Moscow – The Board of Directors of PhosAgro (“PhosAgro” or “the Company”) (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR), one of the world’s leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, has noted the Company’s consistent strong growth and improvement in its operating and financial performance over the 10-year period since its IPO in July 2011.
“Over the past decade, we have more than doubled our production of mineral fertilizers, increased our production of phosphate rock by 40% and practically doubled our EBITDA. Investors’ positive assessments of our operations and their belief in the Company’s potential have led to a 60% increase in PhosAgro’s market capitalisation to USD 8.6 billion. The Company has increased its free float from 10.8% to 30.5%.
“More than RUB 335 billion has been allocated for the implementation of new investment projects and the development of production capacities. In 2020, we completed a large-scale development programme at our Cherepovets production site that saw investments of more than USD 1.4 billion. The main event for us in 2021 will be our programme for the reconstruction and opening of a new production facility in the city of Volkhov. Completion of the project is expected to increase the Company’s total fertilizer production by almost 10%. The first two facilities, with a total capacity of over 800 thousand tonnes of MAP, were launched in March and June 2021; by the end of the year, a new sulphuric acid production line with an integrated heat capture power generator will be launched. All these facilities use the best available technologies and conform to the most recent environmental requirements: the ESG agenda has in recent years become part of the Company’s DNA and a priority aspect of its development strategy.
“Through the implementation of our strategy to 2025, we intend to increase production to 11.6 million tonnes of finished product per year while continuing to improve labour productivity. If we compare the current situation with 2011, we have increased productivity almost 230% thanks to the modernisation of our production facilities and efficiency improvements in our processes. By 2025, it is expected to increase by another 20% for the Company as a whole. In addition, we are nearing a decision on the construction of new ammonia and urea plants. We will provide investors with a revised strategy to 2025 after it is reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors later this year or early next year.
“Speaking of the Company’s operating performance for the second quarter and first half of the year, I would like to thank the entire PhosAgro workforce for their conscientious, high-quality work and strict adherence to measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We were able to maintain fertilizer production and sales at record highs. This was made possible thanks to the completion of investment projects for the construction of new facilities and the modernisation of existing capacities as well as steadily growing demand in our priority domestic market, given the excellent affordability of fertilizers for farmers,” said PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev in his report at the meeting of the Board of Directors.
“Since its IPO in 2011 the Company’s transformational journey has been nothing short of remarkable. The outstanding achievements delivered over the past 8 years under CEO Andrey Guryev’s leadership are the first part of a smart investment programme designed to improve efficiency and performance across the Group’s operations and boost growth and returns to shareholders. Further increases in performance dynamics will be delivered as the Company’s successful investment programme is maintained for the benefit of all its customers and shareholders. Its ambitious growth strategy will continue to focus on the Company’s genuine competitive advantage, namely the production of eco-friendly mineral fertilizers free of cadmium, heavy metals and other toxic substances hazardous to the environment and human health” said Xavier Rolet KBE, Chairman of PhosAgro’s Board of Directors, commenting on the CEO’s presentation.
The meeting also discussed a report about occupational health and safety performance at PhosAgro subsidiaries as well as the results of monitoring the Company’s key risk management in 1H 2021.
Following a discussion of the Company’s IFRS interim consolidated financial statements for 1H 2021, which will be presented today, 6 August 2021, and of information on the Company’s financial results for the same period, the Board of Directors recommended that an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders approve the payment of dividends in the amount of RUB 20.2 billion, or RUB 156 per share (RUB 52 per global depositary receipt) from retained net profit as of 30 June 2021.
The extraordinary general meeting of shareholders will vote on the dividend recommendation at a meeting held by absentee vote on 13 September 2021. The Board of Directors recommended setting 24 September 2021 as the record date for receiving dividends.
The Board of Directors also approved a new version of the Company’s draft budget for 2021, a new version of the Company’s Regulation on Insider Information and a report on the work of the Corporate Secretary for the period from August 2020 to July 2021.
The Board of Directors also took note of reports from the chairs of Company’s Board committees on the work of the respective committees for 2Q 2021, a report on the Company’s strategy concerning international projects and working with investors, a progress report on the implementation of measures stipulated by the Company’s climate strategy and a report on the implementation of the Company’s communications policy in 2020 and its main areas of focus in 2021.
The Board of Directors gave its consent to a large transaction and determined that the price of the property that is the subject of the transaction is in line with its market value. In addition, the Board also recognised that its independent members were in compliance with the independence criteria determined by Regulation on PhosAgro’s Board of Directors, the Corporate Governance Code recommended by the Bank of Russia for use by joint-stock companies, the UK Corporate Governance Code and the Listing Rules of Moscow Exchange.