Braskem delivered solid results once again in the second quarter of 2016. The largest petrochemical company in the Americas posted EBITDA of just over R$3 billion in the period, which was 15% higher than in the same quarter last year and in line with the prior quarter. This performance was supported by sales volume growth in all markets, better spreads and the continued good performance of the industrial units in the United States and Europe, combined with a higher supply of gas at the Rio de Janeiro cracker and the local-currency depreciation of 14% in the period. In U.S. dollar, EBITDA advanced 1% to US$858 million.
The crackers in Brazil operated at an average cracker capacity utilization rate of 94%, or 5 percentage points higher than in the previous quarter. This performance was obtained thanks to the better operating result at the Rio de Janeiro cracker, which benefited from the higher availability of gas in the quarter. Resin production in the quarter amounted to 1.2 million tons, growing 1% on the same quarter last year.
In this scenario, in addition to stronger domestic sales, resin exports from Brazil advanced 21% to 454 kton. Exports of basic petrochemicals amounted to 379 kton, increasing 6% from the volume in the year-ago quarter, mainly due to higher gasoline exports.
Braskem's industrial units in the United States and Europe operated at full capacity. Demand for polypropylene in these regions continued to grow. From April to June, EBITDA from the USA and Europe unit came to US$212 (R$745 million), increasing 195% and accounting for 24.5% of Braskem's consolidated EBITDA.
The second quarter also registered the first operating results from the Petrochemical Complex in Mexico, which was officially inaugurated in June. Requiring investment of over US$5 billion in partnership with the Mexican group Idesa, the complex's polyethylene plants operated at a capacity utilization rate of 32% and produced 83 kton of resins. Of this total, 54 kton have already been sold in both the Mexican and international markets.
"Braskem has managed to deliver a solid strategy based on capturing operating efficiency gains and continuing to grow in both Brazil and the United States and Europe," said Braskem CEO Fernando Musa. "The strategy is consummated by the recent startup of the Petrochemical Complex in Mexico and the delivery of its first results."
In the second quarter, Braskem's consolidated net revenue advanced 3% to R$11.8 billion. Parent Company net income amounted to R$413 million, while consolidated net income was R$281 million. Braskem's financial leverage, as measured by the ratio of net debt to EBITDA in U.S. dollar, ended the quarter at 1.79 times. Also in the second quarter, Braskem distributed R$1 billion in dividends to shareholders, which corresponds to one-third of last year's net income.
A subsidiary of the Odebrecht Group, Braskem is the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas, with annual production volume of over 16 million tons, which includes other chemical products and basic petrochemicals, with annual revenue of R$54 billion. Driven by its purpose of improving people's lives and creating sustainable solutions in chemicals and plastics, Braskem is present in more than 70 countries, has around 8,000 Team Members and operates 40 industrial units in Brazil, the United States, Germany and Mexico, the latter in partnership with Mexican company Idesa.