Solid margins despite challenging market conditions

Oslo, 30 April 2019: Elkem delivers solid margins in the first quarter of 2019 despite challenging market conditions. The sales prices for core silicone products in China have been at low levels compared to the preceding quarters and the market sentiments for silicon metal and ferrosilicon have also been weak. However, demand is picking up in several market segments.

Total operating income for the first quarter 2019 was NOK 6,007 million, which was down 7% compared to first quarter 2018. EBITDA amounted to NOK 852 million in the quarter, down from NOK 1,454 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Earnings per share (EPS) was NOK 0.84 in the quarter.

“Lower prices for core silicone products have resulted in lower operating income and EBITDA for the Silicones division. This largely explains the reduction in operating income at group level. Specialised products, which account for approx. 50% of the Silicones division’s sales, have mitigated the negative earnings impact. The demand in China has picked up after Chinese New Year, resulting in increased silicone prices towards the end of the first quarter”, says Helge Aasen, CEO of Elkem ASA.

“Silicon Materials and Foundry Products have weaker results compared to the corresponding quarter last year, mainly due to lower sales prices for standard silicon and ferrosilicon, and higher raw material costs. The Carbon division has yet again delivered strong and stable results”, says Aasen.

The group’s equity as at 31 March 2019 amounted to NOK 14,147 million, which gave a ratio of equity to total assets of 46%. Net interest-bearing debt was NOK 3,685 million, which gave a ratio of net interest-bearing debt to EBITDA of 0.7 times. The board of directors has proposed a dividend of NOK 2.60 per share for 2018, which is subject to approval by the annual shareholder meeting. Adjusted for the proposed dividend the equity ratio would have been 43% and the leverage ratio 1.0 times, if the dividend payment had been made with effect 31 March 2019.

Elkem continues to benefit from fundamentally strong positions, holding up in a currently weak market sentiment. Markets are still expected to remain weak for silicon and ferrosilicon during the second quarter. Demand and pricing for silicones have developed favourably and is expected to improve in second quarter. Carbon is expected to continue to see good market conditions.

The Roussillon silicones plant in France will have a maintenance stop for four weeks in April/May, but the expected impact on results is limited.

Second quarter EBITDA is expected to be stronger than first quarter, mainly due to better market conditions for silicones and cost improvements.

For further information:
Odd-Geir Lyngstad, VP Finance & Investor Relations
Tel: +47 976 72 806
Email: odd-geir.lyngstad@elkem.no
    

About Elkem ASA Founded in 1904, Elkem is one of the world's leading suppliers of silicon-based advanced materials with operations throughout the value chain from quartz to specialty silicones, as well as attractive market positions in specialty ferrosilicon alloys and carbon materials. Elkem is a publicly listed company on the Oslo Stock Exchange, and is headquartered in Oslo. The company has 6200 employees with 27 production sites and sales offices in a total of 28 countries worldwide. In 2018 Elkem had revenues of 25.9 billion NOK. To learn more, please visit www.elkem.com