- 9M September 2021 – Significant improvement vs 2020 as recovery continues
EBITDA was €1,346 million up to September 2021, a 48% increase on the same period of 2020 (€910 million), boosted by higher crude prices and increased production in Upstream, improved margins and higher production in Refining plus a sustained strong performance in both Commercial and Chemicals.
Cepsa continues to advance in its holistic Multi-year Efficiency Program (MEP), a 3-year plan aimed at improving Gross Margin and capturing sustainable operating costs savings. As of September 2021, €295 million of EBITDA improvement has already been delivered, in addition to the €73 million achieved in 2020 as part of the Contingency Plan.
Results by Business Unit:
In Upstream, Cepsa reported a significant improvement in results, with EBITDA at €615 million for the nine months ending September 2021, up 83% vs the same period of 2020. The improved YoY performance was mainly due to higher crude prices (+66%), lower production costs, with Opex (as measured in $/bbl) decreasing 11% YoY, and a slight increase in production (+1%).
In Refining, despite margins strongly impacted by the increase in energy costs, increased production at refineries and successful implementation of cost efficiency measures translated into an EBITDA of €117 million for the nine months ended September 2021 vs €34 million in the same period of 2020 (+240%).
Despite sales volumes around 15% below pre-pandemic levels, Commercial EBITDA continued to improve to €345 million in the nine months ended September 2021. This is a 12% increase compared to the same period of 2020 due to a sustained margin performance and rigorous cost efficiency focus.
Chemicals continued to deliver very solid results with EBITDA of €355 million for the nine months ended September 2021 which is a 35% increase compared to the same period of 2020 (and +91% vs the same period of 2019). The improvement was mainly driven by the positive impact of an enhanced commercial strategy, plus a sustained trend of record operational performance since 2019. During the quarter, Cepsa’s Chemicals business achieved a significant milestone with the production of the first volumes of LAB from vegetable oils.
Cepsa continued to optimize capex, with investments for the nine months ended September 2021 of €310 million, compared to €464 million during the same period of 2020.
Free cash flow before working capital up to September showed a significant improvement, from €55 million in 2020 to €918 million in 2021, mainly due to improved results.
CEO appointmentOn October 15th, Cepsa announced the appointment of Maarten Wetselaar as CEO of the company, effective 1st January 2022. Current CEO Philippe Boisseau will remain with the Company after his handover, as an advisor to Maarten and the Board.