LyondellBasell's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 30, 2012 12:00 pm ET

Executives

Doug Pike - VP, IR

Jim Gallogly - CEO

Karyn Ovelmen - EVP & CFO

Sergey Vasnetsov - SVP, Strategic Planning and Transactions

Analysts

Duffy Fischer - Barclays Capital

Bob Koort - Goldman Sachs

P.J. Juvekar - Citi

Jeff Zekauskas - JPMC

Don Carson - Susquehanna Financial

Frank Mitch - Wells Fargo Securities

Mike Ritzenthaler - Piper Jaffray

Hassan Ahmed - Alembic Global

David Begleiter - Deutsche Bank

Rob Walker - Jefferies

Vincent Andrews - Morgan Stanley

Andy Cash - UBS

Gregg Goodnight - UBS Financial

Charles Neivert - Dahlman Rose

Kevin McCarthy - Bank of America-Merrill Lynch

Presentation

Operator

Hello, and welcome to the LyondellBasell Teleconference. At the request of LyondellBasell, this conference is being recorded for instant replay purposes. Following today's presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions).

I'd now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Doug Pike, Vice President, Investor Relations. Sir, you may begin.

Doug Pike

Thank you Debbie. Well hello and welcome to LyondellBasell's first quarter 2011 teleconference. I am joined today by Jim Gallogly our CEO; Karyn Ovelmen, our CFO; and Sergey Vasnetsov, our Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Transactions.

Before we begin the business discussion, I'd like to point out that a slide presentation accompanies today's call and is available on our website 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.

And actual results could differ materially from those forward-looking statements. And 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. A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures together with any other applicable disclosures, including the earnings release, are currently available on our website, lyondellbasell.com.

Finally, I'd like to point out that a recording of this call will be available by telephone beginning at 3 pm Eastern Time today until 11 pm Eastern Time on May 30, by calling 866-489-3828 in the United States and 203-369-1672 outside of the United States, and the passcode for both numbers is 2121. And during today's call, we'll focus on first 2012 performance, the current environment, and the near-term outlook.

With that being said, I'd like to turn the call over to Jim.

Jim Gallogly

Thank you for joining our earnings call. As Doug mentioned, a set of presentation slides accompany this call and are available on our website.

Let's begin by taking a look at page 4 and reviewing a few financial highlights. The first quarter reflects a strong rebound following the slow fourth quarter. Net income was $599 million and EBITDA was $1.24 billion. The recovery was led by improved margins in the O&P Americas and Refining and Oxyfuels segments, but all segments recorded gains. Earnings per share increased to $1. Karyn and I will discuss the quarter in detail, but I thought I would quickly summarize a few highlights and trends from the quarter.

In North America, we benefited from increased ethylene margins. European Polyolefins volumes returned to third-quarter levels following the fourth quarter slowdown. Intermediates & Derivatives results returned to a more difficult level following the completion of fourth-quarter maintenance. Refining spreads improve as the quarter progress while Oxyfuels margins were unseasonably strong throughout the quarter.

As a result of our 2011 performance we were honored by Hart Energy as the Refining and Energy Company of the Year. Operations at the Berre refinery were suspended on January 4 and the refinance the majority of the remaining balance on our 2017 and 2018 bonds at an average interest rate of 5.25%.

Overall it was a good quarter. Our personal safety performance was no exception.

On slide number five we have updated our safety data. I'm proud to say that we have started the year well. There were some minor injuries primarily related to Channelview turnaround work. For the first quarter statistics improved versus 2011, a tribute to both our employees and contractors. Our safety record is very near best in class. Now I would like to turn the call over to Karyn to discuss some key elements of our financial performance.

Karyn Ovelmen

Thanks Jim. Please turn to slide number six, which charts are first quarter and last 12 months segment EBITDA. The $1.24 billion of EBITDA reflects a strong beginning to 2012 particularly when one considers that the first quarter is typically a seasonally slow period. From a segment perspective, O&P Americas continue to be our strongest segment generating approximately $600 million of EBITDA. The majority of this was in Olefins where the benefits of ethane cracking were particularly strong. It is also important to note that these results were generated while we conducted significant maintenance at our Channelview site.

O&P EAI produced approximately $100 million of EBITDA consistent with past quarters that differentiated polyolefins products and our joint venture's performed well. The improvement versus the fourth quarter was driven by improved olefin and polyolefin volumes and margins.

Following the fourth quarter turnarounds, Intermediates & Derivatives segment results returned to strong historical levels with EBITDA of approximately $280 million. The Refining and Oxyfuels segment generated over a $190 million of EBITDA in what is historically a seasonally slow quarter. Oxyfuels results were particularly strong.

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