February, 20 th 2018– Ence – Energía y Celulosa achieved a net profit of € 91.8 million in 2017 ─138.6% more than the 38.5 million in 2016─ and earnings per share grew by 142.4 %.
The Group’s EBITDA increased by 72% to reach € 216 million. Ignacio Colmenares, CEO of Ence, stressed that “this remarkable increase in profits confirms once again the success in executing our Strategic Plan, which is already in its equator and has led to strong growth and improvement in our business margins. This, together with the increase in cellulose prices that we expect to continue this year, allows us to expect the 2018 results to be significantly better than last year’s.”
The pulp business increased its EBITDA by 79%. Its cost of production was reduced by 2% (-7 €/t), despite the increase of € 12/t for the cost of wood that is linked to the price of pulp.
The Energy business improved its EBITDA by 51% following the acquisition of three biomass plants in the last year, and by the significant savings achieved with the diversification of its fuel from forest biomass to agricultural biomass, which already represents close to 60% of the total.
The growth of the demand and the absence in the world of large projects of increase of cellulose capacity, make it foresee pulp prices high in 2018 and the next two years. The world’s leading producers have announced additional price increases to reach $ 1,030/t in February.
Recurrent free cash flow grew 52.4% and net financial debt decreased 29.8% after strong investments and increased dividend. Leverage was reduced up to 0.7 times EBITDA, compared to 3.2 times the sector average.
The company is working on a new strategic plan 2019-2022 that will be announced at the end of this year, whose premises will be the growth of its two businesses, maintaining financial discipline and shareholder compensation.
Video by Ignacio Colmenares, CEO of Ence, on the results of 2017 (link to video)