Q4 2020 Camil Alimentos SA Earnings Call
Jun 4, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Camil Alimentos SA earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 2:00:00pm GMT
TEXT version of Transcript
* Flavio Jardim Vargas
Camil Alimentos S.A. - Chief Financial & IR Officer and Member of the Executive Board
* Luciano Maggi Quartiero
Camil Alimentos S.A. - CEO & Member of the Executive Board
Luciano Maggi Quartiero, Camil Alimentos S.A. - CEO & Member of the Executive Board 
[Interpreted] Welcome to the management's comments on the results of the fourth quarter 2019 of Camil Alimentos.
Before talking about the results of the period, I would like to say a few words about the current moment involving the global crisis of COVID-19. As a company operating in the food industry, Camil must ensure that consumers have access to food, while at the same time, not losing sight of health and safety of its employees and our surrounding communities. To that end, we put together a contingency plan that contemplates a series of measures to face the virus with the intent to guarantee the continuity of our business and the safety of our employees as well as our operations and the company's liquidity position.
We are complying with all guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Health and government authorities from Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru. And with that in mind, we adapted a routine to protect and educate our employees about the threats posed by COVID-19. One of these measures include a crisis committee that every day evaluates all the actions necessary to ensure the safety of our employees, providing overwhelming communication about the topics to debate session and guidelines about prevention, legal actions for employees of higher risk, personnel hygiene techniques and the use of sanitary barriers in the operating units.
Furthermore, we reinforced inventory management practices for raw materials, inputs and finished goods, reorganizing our production area and taking the necessary precautions to guarantee safe distancing between employees. In addition to preventing agglomerations, we are also introducing initiatives to avoid unnecessary commuting, suspending the participation of employees in all corporate events, on-site meetings and trips. And at the corporate office, everyone is working from home.
In addition to the initiatives to preserve the health and safety of our employees and ensure full supply to the population in the midst of the pandemic, Camil also strengthened its short-term financial liquidity. We acted preventively to guarantee Camil's financial needs for 2020 by taking loans in March and April 2020 that will provide us with the necessary funds to finalize the acquisition of the Pet Food Business unit of Empresas Iansa in Chile that we announced in the fourth quarter. We continue to operate and reinstate our commitment with the safety of our employees, guaranteeing the service for our customers to make sure there is no scarcity of food in the communities and regions we serve in South America.
We would like to remind you that the critic pandemic scenario in Brazil started in March 2020, and therefore, it does not affect the results we are discussing today related to Camil's annual closing dated February 2020.
Moving to the highlights and results of the year, Camil faced a very competitive 2019. And because of that, the company is now better prepared and more robust to seize our future opportunities. We advanced in different initiatives to reduce costs and expenses, strengthening our operations, being more consistent in the execution of our strategy to pursue organic growth and expansion through acquisitions. In the year, we experienced volume growth in our operations, both in Brazil and abroad, with gross revenue of about BRL 6.3 billion and a double-digit growth vis-à-vis the previous year due to higher sales volume and the incorporation of SLC Alimentos that allowed us to expand our leadership in the grains market in Brazil.
Reinforcing the company's strategy for international expansion into new regions, we announced the acquisition of the Pet Food Business unit from Empresas Iansa in Chile. The acquisition represents an important step towards the expansion into new categories of Camil's operations in Chile and the strengthening of its competitive position in the country, where Camil already has a continuous history of growth and profitability in its Tucapel subsidiary.
The year started with an increase in raw material prices in the grains and sugar categories in Brazil, enhanced competition and difficulties to transfer prices to the market. With that backdrop, we have to adopt measures to face the competitive landscape and minimize the negative effects of our profitability, which brought positive results. Even with increased volumes in the landscape of higher prices of freight in the market, we were able to reduce the share of sales expenses in our net revenue in the year. The same effect was achieved with SG&A as a result of initiatives to reduce cost and expenses made by the company in the last year. Our focus in the pricing model and improvements to processes and systems also helped us to make decisions more efficiently and at the same time, minimize the impact of increased competition, despite scenarios of continuous difficulties to transfer prices.
On the industrial side, we adjusted our operations and inaugurated 2 important units: one in Suape, Pernambuco to reduce -- to produce rice, beans and sugar; and another one, Barra Bonita in the state of São Paulo for the production and packaging of sugar only. We invested in modern and more automated plants, which helped us to grow and strengthen our presence in the Northeast, thus increasing our competitiveness and efficiency in sugar.
In the international market, we maintain our favorable dynamic and positive results. We noticed the recovery of exports in Uruguay, resumed sales growth in Peru and the continuous positive performance of our operations in Chile, both in volume and profitability.
Now moving to the main indicators of the period. It's important to highlight that the comparative base of the year 2018 is influenced by the consolidation of SLC Alimentos starting in 4Q '18 as well as nonrecurring effects. Taking these facts into consideration, we posted the following figures for the quarter and year: net revenue of BRL 1.5 billion in the quarter, up 12% when compared to the same period of the previous year and BRL 5.4 billion in the year, up 14%; gross profit of BRL 338 million, up 5% vis-à-vis the same period of the year before, with margin of 22.6% in the quarter.
In the year, the same indicator reached BRL 1.3 billion, growing 2% with a margin of 23.2%. We emphasize that margins were still under pressure in the period due to difficulties to transfer prices throughout the year, mainly in the grains category in Brazil. EBITDA of BRL 137 million, up 19% vis-à-vis the same period of the year before with a margin of 9.2% in the quarter and BRL 442 million in the year, down by 9% with margins of 8.2%. It is also worth mentioning in the comparative base that in 2018, the company recognized tax credits in its results among other nonrecurring effects. Comparing the same indicator, excluding the nonrecurring effects from the previous year, EBITDA grew 57% and 9% in the quarter and year, respectively.
Net income of BRL 84 million, down by 17% with margin of 5.6% in the quarter and BRL 240 million in the year, a decline of 34% with a margin of 4.4%. It is worth mentioning that the effect of nonrecurring expenses mentioned before also impact comparison of net income in the period. Net of this effect, net income posted growth of 8% in the quarter and a drop of 2% in the year.
Starting the analysis of the quarter and year with our operating results in the rice category, volume reached 172,000 tons, down 13% in the quarter and 743,000 tons in the year, up 18%. Year-on-year growth was boosted by the acquisition of SLC Alimentos that added 198,000 tons in the period. Excluding the volume from the acquired company, volume grew 545,000 tons, down 6% in the year. The result was affected by lower sales of the Camil brand and lower pricing brands in the quarter. Whereas, the year was impacted by the growth of the lower pricing brands.
The average market price of raw material was BRL 49.34 per bag in the quarter, up 23% and BRL 45.17 per bag in the year, a 12% growth. Gross price in the quarter was BRL 2.63 per kilogram, up 7% and net price of BRL 2.32 per kilogram, growing 8%. And in the year, gross price reached BRL 2.51 per kilogram, 1.2%; and net price was BRL 2.25 per kilogram, up by 3%.
We noticed increased competition in all niches and regions for the rice category in Brazil as well as compressed margins due to difficulties to transfer the increase in raw material costs to prices.
Now in the beans category, volume totaled 20,000 tons, down 15% in the quarter and 92,000 tons in the year, up by 15%. Year-on-year growth was boosted by volumes coming from the acquisition of SLC Alimentos, which added 23,000 tons in the period. Excluding the volume from the acquired company, volume reached 69,000 tons, down by 9% in the year. The result was influenced by sales reduction of the Camil brand and lower pricing brands in both periods.
The average market price of raw material was BRL 204.66 per bag in the quarter, an increase of 7% and BRL 192.88 per bag in the year, a growth of 57%. Gross price in the quarter was BRL 4.87 per kilogram, up 5% and net price of BRL 4.58 per kilogram, up by 6%. In the year, gross price reached BRL 4.46 per bag, which is an increase of 21% and net price of BRL 4.12 per kilogram, being a growth of 23%.
Variations to growth in net prices are lower than market prices mentioned above due to difficulties to transfer prices to the market, which is the same effect experienced in the rice category. We noticed the return of volatility in the prices of beans reflexing the climate impact and variations in the beans crop season in the period.
In the sugar category, volume was 128,000 tons, down 5% in the quarter and 516,000 tons in the year, down 2%. The result was influenced by the reduction of sales of the União brand and lower pricing brands in both periods. Furthermore, the year result was impacted by the temporary interruption of raw material supply in the second quarter with a gradual recovery of volumes after things were back to normal.
The market average price of raw material reached BRL 74.29 per bag in the quarter, up 8% and BRL 66.87 per bag in the year, a growth of 11%. In the quarter, gross price totaled BRL 2.39 per kilogram, growing 18%. Whereas, net price was BRL 2.04 per kilogram, a growth of 19%. In the year, gross price was BRL 2.21 per kilogram, up 8% and net price of BRL 1.91 per kilogram, up 9%. As seen by the prices, we emphasize that despite the highly competitive landscape and temporary interruption in raw material supply during the year, the company maintained the profitability of the category and saw a positive response in the price transfer scenario in the period.
In the fish category, volume totaled 16,000 tons, up 30% in the quarter and 39,000 tons in the year, up 10%. This result was influenced by the growth coming from Coqueiro and Pescador brands in both periods. Gross price was BRL 20.94 per kilogram, a growth of 3% and net price of BRL 15.80 per kilogram, up 3% in the quarter. In the year, gross price reached BRL 20.61 per kilogram, a growth of 1%; and net price was BRL 15.60 per kilogram, up 1%. In the year, we continue to face difficulties with local fishing and cost pressure of imported raw materials due to foreign exchange variations in the period.
In the International segment, sales volume totaled 203,000 tons in the quarter, up 19% and 635,000 tons in the year, which is an increase of 2% with sales growth in all countries.
In Uruguay, volume totaled 161,000 tons, up 23% in the quarter and 462,000 tons in the year, growing 1% due to increased exports with sales recovery in the second half of 2019.
In Chile, volume totaled 19,000 tons, up 4% in the quarter and 84,000 tons in the year, up by 6%. We continue to post volume growth and positive profitability in Chile and are now waiting for the approval from the Chilean competition authorities, the Fiscalía Nacional Económica, among other usual conditions imposed by this type of transaction to finalize the addition of the Pet Food business unit from Empresas Iansa announced by the company during the fourth quarter. The acquisition is aligned with Camil's strategy and aims at further strengthening our competitive position in Chile, whereas, at the same time, expanding the multicategory model we have in Brazil into other countries.
And Peru sales volume reached 22,000 tons, up 4% in the quarter and 89,000 tons in the year, growing 6%. Volume recovery in the period was boosted by the increase in the number of POSs and the recovery of packaged rice consumption in the period, after a time of political and economic instability in the country in the past year.
Camil continues to have confidence in the food market in Latin America as it combines resilience and growth opportunities. When analyzing the future outlook, sustainable growth remains our major priority. With strong brands, a differentiated platform and leadership position, we have multiple opportunities to grow in the segments we serve, developing new markets and entering into new categories. We started a new year with a challenging pandemic scenario. However, with renewed energy to proceed focus -- we proceed focused on our strategy. We opened structure debate forms in 2019, giving everyone the opportunity to contribute to build up the company's strategy for the next coming years. And we are even more confident that this is the new way to anticipate trends and strengthen our position as consolidator of the food industry in South America.
To elaborate further on the financial performance of the quarter and year, I would like to give the floor now to Flavio. Flavio, you may proceed, please.
Flavio Jardim Vargas, Camil Alimentos S.A. - Chief Financial & IR Officer and Member of the Executive Board 
Thank you, Luciano. Welcome to the comments on the results of the fourth quarter and year of 2019. Starting with the analysis of the financial performance. Growth. Gross revenue reached BRL 1.7 billion in the quarter, up 13% and BRL 6.3 billion in the year, which is an increase of 14%, mainly due to the combined effect of volume, prices and exchange rate in the period. Net revenue of BRL 1.5 billion in the quarter, up 12% and BRL 5.4 billion in the year, up 14%. it is worth mentioning that the year-on-year comparison is influenced by the consolidation of SLC Alimentos that only occur as of the fourth quarter of 2018.
Cost of sales and services in the quarter reached BRL 1.2 billion, up by 14%, mainly attributed to a 14% growth in cost of goods sold in Brazil, driven by an increase on average market prices. This result was also impacted by an international increase of 22% in cost of goods sold, driven by higher sales volume in the segment. In the year, cost of sales and services totaled BRL 4.1 billion, up 18%, mainly attributed to a 21% increase in COGS in Brazil, driven by higher average market prices. This result was also impacted by an 8% growth in international cost of goods sold, driven by higher sales growth in the segment, foreign exchange impact and higher prices in the period. Taking all of that into account, gross profit reached BRL 338 million, up 5% vis-à-vis the same period of the previous year with a margin of 22.6% in the quarter. In the year, the same indicator totaled BRL 1.3 billion, growing 2%, with margin of 23.2%.
As Luciano mentioned before, the margins were still pressured in the period due to difficulties to transfer prices during the year, mainly in the grains category in Brazil. By adopting additional measures to face such a competitive landscape and to accelerate our growth process, we developed projects and adopted short-term measures to resume our competitive base and efficiency in our operations.
With that, we move to the performance of SG&A in the quarter that reached BRL 244 million, down by 7%, the equivalent to 16.4% of the net revenue in the period. This represents a reduction of 3.4 percentage points in the share of revenue when compared to the same period of the year before. The reduction in the quarter was mainly attributed to SG&A Brazil that posted an 11% decline due to lower volumes in the period and the initiatives to reduce costs and expenses in the last year. This result was partially compensated by a 2% increase in international SG&A, higher volumes and the foreign exchange impact in the period. In the year, SG&A reached BRL 955 million, growing 3%, equivalent to 17.7% of net revenue. This accounts for a reduction of 1.8 percentage points in revenue share year-on-year. The nominal 4% growth in the year occurred mainly in SG&A Brazil, with higher volumes in the period and the consolidation of the results from SLC Alimentos in the comparative base as of the fourth quarter of '18.
Now I would like to emphasize that the lower share of SG&A in the net revenue of the quarter and year reflects the company's improved efficiency, stemming from our plan to control costs and expenses in the period, mainly the controlled freight costs and admin expenses. As for other operating expenses, they reached BRL 0.8 million in the quarter when compared to a revenue of BRL 29 million in the same period of the year before and BRL 3 million in the year vis-à-vis revenue of BRL 85 million in 2018. The comparative base of last year was affected by the recognition of tax credit revenues among other nonrecurring effects.
Taking that into consideration, EBITDA was BRL 137 million, up 19% year-on-year with margin 9.2% in the quarter. In the year, EBITDA reached BRL 442 million, down 9% with margins of 8.2%. Comparing the same indicator, excluding the nonrecurring effects of the previous year, EBITDA was up 57% and 9% in the quarter and year, respectively.
I would like to highlight that as of January 2019, the company has been presenting its accounting figures with the effects from IFRS 16.
EBITDA, excluding the impact of IFRS 16, stemming from the increase in rental expenses converted into depreciation and interest reached BRL 127 million with a margin of 8.5% in the quarter and BRL 402.9 million with a margin of 7.5% in the year.
In regards to the financial performance, or P&L, expenses totaled BRL 14 million in the quarter, down 18%, mainly attributed to the result with derivatives partially offset by the recognition of interest on lease in the period. In the year, net P&L had expenses of BRL 62 million when compared to BRL 16 million in 2018. It is important to remember that the comparative base of 2018 was impacted by nonrecurring financial expenses related to the recognition of monetary updates to the tax credits recognized in the period.
Income tax and social contribution reached BRL 0.2 million in the quarter and BRL 3.5 million in the year partially due to the effect of the exclusion of subsidies on investments related to ICMS credits and payment of interest on equity in the period. On that note, net income totaled BRL 84 million, down 17% with margin of 5.6% in the quarter and BRL 240 million in the year, down by 34% with margin of 4.4%. The previously mentioned effect of nonrecurring expenses also had an impact on the comparison of net income in the period. Excluding this effect, the same indicator posted growth of 8% in quarter and a 2% decline in the year.
Earnings per share came to BRL 0.23, 19% higher in the quarter and BRL 0.65 in the year, meaning a 5% increase. It is worth highlighting, the reduction in the company's total shares to 370 million common shares when compared to 410 million in the previous year, attributed to the cancellation of the total balance of treasury shares after the conclusion of the third buyback program in November 2019.
In regards to the company's debt position, our net debt totaled BRL 1 billion, up 12% vis-à-vis the previous year. This growth between periods was due to the issuance of CRA of the company in the amount of BRL 600 million in April of last year and also the third stock buyback program concluded in November 2019. The buyback was done in 3 stages, totaling approximately 30.6 million shares held by an investment fund from Warburg Pincus. Total liquidity in the period was BRL 570 million. And with that, we ended the quarter with a net debt over EBITDA ratio of 2.3x.
Now moving to working capital. Working capital reached BRL 1.5 billion, a 0.5% increase year-on-year. This increase was mainly attributed to 23% higher advanced payment of suppliers because of the growth of the grains' promotion program in Brazil; the 5% increase in accounts payable caused by higher revenue and fish volume; and finally, the 22% increase in the suppliers line, resulting from the increase in raw material acquisition costs in Brazil and abroad.
CapEx reached BRL 31 million in the quarter, down 89%, and BRL 135 million in the year, meaning a 66% reduction, mainly attributed to the acquisition of SLC Alimentos in the 2018 comparative base. Net of this effect, CapEx posted growth after the conclusion of the sugar packaging process project, Super Barra. Investments in the Itaqui storage and drying plant and other technology corporate projects, including the final implementation of the new sales system, SFA, the BI systems and the new Ariba Supply System.
Before concluding, I would like to reinstate a point made by Luciano about the adaptations and initiatives of the company to face COVID-19. In addition to preserving and ensuring the safety of our employees and our operations, Camil solidified its short-term financial liquidity, thus supporting the financial needs of Camil for the year 2020 with loans amounting to approximately BRL 1.3 billion in March and April of 2020, including the funding necessary to conclude the acquisition of the Pet Food business in Chile, still pending approval by the local regulatory agencies.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the company has acted in a preventive manner to ensure the continuity of business during the quarantine. And although, the company's operations have not been significantly affected on the financial front and P&L, we cannot yet predict the occurrence of future events related to the pandemic. That's why we are protecting ourselves in regards to our people, operations and liquidity, and we'll continue to closely monitor the future financial impact and evaluate the actions that need to be taken.
Luciano, the IR team and myself will be available to answer your questions about the results of the period on May 13 at 11:00 a.m. Brazil time. The link for the webcast and connection information are available in the Investor Relations website.
It is worth mentioning that in view of the difficulties imposed by COVID-19 and in compliance with the guidelines by the Ministry of Health, the company suspended its participation in all corporate events and meetings and canceled international and domestic travel. At the corporate office level, people are working from home, but we remain available for meetings over the phone, apps or videoconferencing. To schedule a meeting, please contact our Investor Relations team through our IR website, via phone or email.
Thank you very much, everyone.
[Portions of this transcript that are marked [Interpreted] were spoken by an interpreter present on the live call.]