Trafigura Interim Results 2022
Financial strength in turbulent times underpinned record profitability
Trafigura delivered a strong performance in the first half of its 2022 financial year, 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, with its highest ever net profit for the period of USD2,659 million, compared to USD2,095 million for the first half of 2021.
The Group registered its highest ever first half year profit in the six-month period ending 31 March 2022, as volatile commodity markets put a premium on our ability to move commodities to where they are in highest demand as efficiently as possible, producing higher margins. Net profit for the period was USD2,659 million, a 27 percent increase over the figure of USD2,095 million recorded in the first half of the 2021 financial year.
Higher average commodity prices and traded volumes generated a 73 percent increase in revenues to USD170,609 million from last year’s USD98,389 million1. For the same reason, materials, transport, storage and financing costs also rose substantially.
Underlying EBITDA rose 26 percent to USD4,713 million from USD3,729 million in the first half of 2021.
The key driver of commodity markets volatility and the biggest challenge during the period was the rise in geopolitical tension, culminating in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February and the consequent tightening of western sanctions on Russia. Global commodity inventories were already depleted as a result of the economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, tightening the balance between supply and demand. In addition, the Ukraine crisis placed supply chains under unprecedented strain, especially in oil, gas and refined petroleum products as buyers struggled to find alternative sources of supply.
As has been regularly observed in recent years, market disruption placed a premium on Trafigura’s logistical skills and market knowledge in helping customers to reorder their supply chains. As a result, our trading volumes increased across the board. Oil and petroleum products volumes increased by 14 percent compared to the first half of 2021, to an average of 7.3 million barrels per day, while non-ferrous metals volumes grew by 16 percent and bulk minerals volumes by 13 percent.
Market risk management was challenging during the first half year, as market volatility prompted increased margin calls and the imposition of restrictive position limits by clearing brokers on commodity exchanges – which impacted the proper functioning of commodity derivative markets, particularly in natural gas and nickel. This made hedging our commodity inventories, in a high‑price environment, more difficult and expensive.
Nevertheless, despite the increased need for credit lines generated by higher commodity prices and significant margin calls, our financial position and access to liquidity remained robust. Given the uncertainty triggered by the start of the war in Ukraine and the unprecedented price movements across energy and metals that followed, Trafigura took rapid and decisive actions to build an ample liquidity buffer at the outset of the crisis. Access to additional funding sources across different markets and instruments was key in providing the Group with adequate liquidity to weather the unprecedented turbulences in both the physical and derivatives commodity markets in late February and March 2022.
The total balance sheet grew by 17 percent during the period to USD105,786 million from USD90,066 million on 30 September 2021. The main drivers of this increase were trade receivables on the asset side and current loans and borrowings as well as trade payables on the liabilities side.
We ended the six-month period with a level of cash and cash equivalents little changed from six months ago, at USD10,288 million. Group equity, which rose above USD10 billion for the first time to reach USD10,560 million at the end of the 2021 financial year, increased by a further 20 percent to USD12,704 million as at 31 March 2022.
Meanwhile, we continued to optimise our portfolio of industrial assets relevant to our core trading business. This half year income statement incorporates the result of Puma Energy for the first time, following consolidation of the fuel distribution business on Trafigura's balance sheet on 30 September 2021. Now 96.7 percent owned by Trafigura Group, Puma Energy completed the sale of its Angolan assets in December 2021 and is benefiting from new management and investment in its downstream retail business.
In February 2022, we completed the sale of our Spanish mining joint venture Minas de Aguas Tenidas (MATSA). In addition, we made a number of investments in renewable energy and battery energy storage assets throughout the six-month period.
Income, expenditure and balance sheet
Revenue rose 73 percent year on year to USD170,609 million. Operating profit before depreciation and amortisation was USD4,648 million, compared to USD3,659 million a year ago. Of total revenue, the Energy segment contributed USD112,903 million, 93 percent more than the USD58,539 million generated in the first half of 2021. Operating profit before depreciation and amortisation in the Energy segment was 23 percent higher than a year ago, at USD2,889 million, compared to USD2,344 million.
Metals and Minerals segment revenues rose 45 percent to USD57,706 million from USD39,850 million, and divisional operating profit before depreciation and amortisation rose by 34 percent year on year to USD1,779 million from USD1,332 million.
Meanwhile, increased traded volumes and prices also pushed up the cost of materials, transportation and storage by 76 percent to USD164,191 million from USD93,182 million a year ago. Net finance expense rose by 72 percent to USD689 million from USD401 million following higher funding needs and an increase in base rates.
The increase in traded volumes and prices was also reflected in a rise of current assets to USD87,813 million as at 31 March 2022, from USD72,516 million as at 30 September 2021, mainly driven by increased trade and other receivables to USD36,543 million from USD24,748 million. Total non-current assets rose at a much slower pace by nine percent to USD16,296 million from USD15,014 million.
Current loans and borrowings rose to USD38,474 million from USD34,270 million six months ago, reflecting the increased need for financing caused by higher prices and traded volumes. However, the substantial increase in Group equity during the period helped to ensure that our leverage ratio stayed low and well within our target. We assess the Group’s financial leverage by calculating a ratio of adjusted net debt to equity.
Adjusted net debt corresponds to the Company’s total non-current and current debt less cash, fully-hedged and readily marketable inventories, non-recourse debt related to the Group’s securitisation programme and the non‑recourse portion of loans from financial institutions. As at 31 March 2022 the ratio of adjusted net debt to equity stood at negative 0.04x.
Liquidity and financing
Trafigura secured increased access to liquidity throughout the half year, to support the increased levels of volatility in global markets, in particular after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Total credit lines reached a record level of USD73 billion, excluding Puma Energy, from a network of around 140 financial institutions, of which USD7 billion was raised over the last six months.
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. Trafigura also maintains an active debt capital markets presence to secure longer-term finance in support of our investments.
During the six months ended 31 March 2022, the Group completed a number of important transactions, demonstrating once again Trafigura’s strong access to committed and uncommitted sources of funding from banks, despite unprecedented market conditions and extreme volatility in the global economy, in particular since late February 2022.
In October 2021, Trafigura refinanced its Asian Syndicated Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) and Term Loan Facilities (TLF) at USD2.4 billion-equivalent, with 36 banks participating in the transaction, including eight new lenders. The new facilities comprised a 365-day USD RCF (USD700 million), a one-year CNH TLF (c. USD890 million-equivalent) and a three-year USD TLF (USD810 million). In line with its European RCF from March 2021, Trafigura implemented a sustainability-linked loan structure in those new facilities.
In March 2022, the Group refinanced two of its core syndicated credit facilities. First, Trafigura announced the closing of its flagship European multi-currency syndicated revolving credit facilities (ERCF) totalling USD5,295 million, comprised a USD2,025 million 365-day RCF and a USD3,270 million three-year RCF. Similar to the previous year, the facilities include a sustainability-linked loan structure, with an updated set of KPIs. The ERCF was initially launched at USD4.5 billion and closed substantially oversubscribed, with 55 banks joining the transaction.
Trafigura also returned to the Japanese domestic syndicated bank loan market for the sixth time and refinanced its 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 those renewals, Trafigura closed the syndication of a nine-month multi-currency RCF of USD2.3 billion-equivalent in March 2022. The transaction was set up following the renewal of the Group’s European RCF at a time of major uncertainties in global markets due to the Ukrainian war. It provides 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.
After adjusting profit before tax for non-cash items, the operating cash flow before working capital charges for the first half of the year rose by 26 percent to USD4,677 million from USD3,722 million. Trafigura believes its financial performance is best assessed on the basis of operating cash flow before working capital changes, as the level of working capital is primarily determined by prevailing commodity prices and price variations are financed through the Group’s self-liquidating finance lines. Net cash used in operating activities (after working capital changes) was negative USD3,018 million. Net cash gained from investing activities was USD480 million, compared to a cash usage of USD2,222 million in the first half of 2021. Net cash generated from financing activities was USD3,130 million, financing a portion of the working capital needs of the period.
The record performance in this first half amidst a period of extreme turbulence is a testament to the resilience of our business model and our financial strength – key attributes that have enabled our growth and profitability over successive years. Importantly, Trafigura continues to benefit from a flight to quality in the banking sector, attracting support from a network of around 140 banks, enabling us to capture market opportunities and build a resilient, global network with an increased equity base. Our commitments to transparency, open engagement with stakeholders and high standards of ethical and responsible conduct have been pre-requisites to achieving this success and support from the financial sector.
The lack of depth available in the commodities futures markets looks set to continue to be a challenge for the industry, as reduced access to derivatives for all participants in turn puts pressure on the ability to move physical commodities. Further headwinds include continued geo‑political turbulence and a more challenging macro‑economic outlook in many of our key markets. Nonetheless, we continue to expect robust profitability and strong business performance in the second half of our 2022 financial year.
Group Chief Financial Officer
1A USD20 million restatement has been made compared to the number published last year – see page 20.