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Edited Transcript of KEN earnings conference call or presentation 17-Dec-19 2:00pm GMT

Q3 2019 Kenon Holdings Ltd Earnings Call

Jan 8, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Kenon Holdings Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, December 17, 2019 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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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 2019 results of Kenon. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

Kenon published its press release with Q3 results earlier today. The press release as well as summary financial information of Kenon and OPC have been publicly submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 6-K. These documents could 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 question-and-answer session, followed by a concluding statement by Rob.

Before we start, I would 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 Q3 2019 results release. These statements are only estimates or plans, and there is no guarantee that 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 those risk factors and uncertainties as implied in the Q3 release and the Risk Factors section of 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. For the definition of such terms and a 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's website as well as Kenon's website.

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

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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 2019 results.

Starting with Qoros, earlier this year, we announced an agreement to sell 12% of our remaining stake in Qoros to a majority shareholder of Qoros for approximately $227 million. We are pleased to update that Kenon and the Baoneng group have recently obtained material government approvals and third-party consents for the sale. We have also agreed a deadline for payment of the purchase price and closing until no later than the end of Q1 2020, and this agreement includes additional provisions to help secure their performance, including a guarantee by another company within the Baoneng group and a deposit of RMB 500 million or approximately USD 71 million by an associate of the purchaser into a segregated bank account.

In terms of operational results, Qoros sold approximately 11,300 cars in the third quarter, primarily reflecting orders from a leasing company introduced by Qoros' majority shareholder.

Moving forward to Kenon. Last month, we distributed a $65 million dividend or $1.21 per share to our shareholders, reflecting our continuous commitment to unlock value for our shareholders. This distribution follows $38 million of proceeds received from OPC's dividend distribution and $30 million in proceeds received from a successful commercial arbitration.

I would now like to hand the call over to Giora to discuss the business development and 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. In terms of business development in OPC, the OPC-Hadera is in the process of commissioning a 148-megawatt co-generation power plant in Israel. The total cost of completing this Hadera plant is expected to be approximately ILS 1 billion, which is approximately $286 million. As of September 30, 2019, OPC-Hadera had invested an aggregate of ILS 853 million, which are approximately $244 million. We expect to reach commercial operation in the first quarter of 2020. On Tzomet project, OPC is developing an open cycle natural gas-fired power station with capacity of approximately 396 megawatts in Israel. We are progressing with development of the Tzomet project. In September, we received the results of a connection study performed by Israel Electric. Earlier this week, we announced signature of project finance agreement for Tzomet with a consortium of financing institutions led by Bank Hapoalim to an overall amount of ILS 1.37 billion. We expect to reach financial closing by the end of this year.

In terms of financial results, OPC's revenues for the third quarter 2019 were $102 million as compared to $94 million in the third quarter 2018, mainly due to an increase in electricity tariffs at the beginning of the year and an increase of the -- in electricity consumption by OPC's customers. OPC's EBITDA in the third quarter was $33 million as compared to $29 million in the third quarter of 2018. OPC's net profit for the third quarter was $14 million as compared to $11 million in the third quarter of 2018. OPC net profit attributable to its equity holders in the third quarter was $10 million as compared to $9 million in the third quarter of last year. Please note that OPC's results as published in Israel shekels by OPC are slightly different from those published by Kenon in U.S. dollars as they don't include the impact of the exchange rate fluctuations on the translation of the results from shekels to U.S. dollars.

That ends my summary. I will now hand over to Mark, Kenon's CFO, for the financial summary. Mark, please go ahead.

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

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

In Q3 2019, Kenon made a profit of $35 million, and you can find additional details in our 6-K, which was filed earlier today. In terms of liquidity and capital resources, following Kenon's balance of the $65 million dividend, cash of approximately $26 million and Kenon does not have any material difference. Finally, as a reminder, Kenon is the beneficiary of a full year deferred payment agreement, reflecting deferred consideration from the sale of its Inkia power businesses in 2017. Announced under this agreement accrue interest at a rate of 8% per annum. And as of September 30, 2019, the accrued amount was $201 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 [Yair Drori] of [Ocean].

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Unidentified Analyst, [2]

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You note in the reports that you expect the closing of Qoros sales in the first quarter of 2020. My question is, do you see any obstacles that can delay this closing?

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

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Thank you for your question. Look, at this stage, there is nothing specific that we foresee. But again, we don't have complete visibility all the time when it comes to a third-party obligations to us. What we've done of Qoros is put in measures to help secure obligations. And as we rolled in the stay in the event that we did not pay. The aggregated account is required to be topped up to the full amount of the purchase price. So we've done what we could at this stage to -- we hope that this is sufficient.

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Operator [4]

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(Operator Instructions) The next question is from (inaudible)

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Unidentified Analyst, [5]

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I would like to congratulate you for the great results. Regarding your holdings in OPC and your -- following past comments on your holdings, do you plan to diversify your holdings in OPC in the future, near future?

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Robert L. Rosen, Kenon Holdings Ltd. - CEO [6]

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Thank you for your comments and your congratulations. Look, as Kenon shareholders are well aware at this stage, our strategy is to realize the value of our businesses for our shareholders. And in each case, one we believe it is in the best interest of our shareholders for us to do so. And there are several ways for this to be achieved. In June and August 2019, for example, OPC raised ILS 275 million by issuing new shares. Kenon did not directly participate in the issuance, but our stake was reduced to 70%, and we have distributed a dividend this quarter, which partially included proceedings from the OPC dividend.

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Unidentified Analyst, [7]

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Yes. But your current position in OPC as of today, it's not going to be changed as you stated like 2 or 3 years ago when you split off the Israel company?

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

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Yes, again, I think our strategy on this has been consistent. We are trying to assess the best time to achieve value, the best way to achieve value for our shareholders. So today, is there a sale immediately? No.

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Unidentified Analyst, [9]

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No. I'm not talking about the...

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

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You're talking about to diversify.

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Unidentified Analyst, [11]

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Yes, yes, but it's not supposed to be sale. It could be, for example, like a dividend. Your OPC holding, for example.

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

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Oh, no, no. I understand. So in terms of distribution or whatnot. Again, today, we continue to assess our options. And when we have a plan, we'll disclose it to the market. But today, I would not say we have anything to tell the market.

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Operator [13]

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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 [14]

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Thank you, operator. On behalf of the management of Kenon Holdings, I'd like to personally thank you for your interest in our company. And if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Kenon's Investor Relations team whose contact details are on the press release. Thank you again, and farewell for me. Have a nice day.

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Operator [15]

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