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Edited Transcript of KEN earnings conference call or presentation 28-Nov-18 2:00pm GMT

Q3 2018 Kenon Holdings Ltd Earnings Call

Jan 9, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Kenon Holdings Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 2:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Giora Almogy

OPC Energy Ltd. - CEO

* Mark Hasson

Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CFO

* Robert L. Rosen

Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Nikita Goloshchekov

* Ronny Bash

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Kenon Holdings Ltd. conference call to discuss the third quarter 2018 results of Kenon. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

Kenon published our press release with Q3 results earlier today. The press release as well as summary financial information of Kenon, OPC and Qoros have been publicly submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 6-K. These documents can be accessed from the SEC's website and have been filed with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and are available on the company's website.

With us on the call today are the management of Kenon and OPC Energy. This includes Mr. Robert Rosen, CEO of Kenon; Mr. Mark Hasson, CFO of Kenon; and Mr. Giora Almogy, CEO of OPC. Rob will first provide an update on Kenon. Giora will then provide an update on OPC, followed by Mark, who will discuss the financial results of Kenon. We will then open the call for the question-and-answer session, followed by a concluding statement by Rob.

Before we start, I'd like to point out that this conference call may contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding expected events, developments or the expected performance of the company and its subsidiaries and associated companies, including those statements identified as forward-looking in Kenon's third quarter 2018 results release. These statements are only estimates or plans, and there is no guarantee they will in fact occur. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected, including as a result of changing market trends as well as other risks and uncertainties identified in the Risk Factors section on the company's annual report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in the section entitled Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements in the earnings release.

In addition, this conference call includes certain non-IFRS measures, including OPC's EBITDA numbers. For the definition of such terms and reconciliation to their most directly comparable IFRS measures, see Exhibit 99.2 to the Form 6-K furnished to the SEC today. The Form 6-K is available on the SEC website as well as Kenon's website.

With that today -- with that, I will now hand the call over to Rob. Rob, go ahead please.

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [2]

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Thank you, operator. I'd like to welcome all of you and thank you for joining us today for our investor conference call to discuss Kenon's third quarter 2018 results.

I'm pleased to report that Kenon had another strong quarter with solid results in OPC; Giora, CEO of OPC, will provide further detail shortly; and there has been significant operational progress in Qoros.

I would like to begin with our announcement yesterday regarding a dividend of approximately $100 million, which will be paid to our shareholders in mid-December. This dividend is in addition to the $655 million distribution we made earlier this year, and it's part of our ongoing strategy to enhance and to realize the value of our businesses to our shareholders.

Moving to Qoros, in terms of car sales, Qoros continued with its significant increase in sales. In the third quarter of 2018, Qoros sold approximately 17,500 vehicles. Since the beginning of 2018, Qoros has sold over 48,000 cars. The sales in 2018 include orders from a leasing company introduced by the new majority shareholder of Qoros. Qoros's revenue in the third quarter of 2018 increased to approximately $223 million as of -- compared to approximately $45 million in the second quarter of 2017.

That ends my summary. And now I would like to hand the call over to Giora to discuss the business development and financial results of OPC.

Giora, go ahead please.

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Giora Almogy, OPC Energy Ltd. - CEO [3]

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Thank you, Rob. So in terms of business development, OPC-Hadera, fully owned subsidiary of OPC Energy, is constructing a 148-megawatt co-generation plant at the Hadera paper mill site. The actual -- the total investment is estimated approximately NIS 1 billion or is NIS 1 billion, which is approximately $276 million. As of September 30, 2018, we have invested approximately $210 million, which is NIS 760 million.

In terms of Tzomet, another project that OPC Energy is developing, it has 396 open-cycle natural gas-fired power station. Tzomet signed an EPC contract with Pratt & Whitney Power Systems for a total amount of $300 million, payable based on achievement of milestones. Tzomet is permitted to conclude the agreement and -- in each of its stages. It is worthwhile noting that OPC Tzomet still requires a license from the Israeli Electricity Authority that depends, amongst others, on the agreement with the Centralization Committee.

In terms of financial results, OPC financial results for the quarter have improved when compared to 2017. The EBITDA of OPC for the third quarter was $29 million compared to an EBITDA of $25 million in the same quarter of 2017. The increase in the EBITDA is primarily due to increase in electricity prices at the beginning of the year. Please note that the OPC results are published in Israeli Shekels and are slightly different from those published by Kenon in U.S. dollars, as they do not include the impact of the exchange rate fluctuations and its relation with regards from Shekel to US dollars.

That ends my summary of the financial results and development of OPC. And I will hand over to Mark, Kenon's CFO, for his first financial summary. Mark, go ahead.

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Mark Hasson, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CFO [4]

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Thanks, Giora. Kenon's consolidated results of operations are largely made up of the consolidated results of OPC as described by Giora. The results of Qoros and ZIM are reflected under results from associates.

For the third quarter of 2018, Kenon incurred a net loss from continuing operations of $11 million compared to a net loss of $20 million in the third quarter of 2017. You can find additional details in our 6-K, which was filed earlier today.

In terms of liquidity and capital resources as of September 30, 2018, Kenon's cash balance was $142 million. This is prior to the dividend distribution of approximately $100 million, which Rob mentioned earlier, and Kenon does not have any debt.

Finally, as a reminder, Kenon is the beneficiary of a 4-year $175 million deferred payment agreement, reflecting deferred consideration from the sale of its Inkia power businesses. The amounts under this agreement accrue interest at a rate of 8% per annum. As of September 30, 2018, the principal amount is $186 million.

That ends our summary, and we will now be happy to take your questions. Operator?

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) The first question is from Ronny Bash of Arakamba.

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Ronny Bash, [2]

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I'd like to ask 2 questions. First of all, is -- if there is any chance of accelerating the schedule of the loan? And the second one is, if you have any news regarding your options in Qoros, your put options with Qoros?

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [3]

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Thank you very much. I'd just like to clarify, when you say accelerating the loan, you mean the 4-year deferred payment that Mark had mentioned?

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Ronny Bash, [4]

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Yes.

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [5]

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Okay. No, unfortunately the terms of that do not provide for a change, to the extent an opportunity arises to negotiate in that, we may take it, but we have nothing at this point to report. Regarding the put at Qoros, the same as last quarter. We are still considering our options with the effect of the put, but we have not made any decision at this time. As soon as we make a decision, we will let the market know.

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Operator [6]

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The next question is from Nikita Goloshchekov of EG Capital Advisors.

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Nikita Goloshchekov, [7]

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So particularly speaking, does golden share owned by Israel government in ZIM shipping payments, your ability to diverse your stake in this company?

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [8]

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Sorry, the question, just so I can understand, the question is asking whether or not we feel the golden share impacts our ability to do a transaction in ZIM?

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Nikita Goloshchekov, [9]

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Yes.

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [10]

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I don't have a, I guess, a specific answer on that at this stage. Again, with effect to ZIM, we're considering various options and discussions. And it's hard to say specifically what impact that particular share would have on our ability to deal with our 32% interest.

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Nikita Goloshchekov, [11]

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For example, maybe you had a feedback from potential investors saying that golden share owned by the government is something that limits their ability or anything else to have any transactions?

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [12]

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No. I don't really have anything on that -- I don't have anything that I can mention at this stage.

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Nikita Goloshchekov, [13]

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And what is your general view of the future of regime? Do you expect ZIM to have more and more partnership with peers like Maersk and MSC? I remember, ZIM was always associated with one of the few independent carriers that differentiated themselves from others. So what's your view on the future development of ZIM?

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [14]

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As you said in the past, they weren't part of a partnership. This is a newer development, it's a very positive development and to the extent we're able to build on that or they are able to build on that obviously, it would be much more positive, but at this point, I think we are looking to maximize the benefits of the current partnership.

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Nikita Goloshchekov, [15]

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Because in the past it was like a selling point, we were saying that look everyone is in 3 partnerships, right? And we're one of the few who can provide you independent service and this like differentiates us from others. So anything if it's changed in this regard if you...?

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [16]

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I think -- Giora would you like to handle this question?

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Giora Almogy, OPC Energy Ltd. - CEO [17]

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Yes. On that I would try to say a couple of more words. When you come to a partnership it has benefit and it does have disadvantages. Of course, that you lose the fact that you were completely independent, we can offer the sole service from end to end to your customers, and there's a true flexibility. But you have also significant disadvantages, which you are allowing all your partners for a much, much bigger partnership. So when you consider the risks and the benefits and the disadvantages, it's a positive -- we believe it's a positive to very -- it's a very positive step to ZIM that they were trying to make for a very long time. Now, with that said, to remind you we are a minority shareholder in ZIM. We don't have the control over the company, and we're trying, obviously, to assist during the board -- in the board and as you before mentioned to consider with the company to think of what could be strategic alternatives. But this is our role within ZIM. So if you have some more specific questions on the benefits and the disadvantages from the road, I suggest you go and approach the management of ZIM. But from our perspective, this was a very positive move and it's beneficial for ZIM.

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Operator [18]

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(Operator Instructions) There are no further questions at this time. Mr. Rosen, would you like to make your concluding statement.

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [19]

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Thank you, operator. On behalf of the management of Kenon Holdings, I would like to thank you all for your continued interest in our company. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kenon's IR team, whose contact details are on the press releases. I thank you again, and farewell from me. Have a nice day.

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Operator [20]

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This concludes the Kenon Holdings Ltd. conference call. Thank you for your participation. You may go ahead and disconnect.