In a year marked by surmounting challenges, Braskem delivered solid results, with record-high net income attributable to all shareholders of R$4 billion. Consolidated EBITDA in the year was R$12.3 billion, advancing 7% on the prior year. In U.S. dollar, EBITDA set a new record of US$3.8 billion, 17% higher than in 2016.
"It was a year in which we demonstrated our resilience and capacity to surmount various scenarios to deliver strong results for all shareholders," commented Fernando Musa, Braskem CEO. "Our geographic diversification, more balanced feedstock profile and continuous search for operating efficiency gains has proven a winning strategy, with 2017 showing that we're on the right path," he added.
In 2017, Braskem once again delivered an excellent industrial performance, with several key products setting important new production records. The crackers in Brazil operated at a capacity utilization rate of 94%, up 2 percentage points from 2016, with record output of ethylene, butadiene and gasoline. Polyolefins production in Brazil, considering both polyethylene and polypropylene, also set a new record. In the United States and Europe, the capacity utilization rate stood at 97%. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the Industrial Complex completed one full calendar year in operation in 2017 with an average capacity utilization rate of 88%.
On the commercial front, Braskem's resin sales in the Brazilian market amounted to 3.5 million tons, growing 4% on 2016, supported by record-high polyethylene sales. Braskem's market share in the Brazilian market stood at 69% in 2017. In the U.S. and European markets, polypropylene sales reached 2.1 million tons, advancing 5% on 2016. In Mexico, polyethylene sales to the domestic market came to 551 kton, while exports amounted to 418 kton, for total sales of 969 kton, an increase of 124%.
In this scenario, consolidated net revenue was R$49.3 billion, growing 3% on 2016. Exports from Brazil and revenue from international units accounted for 47% of the total revenue. In U.S. dollar, Braskem's net revenue was US$15.4 billion, up 12%.
Investments and dividends
For 2018, Braskem plans to invest R$2.872 billion, with R$183 million allocated to operating investments at the units in the United States and Europe and R$1.804 billion to investments in maintenance, Health, Environment and Safety (HES), productivity and operating efficiency at the units in Brazil, which includes expenditures with the scheduled shutdown of one of the two main production lines at the cracker in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul.
The remainder will be allocated to other strategic projects. These include the project approved by the board of directors in June 2017 to build, by 2020, a new 450 kta polypropylene plant in Texas, which will be the Company's sixth polypropylene plant in the United States. By end-2017, Braskem already had invested US$172 million out of a total estimated investment in the plant of US$675 million. The funds were allocated to detailed engineering (67% completed) and equipment acquisitions (43% completed).
On April 30, the Annual Shareholders Meeting (ASM) of Braskem will consider the proposal for the additional distribution of R$1.5 billion in dividends related to fiscal year 2017, during which R$1 billion in dividends were prepaid. The amount is in line with the Company's historical payout ratio.
With a global, human-oriented vision of the future, Braskem's 8,000 members strive to improve people's lives by creating sustainable solutions in chemistry and plastics. It is the largest resin producer in the Americas, with an annual output of 20 million metric tons, including basic chemicals and petrochemicals, and R$55 billion in revenue in 2016. It exports to Customers in approximately 100 countries and operates 41 industrial units, located in Brazil, the United States, Germany, and Mexico - the latter in partnership with Mexico-based company Idesa.
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