LyondellBasell Industries NV ( LYB)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 28, 2011 11:00 AM ET

Executives

Douglas Pike – Director, IR

James Gallogly – Chairman and CEO

Clifford Potter – Principal Finance Officer

Analysts

Don Carson – Susquehanna Financial

Hassan Ahmed – Alembic Global

Duffy Fischer – Barclays Capital

Bob Koort – Goldman Sachs

Laurence Alexander – Jefferies

Kevin McCarthy – Bank of America

Jeffrey Zekauskas – JP Morgan

PJ Juvekar – Citi

Bill Hoffman – RBC

Hamed Khorsand – BWS Financial

Frank Mitsch – Wells Fargo

Bill Young – ChemSpeak

Gregg Goodnight – UBS

Presentation

Operator

Hello, and welcome to the LyondellBasell teleconference. At the request of LyondellBasell, this conference is being recorded for instant replay purposes. (Operator Instructions) I’d now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Doug Pike, Vice President, Investor Relations. Sir, you may begin.

Douglas Pike

Thank you, Dorian. Hello and welcome to LyondellBasell’s Third Quarter 2011 Teleconference. And I’m joined today by Jim Gallogly, our CEO; Kent Potter, our Principal Financial Officer; Karyn Ovelmen, our new CFO; and Sergey Vasnetsov, our Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning & Transactions.

Before we begin the discussion I’d like to point out that a slide presentation accompanies today’s call and is available on our Web site at www.lyondellbasell.com. I’d also like for you to note that statements made in this call relating to matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. And these forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those forward-looking statements.

For more detailed information about the factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially, please refer to the cautionary statements in the presentation slides and our financial reports, which are available at www.lyondellbasell.com/investorrelations. And reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures, together with any other applicable disclosures including the earnings release, are currently available on the Web site, www.lyondellbasell.com.

Now finally I’d like to point out that a recording of this call will be available by telephone beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time today until 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 28 by calling 800-789-9018 in the United States and 203-369-3337 outside of the United States. The passcode for both numbers is 6798.

During today’s call we’ll focus on third quarter 2011 performance, the current environment and the near-term outlook. That being said, I’d like to turn the call over to Jim.

James Gallogly

Well thank you for joining our earnings call. As Doug mentioned, a set of presentation slides accompany this call and are available on our Web site.

Before I discuss results I’d like to thank Kent for coming out of retirement to work with me again and help build the new LyondellBasell. Kent, we’re sorry to see you leave. We wish you the best in your second retirement.

We’re also excited to have Karyn join our team. Her skills and background will serve the company and our investors well. Karyn is already actively engaged in her new role.

Let’s take a look at Page 4 and review a few financial highlights of what has been our best quarter ever. Net income was $895 million and EBITDA exceeded $1.7 billion. This brings our year-to-date EBITDA to $4.7 billion and earnings per share to $4.12. During the quarter we had a few items that on a net basis negatively impacted EBITDA by $14 million and EPS by $0.02 per share.

All of our business segments continued to perform well during the quarter and our plants operated well. Perhaps the best example of this was the Houston refinery which operated at designed through-put, benefited from smart crude buying and generated record profits. During the quarter the only significant plant reliability impact on earnings was approximately $20 million from the residual impacts of the second quarter Morris plant power supply outage.

Reliable operations typically go hand-in-hand with excellent safety performance and strict cost control. The third quarter was no exception. You can see on Page 5 that our safety performance has surpassed prior year results and is near the top of our industry. As you know, we carefully track our fixed cost spending. Through three quarters, after adjusting for foreign exchange impacts, our costs continued to trend in-line with prior year spending at approximately $3.6 billion. Strict cost management remains an integral part of our strategy (audio gap) summary a quarter and year-to-date we’ve continued to (audio gap) financial and operating record. Help based and uncertainty in the global economy, I’m very confident that we have positioned ourselves to excel in any environment.

Let me now turn the call over to Kent to discuss our financial performance.

Clifford Potter

Thanks, Jim. And thank you all for joining us this morning. Before I discuss the quarter, I’d like to spend a few minutes on our recent financing announcement and my own retirement.

Regarding the financing, we reached a point when we felt that the timing was right to address the capital structure. You will note in the slide package, by the end of the third quarter our cash position had grown to almost $6 billion and we finished the quarter with no net debt. After deliberating for months, and consulting with many others, we arrived at a plan that I believe is quite balances and achieves our goals. Rather than reviewing all the details of the plan, I will refer you to the press release and the 8-K that we issued last week.

It simply stated, and assuming that we proceed with all aspects of the program, we will reduce our debt and associated interest costs, relieve many of the constraints created by the covenants in our existing bonds, will release the security on the bonds, will issue a new unsecured bond, increase our pension funding and return cash to our shareholders through an increased regular dividend and a special dividend.

This positions our capital structure very conservatively with attributes consistent with an investment-grade rating. This was one of my principal goals as the CFO of LyondellBasell, as I firmly believe that a solid balance sheet is a requirement for the company to become the top competitor in our industry.

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