Moscow – The Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting (AGM) of PhosAgro (“the Company”) (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR) has approved a dividend payout in the amount of RUB 2.331 billion, or RUB 18 per share (RUB 6 per GDR), from undistributed net profit for 2019. The dividend record date was set as 2 June 2020.
Held through absentee voting on 22 May 2020, the AGM approved the Company’s annual report for 2019, which reflects record production results: a 6.1% increase in the production of fertilizers and feed phosphates to 9.5 million tonnes and 10.5 million tonnes of phosphate rock.
This robust operational performance enabled the Company to achieve excellent financial results, including a record level of free cash flow, which was up nearly 40% year-on-year to more than
RUB 28 billion; a 6.3% year-on-year increase in revenue to RUB 248.1 billion, mainly due to a 7% boost in fertilizer sales; a 0.9% increase in EBITDA to RUB 75.6 billion, with a consistently high margin of 30.5%; and adjusted net profit of RUB 37.1 billion.
Improvements in the Company’s financial performance enabled PhosAgro both to completely self-finance its annual capital investment programme and to reduce its debt. As of the end of the year, net debt amounted to RUB 132 billion, while net debt/EBITDA decreased to 1.74x (down from 1.81x at the end of 2018).
PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev said: “PhosAgro has been able to maintain steady growth by implementing a large-scale investment programme, constantly improving production efficiency and optimising business processes. Another factor that has enabled PhosAgro to maintain its status as one of the best-performing companies in the global mineral fertilizer industry is its vertical integration, which ensures a high level of self-sufficiency in terms of key feedstocks. As a result, we were able to weather what was a difficult period for many industry players that saw low prices in global fertilizer markets.
“In 2019, the Company achieved excellent results in several areas: sustainable development, corporate governance, progress in implementing strategic initiatives, and robust operational and financial results, which enabled PhosAgro to continue to make consistent dividend payments, to finance new investment projects, and to carry out social and charitable programmes in accordance with PhosAgro’s Development Strategy to 2025.”
Strategy 2025, approved by PhosAgro’s Board of Directors in March 2019, is aimed at further strengthening the Company’s position as one of the lowest-cost producers of environmentally friendly phosphate-based fertilizers in the industry, while also increasing production capacity and guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of the Company’s business processes all over the world.
One of the key elements of Strategy 2025 is PhosAgro’s commitment to the principles of sustainable development. The Company’s efforts in this area are coordinated by a specialised Board of Directors committee established in May 2019 and led by the independent director Irina Bokova, a former head of UNESCO with unique expertise in this field. PhosAgro is working hard to meet 21 targets in line with a selection of 10 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals – key drivers behind environmental responsibility and efforts to preserve the planet for future generations. In 2019, the Company allocated RUB 9.1 billion for environmental activities.
No changes were made to the composition of PhosAgro’s Board of Directors during the AGM.
The AGM approved the election of the members of PhosAgro’s Statutory Audit Commission, the Company’s annual financial statements for 2019 and the distribution of the Company’s profits for 2019, as well as an interested-party transaction. In addition, the AGM also determined the procedure, terms and amount of remuneration and compensation for members of the Board of Directors. FBK LLC was confirmed as PhosAgro’s auditor for 2020.