Eramet: Operational breakthroughs, in an unfavourable price environment in first-half 2019

  • Sales stable at €1,809m, in an unfavourable price environment and factoring in continued delivery delays in the High Performance Alloys division
  • New production records for H1 in manganese ore and alloys, nickel ore, mineral sands concentrates and titanium slag
  • EBITDA down at €307m in H1, adversely impacted by an unfavourable price effect of €144m in the Mining and Metals division
  • Positive earnings before tax of €90m, negative net income – Group share at €37m, mainly due to tax expenses in Gabon and Norway
  • Internal validation of highly value accretive projects in manganese and lithium. Final investment decisions end of 2019 at the earliest, subject to financing and satisfactorily regulatory frame
  • An operational progress plan that is starting to show success and should deliver results in H2 2019:
    • 2019 production targets confirmed: 4.5 Mt in manganese ore, 1.5 Mt in nickel ore exports; 720 kt in mineral sand concentrates
    • SLN rescue plan: implementation of two of the three levers since mid-May, leading the way to the cash-cost reduction target of USD -1.30/lb in 2021, provided the plan is rolled out without disruptions
    • Progress continues at Sandouville: break-even in EBITDA target to be achieved after Q4 maintenance shutdown
  • Factoring in expected operational gains over the year, and with the assumption of market conditions of June 20191, more unfavourable than at the beginning of the year, forecast EBITDA for H2 should be significantly above that of H1, nonetheless leading to full year EBITDA below those of 2018.

1 Notably June monthly average manganese ore price at USD 5.95/dmtu and nickel prices at USD 5.43/lb (USD 11,970/t)

Christel Bories

Eramet Chairman and CEO

In a difficult context marked by a price decrease of our metals, disruptions in New Caledonia and by Aubert & Duval quality process review, Eramet is actively pursuing the roll-out of its strategic roadmap. Several key milestones were achieved in H1: decisive breakthroughs in the SLN rescue plan for SLN, significant progress at Sandouville, new production records, and team reorganisation. The actions initiated should show results in H2.

Our strategic developments will contribute significantly to the momentum to reposition the Group: nickel production in Weda Bay, Indonesia, should start in H2 2020, ahead of schedule, and our highly value accretive projects to expand manganese production in Gabon and develop lithium in Argentina have taken a key step forward with their internal validation and active search for financing.