2022 Full-year results
Strong demand for our services and a solid risk management framework deliver record results
In the 2022 financial year, Trafigura Group further improved its market position and continued its record-breaking financial performance.
Revenues, net profit and underlying EBITDA all hit records as customers turned to Trafigura to help them navigate turbulent markets and disrupted global supply chains. Profit for the year of USD7,026 million was more than double the previous year’s level of USD3,075 million, itself a company record. Revenues increased by 38 percent to USD318,476 million from USD231,308 million in 2021, driven by elevated commodity prices.
The company’s robust performance was driven by its global network and resilient business model, which enabled us to supply our customers in a market upended by geopolitical tensions. Volatile prices, mismatches between supply and demand and a disconnect between derivatives and physical markets made supply chain management significantly more challenging in the past year. This played to the strengths of companies with strong balance sheets, a global footprint and ready access to financial liquidity, such as Trafigura.
The Group’s underlying earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin for the year was 3.8 percent, compared to 3.0 percent in 2021. The supply chain and logistics services Trafigura provides remain by global standards a low-margin business, where profit is generated from efficient management of logistics and market risk for a substantial volume of physical commodities.
The total volume of commodities traded in 2022 was lower year-on-year. This was due to a reduction in oil and petroleum products volumes in the second half of the financial year which was driven by the termination of long-term contracts for Russian crude oil and petroleum products in light of international sanctions, reduced availability of hedging in derivatives markets, which we use to manage price risk, and a decision to focus on higher-margin opportunities.
Trafigura traded an average of 6.6 million barrels of oil and petroleum products per day in the financial year, compared to a daily average of 7.0 million barrels in 2021. Non-ferrous metals traded volumes were flat at 23.3 million metric tonnes, while bulk minerals volumes, driven by increased iron ore volumes, rose by 10 percent to 91.3 million metric tonnes.
Total non-current assets
Total Group equity
Underlying EBITDA margin
Adjusted debt to Group equity
In terms of divisional performance, our Energy operating segment, which includes our Oil and Petroleum Products and Power and Renewables divisions, had an exceptionally strong year, generating revenue of USD214,178 million equal to 67 percent of total revenue, and an operating profit of USD10,126 million.
Performance in Metals and Minerals was robust although the division’s operating profit fell year-on-year, largely reflecting the impact on non-ferrous markets of strict COVID-19- related restrictions in China, which still accounts for well over 50 percent of the global demand. Metals and Minerals revenue rose to USD104,299 million, while the division’s contribution to operating profit fell to USD1,877 million from USD2,473 million the previous year.
Our industrial assets continued to face challenging market conditions as well as in some cases, operational challenges – especially the Nyrstar business which faced soaring energy costs, most severely in Europe.
Our balance sheet grew by nine percent during the year to USD98,634 million as at 30 September 2022, but total assets were actually smaller at year-end than in March, reflecting the reduction in trading volumes in the second half of FY2022.
Thanks to our strong profitability, Group equity rose by 43 percent to USD15,079 million as at 30 September 2022, compared to USD10,546 million a year earlier. Group equity has almost doubled over the past two years, and we consider the current level more than adequate to support a USD100 billion balance sheet.
* The Energy segment includes Oil and Petroleum Products and Power and Renewables divisions.
Profit for the year was USD7,026 million, an increase of 128 percent over the 2021 figure of USD3,075 million. Underlying EBITDA rose 73 percent to USD12,089 million from USD6,996 million in 2021, while operating profit before depreciation and amortisation rose by a similar percentage to USD11,982 million from USD6,890 million.
Costs of materials, transportation and storage were 36 percent higher than in 2021 at USD302,899 million, reflecting the rise in commodity prices and also the increase in freight costs as a result of the war in Ukraine. Net financing costs rose by 82 percent to USD1,541 million from USD846 million. This largely reflected the rise in interest rates throughout the year, with USD interest rates moving from 0.15 percent in September 2021 to 3.5 percent a year later. The income tax charge for the year was USD933 million compared to USD368 million in 2021.
Depreciation of right-of-use assets – mainly relating to shipping leases – resulted in a charge of USD1,216 million, compared to USD1,095 million last year. Puma Energy’s inclusion in the Group’s balance sheet for the first full year made a USD207 million attribution to the USD584 million depreciation and amortisation of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets. Impairments of fixed and financial assets totalled USD639 million, compared to USD683 million in 2021. These included a write down of the value of Nyrstar’s Australian smelter assets, and goodwill and various assets within Puma Energy. Net assets held for sale decreased due to strategic disposals by Puma Energy (Angola and Infrastructure division).
Of total assets amounting to USD98,634 million as at 30 September 2022, non-current assets rose to USD19,433 million from USD15,078 a year earlier, largely reflecting the increasing number and value of shipping leases on our books and long-term LNG contracts. Current assets rose eight percent to USD78,767 million from USD72,674 million. Inventories, which are a key component of our balance sheet, fell from USD29,654 million to USD22,584 million due to improved working capital management. Trade and other receivables however, rose to USD27,631 million from USD24,907 million, reflecting an increase in margin payments to clearing brokers and futures exchanges.
Our increased balance sheet strength is illustrated by the current ratio – that of short-term assets to short-term liabilities. As at 30 September 2022, this stood at 1.27x compared to 1.19x a year earlier, while the Group’s cash position at year-end stood at USD14,881 million, up from USD10,678 million in 2021.
Due to our robust trading performance, we generated strong cash flows, with operating cash flow before working capital changes of USD12,125 million, a 74 percent increase on the previous year’s figure of USD6,988 million. We believe operating cash flow is the most reliable measure of its financial performance, because the level of working capital is predominantly driven by prevailing commodity prices and is financed under the Group’s self-liquidating financing lines. Net cash flows from operating activities turned positive to a sum of USD13,745 million compared to a negative USD234 million in 2021, reflecting the company’s unprecedentedly strong organic cash flow generation and the reduction in inventories. Investing activities resulted in a net cash use of USD536 million, compared to an outflow of USD2,728 million in the previous financial year. Net cash flows used in financing activities was a net outflow of USD9,005 million, compared to an inflow of USD7,882 million in 2021. We were able to decrease our use of financing lines even though our balance sheet grew thanks to exceptional cash generation and an improved working capital cycle.
Liquidity and financing
The Group increased its access to liquidity during the 2022 financial year to manage the impact of higher levels of volatility in global markets and elevated commodity prices. We successfully secured an additional USD7 billion of financing in FY2022, bringing total credit lines to USD73 billion, provided by a network of around 140 banks globally, excluding Puma Energy.
Even under conditions of heightened volatility, we continued to maintain an ample liquidity buffer. As at 30 September 2022, the Group had immediate (same day) access to available liquidity balances from liquidity funds and unutilised committed unsecured corporate facilities of USD14.1 billion, excluding Puma Energy.
The majority of our day-to-day trading activity is financed through uncommitted, self-liquidating trade finance facilities, while we use corporate credit facilities to finance other short-term liquidity requirements, such as margin calls or bridge financing. This funding model gives us the necessary flexibility to cope with periods of enhanced price volatility as utilisation of the trade finance facilities increases or decreases to reflect the volumes traded and underlying prices. We also maintain an active debt capital markets presence to secure longer-term finance in support of our investments.
During the 12 months ended 30 September 2022, the Group completed a number of important transactions, demonstrating once again our strong access to committed and uncommitted sources of funding from banks and other sources, despite unprecedented market conditions and extreme volatility in the global economy.
In October 2021, we announced the refinancing of our Asian syndicated revolving credit facility (RCF) at USD2.4 billion equivalent. The facility was oversubscribed and upsized from the initial launch amount of USD1.5 billion equivalent, with 36 banks participating in the transaction, including eight new lenders. In line with its European RCF from March 2021, we implemented a sustainability-linked loan structure in the facility.
In March 2022, the Group refinanced two of its core syndicated credit facilities. First, we closed our flagship European multi-currency syndicated revolving credit facilities (ERCF) totaling USD5,295 million, comprised a USD2,025 million 365-day RCF and a USD3,270 million three-year RCF. The ERCF was initially launched at USD4.5 billion and closed substantially oversubscribed, with 55 banks joining the transaction. Similar to the previous year, the facilities include a sustainability-linked loan structure, with an updated set of key perfomance indicators. The targets are related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the further alignment of our responsible sourcing programme with international standards for sustainable procurement, the development of a renewable power portfolio, and the alignment of our operations with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
We also returned to the Japanese domestic syndicated bank loan market for the sixth time and refinanced the Japanese yen term loan credit facility (Samurai loan) with a total value of JPY93.75 billion (USD790 million-equivalent at closing exchange rate). The Samurai loan comprises a JPY84.75 billion three-year credit facility (refinanced this year) and a JPY9 billion five-year credit facility (amended but not refinanced this year, maturing March 2025). In line with the Group’s European and Asian RCFs, and a first for its Samurai loan, the company structured the three-year tranche as a sustainability-linked loan.
In addition to these renewals, we closed the syndication of a nine-month liquidity facility of USD2.3 billion-equivalent in March 2022. The transaction was set up following the renewal of the Group’s ERCF at a time of major uncertainties in global markets due to the invasion of Ukraine. It provided an additional funding buffer for the Group in order to proactively anticipate and mitigate liquidity requirements as a result of the substantial ongoing volatility in global commodity markets.
We are continuously working to secure new sources of liquidity that help the Group to diversify its access to funding. In September 2022, Trafigura entered into a USD800 million five-year loan agreement, which was guaranteed by the government of Germany acting through the German Export Credit Agency (ECA) Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft. The guarantee is provided to support the commitment by Trafigura to deliver, under a five-year supply agreement, non-ferrous metals to Germany.
After the financial year-end, in October 2022, we refinanced our Asian revolving credit facility (RCF) and term loan facilities (TLF) at USD2.4 billion equivalent, with 28 banks participating in the transaction, including three new lenders. The new facilities comprised of a 365-day USD RCF (USD685 million), a one-year CNH TLF (c. USD1,217 million equivalent) and a three-year USD TLF (USD469 million). In line with the ERCF from March 2022, Trafigura implemented a sustainability-linked loan structure in those new facilities.
Also in October 2022, we entered into a new USD3.0 billion four-year loan agreement guaranteed by the government of Germany acting through the German ECA. This loan will support a new commitment by Trafigura to deliver substantial volumes of gas to Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE), which was recently recapitalised by the German government, over the next four years.
Trafigura does not hold a corporate public credit rating and does not seek to obtain one. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that our strategy has always been to obtain funding from stakeholders that understand our business model, rather than making investment decisions on the basis of a credit rating.
In addition, holding a credit rating could cause Trafigura to take more short-term focused decisions in order to maintain a particular credit rating level. This would conflict with the Group’s focus on long-term value creation and maintenance of a strong balance sheet. We have been highly successful in securing funding without a public credit rating. Financial discipline is inherent to the company’s business and finance model because of its reliance on debt markets for capital and liquidity.
Our significant expansion of our sources of financing over the years has been achieved on the basis of the Group maintaining an acceptable and sustainable credit standing, consistent with an investment grade profile. The Group’s financial discipline is reinforced by the financial covenants provided to unsecured lenders in the bank market and is underlined by the strong support we receive from our banking group and investors.
Value at risk
The Value at Risk (VaR) metric is one of the various risk management tools that we use to monitor and limit our market risk exposure. We use an integrated VaR model which captures risk, including commodity prices, interest rates, equity prices and currency rates (see further details in Note 39).
Average market risk VaR (one-day 95%) during the 2022 financial year was USD199.8 million (1.33% of Group equity) compared to USD47.9 million (0.45% of Group equity) in FY2021. Our Management Committee has established guidance to maintain VaR (one-day 95%) below one percent of Group equity. This guidance was exceeded in FY2022 due to the extreme and exceptional volatility experienced following the start of the war in Ukraine. Actions were swiftly taken to bring back the VaR within acceptable risk limits, including but not limited to reducing stocks and traded volumes. Thanks to these efforts, the average VaR decreased during the second half of the 2022 financial year to USD142.9 million (0.95% of Group equity), with latest quarter average VaR standing at USD115.8 million (0.77% of Group equity).
Leverage and adjusted debt
As a specialist in management of physical commodity supply chains, Trafigura relies on a specific funding model. As a result, it is not appropriate to apply the same financial analysis framework to it as is used for typical industrial companies. When analysing our credit metrics, banks and investors have historically considered financial leverage after excluding some specific balance sheet items (e.g. inventories and non-recourse debt such as our securitisation programmes), resulting in the use of adjusted debt as an overall leverage metric.
Adjusted debt corresponds to the company’s total non-current and current debt less cash, fully-hedged readily marketable inventories (including purchased and pre-paid inventories which are being released), debt related to the Group’s receivables securitisation programmes and the non-recourse portion of loans from third parties. This metric is a better measure of the Group’s financial leverage than a simple gross debt metric.
In particular, the following adjustments are made:
- The receivables securitisation programmes are taken out on the basis that they are entirely distinct legal entities from Trafigura with no recourse to the Group and are only consolidated into the financial statements in accordance with the Group’s accounting rules.
- Cash and short-term deposits are deducted from debt.
- Pre-sold or hedged stock, including purchased and pre-paid inventories which are being released, are deducted from debt. This reflects the great liquidity of the stock and the ease at which it could be converted to cash. As noted above, our policy is to have 100 percent of stock hedged or pre-sold at all times.
- Non-recourse invoice discounting or specific portion of loans (for example, non-recourse portions of bank lines used to extend prepayments to counterparties) are deducted from debt.
As at 30 September 2022, the ratio of adjusted debt to Group equity stood at minus 0.47x, down from minus 0.21x at 30 September 2021. This reduction principally reflected the exceptionally strong retained earnings during the year, as well as cash generation and improvement of working capital. Whilst the ratio of adjusted debt to Group equity was particularly strong in 2021, our intention is to maintain this ratio up to a maximum level of 1x. Any upwards fluctuation of this ratio to 1x in the future should not be considered as a sign of any relaxation of our disciplined efforts to maintain a solid credit standing.
The Group's adjusted debt to equity ratio at the end of the reporting period is calculated as follows:
Trafigura operates in a multitude of jurisdictions and adheres to applicable local and international tax law, including legislation on transfer pricing, in the countries in which it operates. The Group’s tax policy is to pay appropriate tax according to work carried out in each jurisdiction, as determined by a functional analysis of operations using standard measures wherever possible, underpinned by reports prepared to fulfill local transfer pricing requirements.
The Group’s effective tax rate – the average rate at which consolidated pre-tax profits are taxed – varies from year to year according to circumstances, and in FY2022 it was 12 percent (or USD933 million) compared to 11 percent (or USD368 million) in FY2021. The change to the effective tax rate is a consequence of a change in the mix of taxable profits and losses generated in the various countries within which the Group operates.
The supply chain disruptions and the volatility in commodity markets that underpinned our record financial performance in FY2022 are continuing. This creates an ongoing, growing need for commodity supply chain management services that we are well positioned to provide.
It has become increasingly clear in the past two years that providing these services requires a global footprint, superior market intelligence and an extremely solid balance sheet. With Group equity of USD15 billion and an unparalleled network of customer relationships around the world, we are more robust than ever. Although our industrial assets, such as Nyrstar, remain challenged, market conditions remain constructive overall and we have made a strong start to trading in our new financial year. This gives us confidence that we will deliver another solid year of performance in 2023.
Group Chief Financial Officer