Ecoslops Reports New strong growth in revenue and first positive group EBITDA
Ecoslops, the cleantech that brings oil into the circular economy, announces the results for the first half of the current financial year, ended June 30, 2019, decided by the Council of Directors at its meeting of 25 September 2019.
Vincent Favier, CEO of Ecoslops, says:
Ecoslops has achieved a significant milestone in the first half of 2019 both operationally and financially and strategically. Firstly, the Portuguese operating subsidiary is showing strong growth in volumes, sales (+ 74% and x2 in refined products) and profitability. Then, the rigorous management of the resources committed to the construction of the Marseille unit and the development of other projects (Mini P2R, Antwerp, Egypt, etc.) made it possible to limit the net loss at € 0.5m against € 1.4m at the same period last year and thus to clear for the first time a positive Group EBITDA. Finally, the three financial closes bring a long-term visibility in phase with our needs: entry of the Total group into the capital of Ecoslops Provence (Marseille), firm commitment by the BNP, HSBC and BP Med banks to the tune of € 6.5m (Marseille) and financing from the European Investment Bank up to € 18 million (Marseille, Antwerp, R & D equity). This visibility makes it possible to consider serenely the next semesters and to proceed with the recruitments made necessary by a pipeline of opportunities that continues to grow steadily.
Strong growth in sales
The group’s turnover reached € 4.6m against € 2.6m in the first half of 2018 (including € 3.6m and € 1.7m in sales of refined products respectively). It is recalled that the P2R unit of Sinès in Portugal had been the subject of a scheduled shutdown during the first quarter of 2018 in order to provide technical improvements. Over the semester, 13,360T were produced (compared to 6,080T in 2018) and 12,000T sold (compared to 5 250T). The increase in Refined Products revenue is therefore the result of a volume effect (+ 129%) and a decrease in the average selling price / tonne of 7%, resulting from a fall in the average price of Brent by 12% and EUR / $ more favorable by 5%.
Positive Group EBITDA in the first half
For the first time, the Group EBITDA becomes positive. Sines unit posted positive EBITDA just over € 800,000 (compared with just under € 200,000 in the first half of 2018), which cover the costs of structure and holding.
Significantly stronger financial strength
On January 30, 2019, IAPMEI notified Ecoslops Portugal that an amount of € 3,033,000 in a conditional advance became non-refundable in view of the achievement of the socio-economic criteria of the project.
On March 29, 2019 and in accordance with the commitments made previously, the Total Group entered up to 25% in the capital and financing of the subsidiary Ecoslops Provence, which will operate the Marseille unit.
The first half of 2019 also saw the signing of the announced financing contracts 2018, namely a € 6.5m financing from BNP, HSBC and Banque Populaire Méditerranée for the Marseille unit, as well as a € 18m “Corporate” financing from the Bank European Investment for Marseille, Antwerp and R & D. The first draws will have place during the second half of 2019.
At June 30, 2019, available cash amounted to € 4,445,000.
Gross debt amounted to € 7,233 thousand and shareholders’ equity to € 23,137 thousand (€ 21,903 thousand excluding minority interests).
Net indebtedness at June 30, 2019 was € 2,788,000 compared with net cash of € 42,000 at December 31, 2018, reflecting the investment period at the Marseille site (€ 3.8 million on the first half of the year).
Diversification of trading partners in Sines
After the diversification of supply sources in 2018 (geographically qualitatively with the management of low flashpoint residues), Ecoslops has expanded and diversified during the first half of 2019, its client portfolio, particularly for Gasoil and Bitumen light, so that there are several business options available at any time. For the latter product, a new market for heavy bitumen fluxing has been found, the European market for bitumen being very under-loaded in road asphalt.
Development during the semester
The Exploitation License was obtained on January 30, 2019.
As indicated above, the Total group entered on March 29, 2019, 25% of the capital and financing of Ecoslops Provence, the project’s subsidiary.
The additional financing (€ 6.5m) was contracted on April 15, 2019 with a banking pool composed of BNP, HSBC and Banque Populaire Méditerranée.
The Ecoslops team on site is now composed of 4 people, who monitor the work. The start of the unit is expected mid-2020 with delay on the initial planning (end 2019), essentially related to the complexity of integrating a unit like P2R into a site existing itself in the modernization phase in 2018 and then starting up in 2019. The six bins of storage, the entire civil engineering and the furnace will be completed in 2019. The assembly of the P2R unit will be carried out in the first half of 2020.
Regulatory studies continued and included quality analysis productions of the unit of Sines by the OVAM, organization in charge of the approvals in Region Flanders. The results will be known by the end of the year. The ARA (Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam) market is waiting for a solution like the one proposed by Ecoslops. The Belgium therefore plans to grant product statuses only to distillation solutions (compared to current conventional decantation and centrifugation solutions). As a reminder, part of the EIB financing is intended to finance the share of own funds needed by the Antwerp unit.
The pilot of the Mini P2R has been tested on the first semester at Sines and has proven its ability to separate in commercial oil cuts the residues generated in medium-sized ports. Discussions are initiated with several interested partners to host the first unit and the objective is to contract the first unit by the end of the year.
The preliminary draft is continuing and should be presented to the Egyptian authorities before the end of the year for decision. A land was selected in Port Said on which soil studies are in progress. The potential is linked to the annual traffic passing through the Suez Canal and the total lack of installation collection and processing currently. This project provides for the initial installation of means of collection (barge), reception and separation water / hydrocarbons. A P2R unit will be installed once the volumes treated justify it.
During the semester, new leads with slops collecting companies were developed in areas with very high potential. These leads should complete the mesh projects outside Europe, especially in Asia’s strategic zone, the world’s largest terms of maritime traffic and the availability of oil residues.
Outlook and subsequent events
Over the year as a whole, the estimated production in Sinès should be between 24,000T and 26,000T, compared to 19,200T in 2018. Under these conditions, the turnover will be up on the full year compared to last year, despite a lower Brent, last and a second semester 2018 particularly good.
A first draw of € 5m was made on July 30, 2019 on the financing of the EIB.Full Report