steel, as well as further growth in building and infrastructure (specialty binders). In India, the new greenfield plant in Vizag continued to ramp up to serve the dynamic domestic refractory and construction markets.
Third quarter and 9 months 2021 results webcast
The press release is available on the Group’s website www.imerys.com. The Group will hold a live webcast to discuss the third quarter and nine months 2021 results at 6.30 PM (CET) on November 2, 2021, which can be accessed on the Group’s website www.imerys.com.
These dates are subject to change and may be updated on the Group’s website https://www.imerys.com/finance.
The world’s leading supplier of mineral-based specialty solutions for industry with €3.8 billion in revenue and 16,400 employees in 2020. Imerys delivers high value-added, functional solutions to a great number of sectors, from processing industries to consumer goods. The Group draws on its understanding of applications, technological knowledge and expertise in material science to deliver solutions by beneﬁciating its mineral resources, synthetic minerals and formulations. Imerys’ solutions contribute essential properties to customers’ products and their performance, including heat resistance, hardness, conductivity, opacity, durability, purity, lightness, ﬁltration, absorption and water repellency. Imerys is determined to develop responsibly, in particular by fostering the emergence of environmentally-friendly products and processes.
More comprehensive information about Imerys may be obtained from its website (www.imerys.com) in the Regulated Information section, particularly in its Registration Document ﬁled with the French ﬁnancial markets authority (Autorité des marchés ﬁnanciers, AMF) on March 22, 2021 under number D.21-0167 (also available from the AMF website, www.amf-france.org). Imerys draws investors’ attention to chapter 2 “Risk Factors and Internal Control” of its Registration Document.
Disclaimer: This document contains projections and other forward-looking statements. Investors should be aware that such projections and forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties (many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Imerys) that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied.
Vincent Gouley: +33 (0)1 49 55 64 69
Claire Lauvernier: +33 (0)1 49 55 66 65
Hugues Schmitt (DGM Conseil): +33 (0)1 40 70 11 89