Methanex Reports First Quarter 2020 Results and Provides Business Update

  • Records net income attributable to Methanex shareholders of $23 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $138 million
  • Global methanol demand declined by 7% in the first quarter due to COVID-19 pandemic and sharply lower oil price environment
  • Safely maintained plant operations and global supply chain to provide secure and reliable methanol supply to customers
  • Strong liquidity position with $823 million in cash on balance sheet
  • Taking proactive steps to further strengthen balance sheet and preserve liquidity

Except where otherwise noted, all currency amounts are stated in United States dollars.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first quarter of 2020, Methanex (TSX:MX) (NASDAQ:MEOH) reported net income attributable to Methanex shareholders of $23 million ($0.21 net income per common share on a diluted basis) compared to net income of $9 million ($0.12 net income per common share on a diluted basis) in the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2020 was $138 million and Adjusted net income was $8 million ($0.10 Adjusted net income per common share). This compares with Adjusted EBITDA of $136 million and Adjusted net income of $10 million ($0.13 Adjusted net income per common share) for the fourth quarter of 2019.

First Quarter Results
In the first quarter of 2020, we estimate that global methanol demand declined by approximately 7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. The decline was due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic combined with a sharply lower oil price environment.

The Adjusted EBITDA we recorded in the first quarter of 2020 was similar to the fourth quarter of 2019 and reflects a higher average realized price, partially offset by slightly lower sales volume of Methanex-produced methanol. In addition, the Company's fourth quarter 2019 Adjusted EBITDA results benefited from a $25 million insurance recovery, reflecting our 50% share in the Egypt facility, associated with the production outage experienced in Egypt in 2019. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2020 includes an additional $5 million insurance recovery for the final settlement, reflecting our 50% share in the Egypt facility.

Business Update
John Floren, President and CEO of Methanex, commented, “We are navigating extraordinary times as the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented turmoil and uncertainty in people’s lives and in the global economy. Our number one priority is the safety of our employees, contractors and communities where we do business. Fortunately, our team is safe and healthy.”

“Our manufacturing operations have not been impacted by local government restrictions and we are able to operate in all of our plant locations. We have moved to minimum staffing levels at our manufacturing sites and the majority of our employees are working remotely. Our operations and global supply chain are running effectively and have not been significantly impacted by COVID-19."

"I want to thank our team members around the world for their tremendous dedication and agility. I am incredibly proud of our team who are safely producing methanol, with a limited number of people on site, and managing our global supply chain to deliver secure and reliable supply to our customers, mostly working remotely.”

Given the considerable uncertainty we face, we are planning for a wide range of scenarios, including ones in which we see a deeper and more prolonged reduction in methanol demand and low prices, while positioning ourselves to deliver long-term value when global markets recover.

We have taken a number of steps to protect our business in this environment:

  • Idled our Titan plant in Trinidad and Chile IV plant to respond to lower methanol demand;
  • Deferred approximately $500 million in capital spending on the Geismar 3 project for up to 18 months;
  • Reduced 2020 maintenance capital spending by $30 million;
  • Increased financial flexibility through a $436 million draw on our credit facilities; and
  • Reduced our quarterly dividend by 90%, which represents approximately $100 million in annualized cash savings.

In addition, we are working with our banking partners to obtain flexibility on certain financial covenants of our existing $300 million committed revolving credit facility and $800 million non-revolving construction facility. We have agreed on key parameters with our lead bank and are working with the other members of the bank syndicate to finalize these changes to the credit facilities, which is expected in the second half of May.

We ended the quarter with a strong liquidity position of $823 million in cash on the balance sheet. We have no near-term debt maturities. As we navigate this challenging environment, we are focused on cash preservation and continue to evaluate all capital and operating spending.

Outlook
We expect methanol demand to be lower in the second quarter compared to the first quarter due to the impact of COVID-19 and a low oil price environment. It is not possible to accurately predict the degree of the impact at this stage as the full extent and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil price environment is uncertain.

Mr. Floren, President and CEO of Methanex, concluded, “We anticipate that the coming months will be challenging and expect the negative impact of COVID-19 and low oil prices will be significant in the second quarter of 2020. As a result, we expect our financial results in the second quarter will be lower than the first quarter. We remain focused on operating our plants safely and reliably, delivering secure and reliable supply to our customers and protecting our balance sheet during this very uncertain time.”

FURTHER INFORMATION
The information set forth in this news release summarizes Methanex's key financial and operational data for the first quarter of 2020. It is not a complete source of information for readers and is not in any way a substitute for reading the first quarter 2020 Management’s Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") dated May 5, 2020 and the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the period ended March 31, 2020, both of which are available from the Investor Relations section of our website at www.methanex.com. The MD&A and the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the period ended March 31, 2020 are also available on the Canadian Securities Administrators' SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR website at www.sec.gov.

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL DATA

  Three Months Ended
($ millions except per share amounts and where noted) Mar 31
 2020
  Dec 31
 2019
  Mar 31
 2019
 
Production (thousands of tonnes) (attributable to Methanex shareholders) 2,007   2,124   1,808  
Sales volume (thousands of tonnes)      
Methanex-produced methanol 1,976   2,056   1,921  
Purchased methanol 548   623   473  
Commission sales 264   307   329  
Total sales volume 1 2,788   2,986   2,723  
       
Methanex average non-discounted posted price ($ per tonne) 2 325   307   392  
Average realized price ($ per tonne) 3 267   256   331  
       
Revenue 4 745   770   902  
Adjusted revenue 676   690   800  
Adjusted EBITDA 138   136   194  
Cash flows from operating activities 142   114   213  
Adjusted net income 8   10   56  
Net income (attributable to Methanex shareholders) 23   9   38  
       
Adjusted net income per common share 0.10   0.13   0.73  
Basic net income per common share 0.30   0.12   0.50  
Diluted net income per common share 0.21   0.12   0.50  
       
Common share information (millions of shares)      
Weighted average number of common shares 76   76   77  
Diluted weighted average number of common shares 76   76   77  
Number of common shares outstanding, end of period 76   76   77  

1   Methanex-produced methanol represents our equity share of volume produced at our facilities and excludes volume marketed on a commission basis related to the 36.9% of the Atlas facility and 50% of the Egypt facility that we do not own.
     
2   Methanex average non-discounted posted price represents the average of our non-discounted posted prices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific weighted by sales volume. Current and historical pricing information is available at www.methanex.com.
     
3   Average realized price is calculated as revenue, excluding commissions earned and the Egypt non-controlling interest share of revenue, but including an amount representing our share of Atlas revenue, divided by the total sales volume of Methanex-produced and purchased methanol.
     
4   Revenue for the three months ended December 31, 2019 and March 31, 2019 have been restated as compared to revenue reported in our quarterly MD&A and condensed quarterly financial statements issued for 2019 based on a restatement for the recognition of revenue on Atlas-produced methanol.
     

A reconciliation from net income attributable to Methanex shareholders to Adjusted net income and the calculation of Adjusted net income per common share is as follows:

  Three Months Ended
($ millions except number of shares and per share amounts) Mar 31
 2020

  Dec 31
 2019
  Mar 31
 2019
 
Net income (attributable to Methanex shareholders) $ 23   $ 9   $ 38  
Mark-to-market impact of share-based compensation, net of tax (15 ) 1   18  
Adjusted net income $ 8   $ 10   $ 56  
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding (millions) 76   76   77  
Adjusted net income per common share $ 0.10   $ 0.13   $ 0.73  
  • We recorded net income attributable to Methanex shareholders of $23 million during the first quarter of 2020 compared to net income of $9 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Net income attributable to Methanex shareholders for the first quarter of 2020 includes a final insurance recovery of $4 million (Methanex share, net of tax) in addition to the $18 million (Methanex share, net of tax) recorded in the fourth quarter related to the 2019 Egypt outage. Excluding insurance recoveries, net income attributable to Methanex shareholders increased for the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 due to the change relating to mark-to-market share-based compensation, higher average realized methanol prices, partially offset by lower sales of Methanex-produced methanol.
  • We recorded Adjusted EBITDA of $138 million for the first quarter of 2020 compared with $136 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2020 includes a final insurance recovery of $5 million (Methanex share) in addition to the $25 million (Methanex share) recorded in the fourth quarter related to the 2019 Egypt outage. Excluding insurance recoveries, Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2020 is higher than the fourth quarter of 2019 primarily due to a higher average realized methanol price, partially offset by lower sales of Methanex-produced methanol.
  • Adjusted net income was $8 million for the first quarter of 2020 compared to Adjusted net income of $10 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted net income includes a final insurance recovery of $4 million (Methanex share, net of tax) in the first quarter of 2020 adding to the $18 million (Methanex share, net of tax) recorded in the fourth quarter related to the 2019 Egypt outage. Excluding insurance recoveries, Adjusted net income for the first quarter of 2020 is higher than the fourth quarter of 2019 primarily due to a higher average realized price, partially offset by lower sales of Methanex-produced methanol.
  • Total sales volume for the first quarter of 2020 was 2,788,000 tonnes compared with 2,986,000 tonnes for the fourth quarter of 2019. Sales of Methanex-produced methanol were 1,976,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2020 compared with 2,056,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2019. In the first quarter of 2020 total sales decreased by approximately 7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, in-line with the decrease in methanol industry demand, primarily attributable to the impact of COVID-19 and sharply lower oil price environment.
  • Production for the first quarter of 2020 was 2,007,000 tonnes compared with 2,124,000 tonnes for the fourth quarter of 2019. The decrease in production for the first quarter of 2020 was primarily a result of a small number of plant outages, partially offset by increased production at Geismar.
  • In March 2020, we drew $300 million from our revolving credit facility and $136 million from our $800 million construction credit facility for the Geismar 3 project to increase our cash position and preserve financial flexibility. We ended the quarter with $823 million of cash on the balance sheet.
  • During the first quarter of 2020 we paid a $0.36 per common share quarterly dividend to shareholders for a total of $27 million.

PRODUCTION HIGHLIGHTS

  Q1 2020 Q4 2019   Q1 2019  
(thousands of tonnes) Operating Capacity 1   Production   Production   Production  
New Zealand 2 550   443   513   437  
USA (Geismar) 500   530   480   405  
Trinidad (Methanex interest) 3 500   429   456   429  
Chile 430   319   373   241  
Egypt (50% interest) 158   133   151   141  
Canada (Medicine Hat) 150   153   151   155  
  2,288   2,007   2,124   1,808  

1   Operating capacity includes only those facilities which are currently capable of operating, but excludes any portion of an asset that is underutilized due to a lack of natural gas feedstock over a prolonged period of time. The operating capacity of our production facilities may be higher than original nameplate capacity as, over time, these figures have been adjusted to reflect ongoing operating efficiencies at these facilities. Actual production for a facility in any given year may be higher or lower than operating capacity due to a number of factors, including natural gas composition or the age of the facility's catalyst.
     
2   The operating capacity of New Zealand is made up of the two Motunui facilities and the Waitara Valley facility. The New Zealand facilities are capable of producing up to 2.4 million tonnes annually, depending on natural gas composition and availability. In Q4 2019 we revised the Annual Operating Capacity from 2.4 million tonnes to 2.2 million tonnes based on the current outlook for available high CO2 natural gas.
     
3   The operating capacity of Trinidad is made up of the Titan (100% interest) and Atlas (63.1% interest) facilities.
     

Key production and operational highlights during the first quarter include:

  • New Zealand produced 443,000 tonnes compared with 513,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2019. Production was lower in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 due to upstream gas maintenance resulting in lower gas deliveries to the plants and the Waitara Valley plant being offline for repairs until early February 2020. Based on our current contracted gas position, our production guidance for New Zealand is approximately 85% operating rates in 2020, or approximately 1.9 million tonnes annually.
  • Geismar produced 530,000 tonnes during the first quarter of 2020 compared to 480,000 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2019. We achieved higher production in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 as both plants operated well throughout the quarter, whereas in the fourth quarter of 2019 Geismar 2 experienced unplanned outages which decreased production.
  • Trinidad produced 429,000 tonnes (Methanex interest) compared with 456,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2019. Production in Trinidad is lower in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 primarily due to the Titan plant being idled effective March 16, 2020. As of today, Titan remains idled and we anticipate lower production in Trinidad for the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2020 with only Atlas operating. Titan's interim gas supply agreement with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited ("NGC") has expired and negotiations with the NGC for a longer-term natural gas supply agreement are continuing.
  • The Chile facilities produced 319,000 tonnes during the first quarter of 2020 compared to 373,000 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2019. Production for the first quarter of 2020 is lower compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 primarily due to a 45-day outage at the Chile IV plant during the quarter, while Chile I operated at high rates throughout the quarter. As of today, Chile IV remains idled and we anticipate lower production in Chile for the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2020 with only Chile I operating.
  • The Egypt facility produced 266,000 tonnes (Methanex interest - 133,000 tonnes) in the first quarter of 2020 compared with 302,000 tonnes (Methanex interest - 151,000 tonnes) in the fourth quarter of 2019. Egypt production was lower in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 due to a planned maintenance outage in February.
  • Medicine Hat produced 153,000 tonnes during the first quarter of 2020 compared to 151,000 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2019.

CONFERENCE CALL
A conference call is scheduled for May 6, 2020 at 11:00 am ET (8:00 am PT) to review these first quarter results. To access the call, dial the conferencing operator ten minutes prior to the start of the call at (416) 340-2216, or toll free at (800) 273-9672. A simultaneous audio-only webcast of the conference call can be accessed from our website at www.methanex.com and will also be available following the call. A playback version of the conference call will be available until May 22, 2020 at (905) 694-9451, or toll free at (800) 408-3053. The passcode for the playback version is 6730557#.

ABOUT METHANEX
Methanex is a Vancouver-based, publicly traded company and is the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol to major international markets. Methanex shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada under the trading symbol "MX" and on the NASDAQ Global Market in the United States under the trading symbol "MEOH".

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION WARNING
This first quarter 2020 press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to us and the chemical industry. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Company's control. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. Methanex does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law. Refer to Forward-Looking Information Warning in the first quarter 2020 Management's Discussion and Analysis for more information which is available from the Investor Relations section of our website at www.methanex.com, the Canadian Securities Administrators' SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR website at www.sec.gov.

NON-GAAP MEASURES
The Company has used the terms Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted net income (loss), Adjusted net income (loss) per common share, Adjusted revenue and operating income (loss) throughout this document. These items are non-GAAP measures that do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP. These measures represent the amounts that are attributable to Methanex Corporation shareholders and are calculated by excluding the mark-to-market impact of share-based compensation as a result of changes in our share price and the impact of certain items associated with specific identified events. Refer to Additional Information - Supplemental Non-GAAP Measures on page 15 of the Company's MD&A for the period ended March 31, 2020 for reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures. Unless otherwise indicated, the financial information presented in this release is prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB").

For further information, contact:

Kim Campbell
Director, Investor Relations
Methanex Corporation
604-661-2600