London – 20 August 2015 – URENCO Group (“URENCO” or “the Group”), an international supplier of uranium enrichment and nuclear fuel cycle services, today announces its results for the half year ending 30 June 2015.
|Six months to 30 June 2015 (unaudited) €m||Six months to 30 June 2014 (unaudited) €m|
|EBITDA margin - %||81.8%||72.6%|
|Income from operating activities||243.8||180.9|
|Net income margin - %||28.3%||20.3%|
|Cash generated from operating activities||297.5||398.6|
(i) Capital expenditure reflects investment in property, plant and equipment plus the prepayments in respect of fixed asset purchases for the period.
Helmut Engelbrecht, Chief Executive of URENCO Group, commenting on the half-year results, said:
“URENCO has delivered a strong operational performance in H1 2015. However, we continue to experience challenging conditions in the global nuclear fuel market.
The major capacity expansion at URENCO USA is scheduled to complete by the end of 2015 and is on track.
A comprehensive review of the TMF construction project was conducted by our new project management team which concluded that the facility will incur higher construction costs. Planned commissioning is set for 2017.
Safety remains a priority. As a core value within our culture we strive to operate to the highest standards of safety. As such, behavioural safety is a key area of focus across the Group.
We remain committed to delivering excellence in customer service driven by the skills and engagement of our employees. We recognise the long term nature of the nuclear market. We will continue to develop, innovate and drive efficiency in order to maximise our market opportunities and serve the nuclear industry as a reliable and long term partner.”
Revenue for the six months to 30 June 2015 was €586.6 million (H1 2014: €523.5 million) reflecting higher volumes and higher average unit revenues for both SWU and uranium, which were driven by favourable foreign exchange movements. The phasing of revenue between the first and second half of 2015 is expected to show seasonality similar to that experienced in prior years.
EBITDA for H1 2015 increased by 26.2% to €479.8 million as compared to the first six months of 2014 (H1 2014: €380.1 million) mainly due to higher revenues, a positive impact from net foreign exchange and the capitalisation of production costs into inventories, ahead of sales in the second half of the year. The tax charge in H1 2015 increased by €12.9 million to €33.5 million (H1 2014: €20.6 million charge). This increase predominantly arises as a result of higher accounting profits being subjected to a broadly similar effective tax rate of 16.8% (30 June 2014: 16.2%). Net finance costs for H1 2015 were €44.3 million, compared to €53.9 million in H1 2014.
Net income for the six months to 30 June 2015 was €166.0 million, compared to €106.4 million in H1 2014.
The Group invested €280.6 million (H1 2014: €235.8 million) in H1 2015 mainly in new enrichment facilities in the USA and the TMF in the UK. The major capacity expansion at URENCO USA will be complete by the end of 2015 and the TMF is scheduled to commence operations in 2017 when capital expenditure on the asset will be largely complete.
Cash generated from operating activities was €297.5 million (H1 2014: €398.6 million). This decrease was mainly due to a negative movement in working capital, partially offset by higher revenues.
Tax paid in the period was €83.5 million (H1 2014: €59.1 million). Net cash flow from operating activities was €214.0 million (H1 2014: €339.5 million), a 37.0% decrease.
The final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2014 was €340.0 million, which was fully paid in April 2015. The dividend for the year ended 31 December 2013 was also €340.0 million, but was paid in two tranches of €170.0 million, in April 2014 and October 2014.
URENCO’s order book extends to 2030 with a value of approximately €17 billion*.
Sir John Hood, Chairman of the URENCO Board reached the end of his three year tenure in December 2014 and advised the Board of his intention to retire. At the request of the Board, he agreed to remain as Chairman until a successor has been appointed to permit an orderly succession.
In May 2015, Helmut Engelbrecht, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of URENCO, announced his plans to retire. He will continue in the position of CEO until a successor has been appointed to ensure a smooth transition.
The Company’s debt is rated by Moody’s (Baa1/Stable) and Standard & Poor’s (BBB+/Stable/A-2). In June 2015, URENCO announced that it was no longer retaining the services of Fitch.
On 5 August 2015, URENCO issued €500 million in bonds, which will mature in 2022 and have a coupon of 2.25%. The proceeds are to be used to manage future debt maturities including a tender which resulted in a repurchase of part of the 4% Eurobonds due in May 2017. The nominal value of the repurchased bonds was €137.6 million.
Continued pricing pressures are anticipated, alongside a relative slowdown of the nuclear fuel market and increased worldwide inventories in the coming years. In August 2015, Japan restarted the first of its nuclear reactors but uncertainty remains as to when the remaining reactors will be restarted. However, URENCO recognises that the nuclear industry is a long term business and will continue to provide its customers with the best possible service delivery and the highest level of quality and expertise. The nuclear sector is expected to grow in the future and URENCO is well positioned to help customers meet their requirements for a secure supply of enrichment services.
Discussions between Shareholders and Governments continue with respect to the future ownership of the Company.
* Based on €/$ 1.11 (31 December 2014: €16 billion based on €/$ 1.30)