Russian petrochemicals giant Sibur reported a strong 2018 first half performance with overall revenue up 21.6% to €3.36 billion and increased sale volumes of polypropylene, polyethylene and elastomers.
The group’s pre tax profits for the period rose 18.7% year-on-year to €1.16 billion but its first half year net profit dropped more than 30% to €598m.
This fall was “largely on the back of a gain recorded in H1 2017 from the disposal of (petchems JV) JSC Uralorgsintez, versus FX loss in H1 2018 due to the depreciation of the rouble against the US dollar and respective euro and revaluation of the firm’s FX -denominated debt”, explained Sibur.
Continuing growth in petchems demand boosted sales volume with PP volume up by 5.4% year-on-year to 293,000 tonnes, despite Tobolsk plant maintenance shutdown, and LDPE was up by 3% to 136,000 tonnes thanks to increased exports to China and Europe, Sibur reported.
It added that new contracts had boosted sales volumes of elastomers during the period by 4.2% to reach 248,000 tonnes year-on-year.
Revenue for Sibur’s Olefins and Polyolefins business grew by 13% to €628m against the same period. This was put down chiefly to higher average selling prices for PP, BOPP films and ethylene as well as being helped by the group’s launch of new plants and expansion of existing production facilities.
“In the first half, Sibur delivered strong sales volumes and revenue, underscoring the efficiency of our strategic focus on boosting output of cutting-edge products with high added value,” commented the board chairman Dmitry Konov.
He highlighted progress Sibur has made in the construction of ZapSibNeftekhim, its huge Siberian polyolefins complex and Russia’s biggest petchems facility, taking shape at Tobolsk. Konov pointed out the complex “will become a growth driver for the whole industry”.
Construction of the €7.9 billion facility was said to be 84% complete at the end of June 2018 and from 2020, the new operation will ensure Sibur’s Olefins and Polyolefins business will account for an increasing share of group revenue.