The Navigator Company Announces Results for the First 9 Months of 2017

Highlights first 9 months 2017 (vs. first 9 months 2016):
* Paper volume hits new record level of 1 158 thousand tons (up 3 thousand tons), with average price still lower than last year
* Turnover up +5% with strong performance in pulp, energy and tissue business:
− Pulp sales grow 32% in value, with volume and price both rising
− Power sales up 16%, reflecting successful operation of power generation assets
− Tissue sales grow by 11% in volume and value
* EBITDA of € 300 million in line with previous year and EBITDA/sales margin of 25% (vs. 26%)
* Progress on cost cutting programme, with estimated positive impact on EBITDA of € 18 million
* Net debt rises to € 742 million after pay-out of € 250 million (€ 0.3487/share) and investment of € 75.7 million; Net Debt / EBITDA ratio of 1.9
* Financial costs slashed to – € 6.5 million (vs. – € 16.6 million), thanks to lower costs on borrowing operations and profits on currency hedges
* Net income grows 8.6% to € 145.8 million
* Development projects on new tissue plant in Cacia and capacity expansion at the Figueira da Foz pulp mill running on budget and on time

Highlights 3rd Quarter 2017 (vs. 3rd Quarter 2016)
* Turnover up 5.4%, with rising pulp prices and increased volume of paper sales
* EBITDA of € 101.7 million in the quarter (down 4.3%), including estimated impact of forest fires – € 1.4 million
* Excellent Q3 cash flow generation: €75.9 million
* 5th Sustainability Forum devoted to Circular Economy

Turnover for the first nine months of 2017 stood at € 1 210 million, up by 4.7%, sustained essentially by strong operating performance in sales of pulp, power and tissue.

Pulp sales grew by around 25%, to more than 250 thousand tons, driven by the strong demand experienced over the period, with prices continuing on the upward course recorded since late 2016. The benchmark PIX – BHKP index in euros recorded an average price of 703 €/ton, as compared to 636 €/ton in the same period in 2016 (up 10.6%). The Group’s average price also followed an upward course, with pulp sales growing by 32% in value, to a total of € 129.5 million.

Conditions in the paper market also improved gradually over the year, with progressively stronger order books in Europe and in overseas markets. The Group recorded a healthy volume of paper sales, setting a new record of 1 158 tons sold, around 3 thousand tons more than in the first nine months of 2016.

In the period, the Navigator Group implemented three price rises up to July, and also announced a fourth increase from September onwards. These increases helped to offset the price reduction recorded in the final quarter of 2016, with the Group’s average price in the first nine months of 2017 still lower than the average price in the same period last year.

Despite the improvement in the product mix sold, with premium and own-brand products accounting for a larger share of sales, the Group’s average price in Europe was brought down by the evolution of the exchange rate and by the evolution of the market mix. In Europe, the main impact was the weakness of sterling which, combined with an increase in sales in markets outside Europe, mostly USDdenominated, and with exchange rate trends in recent months, had a negative effect on the Group’s overall sales average price.
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