Strong resilience and operational efficiency of diversified portfolio supported solid performance and EBITDA increase of 17% to EGP 325.6 million in the face of COVID-19, led by TAQA Arabia, ASEC Holding, Nile Logistics and National Printing. Qalaa retained all c.17K employees during this challenging time, balancing lives and livelihoods, while sustaining all social development initiatives
Qalaa Holdings, a leader in energy and infrastructure (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange, formerly Citadel Capital), released today its consolidated financial results for the quarter ended 30 June 2020, recording total revenue of EGP 7.4 billion. On a six-month basis, Qalaa’s revenues increased 148% y-o-y and reached EGP 17.8 billion in 1H20.
Qalaa’s top line growth in 2Q20 was driven by ERC’s contribution of EGP 4.0 billion during the quarter, constituting c.53% of Qalaa’s consolidated top line. Qalaa’s ERC was officially inaugurated by H.E President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on 27 September 2020, a testament to the project’s strategic importance for Egypt’s economy and energy security. The megaproject provides a local alternative to imports, helping to meet the increase in consumption in the local market, and integrates economic, social, and environmental returns that are fully in accordance with Egypt's Vision 2030.
“In September 2020, we had the honor to host H.E President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for ERC’s official inauguration. I would like to take this opportunity to once more thank the President for his continued support and the economic reform program which has played a key role in attracting investment in the project,” said Qalaa Holdings Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal.
Excluding ERC’s contribution, Qalaa’s revenue would record a 4% y-o-y decline, a marginal decrease considering the global challenges posed by COVID-19. The resilient performance was supported by ASEC Cement’s Al Takamol plant in Sudan which benefited from recovering cement markets and an optimized pricing strategy. Performance was also supported by Nile Logistics which recorded a 7% y-o-y top line increase in 2Q20 on the back of improved operational performance at its grain storage and container depot facilities despite the impacts of COVID-19.
“Despite the full brunt of COVID-19 peaking during the second quarter of the year, a combination of resilience and operational efficiency across our subsidiaries allowed us to minimize the impact on our performance,” said Heikal. “Whilst our top-line witnessed significant growth on account of ERC’s maiden contribution of EGP 4.0 billion, our revenue excluding the refinery’s share recorded only a marginal 4% decline which, in management’s view, is a commendable achievement given the unprecedent global challenges. This was supported by the breadth of our diversified portfolio and ability to unlock value from strategic sectors.”
“Qalaa’s performance was anchored by a recovering cement market in Sudan and an optimized pricing strategy by Al Takamol, which played a key role in offsetting the impacts of Egypt’s underperforming cement market. At Nile Logistics, growth came on the back of rising volumes at our grain storage warehouse despite COVID-19 related delays in shipments, testament to the market’s strategic importance, as well as continued smooth operations at our container depot,” added Heikal.
Qalaa Holdings witnessed an increase of 17% y-o-y in EBITDA for 2Q20 to EGP 325.6 million despite the EBITDA loss of EGP 8.9 million recorded at ERC. Qalaa’s EBITDA performance was primarily driven by TAQA Arabia with solid profitability at TAQA’s gas and power divisions. Qalaa’s profitability was further supported by ASEC Holding, driven by improved results at its Al Takamol facility in Sudan, as well as improved operational efficiencies at Nile Logistics and National Printing. On a six-month basis, Qalaa Holdings recorded an EBITDA increase of 63%, reaching EGP 1.1 billion in 1H20.
“At our energy segment, TAQA Arabia’s resilient performance in 2Q20 was key in supporting profitability on the back of increased conversions for higher margin infill clients at TAQA’s gas division and increased contribution from TAQA Solar,” Heikal said. “This helped offset the negative EBITDA contribution from ERC which continued to be impacted by adverse oil market conditions and depressed prices that have significantly narrowed spreads between heavy fuel oil (HFO) and diesel, in turn affecting ERC’s gross refining margin. Nonetheless, we are working to optimize ERC’s product mix to maximize value from the current market conditions and we remain confident that as the external environment continues to normalize, we will reap the benefits of ERC’s long-term value generating potential.”
Qalaa Holdings recorded a net loss after minority interest of EGP 712.1 million in 2Q20 compared to a net loss of EGP 224.5 million in 2Q19 mainly due to losses incurred by ERC on account of COVID-19 and overall soft oil markets with consequent pressure on HFO & diesel spreads. ERC booked a net loss before minority interest of EGP 2.0 billion in 2Q20. It is worth mentioning that Qalaa’s effective stake in ERC stands at c.13.1%.
“Qalaa has delivered on several milestones across our subsidiaries that will drive future growth as well as provide further support to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19” said Hisham El-Khazindar, Qalaa Holdings’ Co-Founder and Managing Director. “We have successfully connected Nile Logistics’ container depot and a mine site at ACCM to the national grid, which will optimize these subsidiaries’ cost structure, allow them to reap the benefits of consistent energy as opposed to the previous reliance on diesel generators and reduce their carbon footprint. At National Printing, the company has concluded the relocation of its new state-of-the-art corrugated sheets/boxes plant and we are confident that it will expand the company’s offering and diversify its product range as well as position National Printing to penetrate new markets. Finally, at TAQA Arabia, we expect operations at its Sixth of October industrial zone substation to commence by the end of 2020 and we continue to push forward with the rollout of new CNG and fuel marketing stations.”
“Additionally, Qalaa is continuously capitalizing on its relationships with lenders and seeking financing channels that will help support the company’s liquidity position going forward. For instance, following our outline for a debt deferral proposal for ERC and consequent agreement for lenders to defer the June 2020 payment to December, we have re-engaged lenders to further defer payments to 2021 when oil markets are expected to stabilize, upon which management will work to optimally complete a full restructuring of ERC’s debt,” El-Khazindar added.
“The linchpin of Qalaa’s success will continue to be its vast team of c.17,000 highly qualified employees, which we are proud to have fully retained during these challenging times. Qalaa will continue to adopt strict health and safety protocols across its operations until the COVID-19 situation settles. In the meantime, we will continue to closely observe our markets and are hopeful that as measures continue to ease and global economies settle, our company will emerge as a stronger organization well-positioned for our desired trajectory towards strong bottom-line profitability,” concluded El-Khazindar.
Qalaa Holdings’ full business review for 2Q 2020 and the financial statements on which it is based are now available for download on ir.qalaaholdings.com.
Previous Qalaa Holdings press releases on this subject and others may be viewed online from your computer, tablet or mobile device at qalaaholdings.com/newsroom
Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in energy and infrastructure. Formerly known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings controls subsidiaries in industries including Energy, Cement, Transportation & Logistics, Mining and Printing & Packaging. To learn more, please visit qalaaholdings.com.
Statements contained in this News Release that are not historical facts are based on current expectations, estimates, projections, opinions and beliefs of Qalaa Holdings. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and undue reliance should not be placed thereon. Certain information contained herein constitutes “targets” or “forward-looking statements,” which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “seek,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “estimate,” “intend,” “continue” or “believe” or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Actual events or results or the actual performance of Qalaa Holdings may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such targets or forward-looking statements. The performance of Qalaa Holdings is subject to risks and uncertainties.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Chief Sustainability & Marketing Officer
Qalaa Holdings (S.A.E.)
Tel: +20 2 2791-4439
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 106 662-0002