In the month during which it commemorates its 15th anniversary, Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in the Americas, reported net income of R$1.142 billion in the second quarter of 2017, which represents strong growth from the net income of R$275 million in the same quarter last year. In the first six months of 2017, Braskem's net income amounted to R$3.057 billion.
Consolidated EBITDA in the quarter reached R$3.029 billion, advancing 1% on the second quarter of 2016. In U.S. dollar, EBITDA was US$945 million, growing 10% year-over-year, as per the financial statements audited by KPMG. Braskem's quarterly performance was attributed to healthy spreads in the petrochemical industry, combined with the capital gain from the divestment of quantiQ and higher production at the Petrochemical Complex in Mexico, which in the same period last year was still in the ramp-up phase. "We continued to implement our global growth strategy with a focus on expanding geographically and diversifying our feedstock profile, seeking to create value for all Braskem shareholders," said CEO Fernando Musa.
In the second quarter of 2017, Braskem posted net revenue of R$11.9 billion, up 1% on the year-ago period. Supported by the company's global growth process, the international market accounted for 45% of the quarter's net revenue, which comprises the revenue from Brazilian exports (19%) and from the overseas units located in the United States, Europe and Mexico (26%).
Braskem's industrial units operated at high capacity utilization rates. The crackers in Brazil operated at 93% capacity, down slightly due to the scheduled shutdown of the São Paulo cracker. In the United States and Europe, the average utilization rate of the plants stood at 95%, down from the previous quarter due to the re-rating of the nominal production capacity of these units and to the maintenance shutdown at industrial unit in Schkopau, Germany.
In Mexico, the average utilization rate of the polyethylene plants was 83%, which is basically explained by operating adjustments and one-off adjustments in ethane supply to the cracker in the period. On the commercial front, sales volume of polyolefins in Brazil advanced 1% on the same period last year, while sales of basic petrochemicals were stable.
In the USA and Europe, polypropylene sales volume in the second quarter of 2017 grew 2% on the same period of 2016, mainly due to the capacity expansion projects carried out at the U.S. plants at the end of last year. In Mexico, commercial efforts focused on serving the domestic market, where sales volume grew 4%. Consequently, exports declined by 22% on lower shipments to Asia.
In June, Braskem's Board of Directors approved the investment of up to US$675 million to build its sixth polypropylene production unit in La Porte, Texas. The new plant, which will add production capacity of 450 kta, will enable Braskem to maintain its leadership in the polypropylene segment to serve its clients in the U.S. market.
"The project's approval reinforces our shareholders' confidence in the growth of our business and in our capacity to execute projects and deliver better results," said Fernando Musa.
Braskem is commemorating its 15th anniversary on August 16. Created in 2002 from the merger of six assets, the company has consolidated Brazil's petrochemical industry, taken important steps in its international expansion and became one of the world's largest thermoplastic resin producers.
Braskem is the largest manufacturer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, with an annual output of over 20 million metric tons, including the production of other basic chemical and petrochemical products, with an annual revenue of R$55 billion. With the aim of improving the lives of people, creating sustainable solutions in chemistry and plastics, Braskem exports to customers in approximately 100 countries, with roughly 8,000 members, and operates 41 industrial units located in Brazil, the United States, Germany, and Mexico - the latter in partnership with the Mexico-based company Idesa.
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