Tenaris Announces 2020 Fourth Quarter & Annual Results

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 2/24/2021, Location: Europe

Tenaris S.A. announced its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2020 with comparison to its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2019.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, our sales rose 12% sequentially driven by a gradual recovery in drilling activity in the Americas and a good mix of products sold in the Middle East. EBITDA, which included restructuring costs of $37 million and one-off gains of $17 million due to the reversal of a provision on a claim against the former IPSCO in Canada and the recovery of a tax credit in Brazil, rose 79% sequentially, reflecting a better industrial performance and the operating leverage of higher volumes on a lower fixed cost base after the restructuring measures implemented during the year. Net income benefited from a strong contribution from our investment in Ternium and a positive tax charge.

During the quarter, cash flow from operations amounted to $139 million, which included an increase in working capital of $38 million reflecting the recovery in activity. After capital expenditures of $38 million and dividend payments of $83 million, our net cash position remained stable at $1.1 billion.

Our sales and results in 2020 were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the measures taken around the world to contain it, the impact this had on global oil demand which caused a collapse in prices and rapid build up of excess inventories, and the consequent drop in investments in drilling activity by our oil and gas customers. While sales held up relatively well in the Eastern Hemisphere regions, they plunged, along with drilling activity, in the Americas, where, in Argentina for example, drilling activity was halted for a couple of months. Overall, sales declined 29% year on year and EBITDA, which included $142 million of restructuring charges fell 53% to $638 million, reflecting the lower absorption of fixed costs as well as lower sales, while we met our target for a reduction in our fixed cost structure of $230 million annualized by the end of the year.

For the year, we recorded a net loss attributable to owners of the parent company of $634 million, or ($1.07) per ADS. This included an impairment charge of $622 million on the carrying value of goodwill and other assets in the United States, mainly related to the former IPSCO business and our welded pipe operations.

Cash flow provided by operating activities amounted to $1.5 billion during 2020, as we exceeded our target for reductions in working capital. Capital expenditures were also reduced in line with our target to $193 million in 2020, compared to the $350 million invested in 2019. Free cash flow, which amounted to $1.3 billion (26% of revenues) in 2020, exceeded the $1.2 billion (16%) we generated in 2019.

Our financial position at December 31, 2020 amounted to a net cash position of $1.1 billion ($1.7 billion of liquid assets less $0.6 billion of debt), after having paid $1.0 billion for the acquisition of IPSCO in January 2020.

Climate Change
Our Board of Directors has approved a medium-term target to reduce the carbon emissions intensity rate of its operations by 2030 by 30%, compared to its level in 2018, considering scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. We aim to achieve this target by using a higher proportion of recycled steel scrap in the metallic mix, investments to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy for part of our energy requirements.

This target forms part of a broader long-term objective of reaching carbon neutrality. This will depend on the development of emerging technologies and market and regulatory conditions, including carbon pricing and customer support. To further this objective, we will actively pursue the development of technologies involving the use of hydrogen and carbon capture, with partners, including our affiliated company Tenova, and participate in pilot projects such as the one we recently announced to use hydrogen in our Dalmine steel shop in Italy.

To accelerate the fulfilment of these targets, we will implement the use of an internal carbon price at a minimum of $80/ton for evaluating investments and more generally in our operations.

The Board of Directors has nominated its Vice-Chairman, Germán Curá, to oversee the development and implementation of the Company’s strategy for climate change going forward.

Market Background and Outlook
With vaccination programs starting to be rolled out in many countries, economic activity is recovering in many sectors, though selected lockdowns are still being implemented to contain the spread of new and more infectious variants of the original COVID-19 strain. Global oil consumption is increasing along with industrial production and mobility, while OPEC+ countries continue to contain production levels and Saudi Arabia is implementing an additional production cut during February and March. Oil prices have returned to levels where selective investment activity could move forward and natural gas prices have also increased following temporary market shortages due to weather events and production outages.

Drilling activity in the US and Canada has risen over the past three months, as it has in Latin America, and may continue to rise further through the year. In the Eastern Hemisphere, drilling activity may be close to bottoming out but we do not expect any significant recovery this year.

In this still uncertain environment, we anticipate a gradual recovery in sales through most of the year. In the first quarter, however, our EBITDA will be impacted in around $20 million by additional costs and production losses in USA and Mexico associated to this month’s Texas gas and power shortages. After a first quarter EBITDA similar to that of the fourth quarter 2020, from the second quarter, EBITDA should increase with margins stabilizing around 20% as price increases compensate for higher raw material costs.

Annual Dividend Proposal
Upon approval of the Company's annual accounts in March 2021, the board of directors intends to propose, for approval of the annual general shareholders’ meeting to be held on May 3, 2021, the payment of dividends in an aggregate amount of approximately $248 million, which would include the interim dividend of approximately $83 million paid in November 2020. If the annual dividend is approved by the shareholders, a dividend of $0.14 per share ($0.28 per ADS), or approximately $165 million, will be paid on May 26, 2021, with an ex-dividend date on May 24, 2021 and record date on May 25, 2021.

Net sales of tubular products and services increased 11% sequentially and decreased 36% year on year. Volumes increased 9% sequentially while average selling prices increased 2%. In North America, sales increased sequentially 11% reflecting higher sales of OCTG products in the USA and Canada as drilling activity ramps up. In South America, sales increased 22% sequentially as drilling activity gradually recovers across the region. In Europe sales increased 8% mainly due to higher sales of mechanical pipes to the industrial sector. In the Middle East and Africa sales were up 12% sequentially, reflecting higher sales of OCTG in the Middle East. In Asia Pacific sales declined 9% sequentially due to lower sales of industrial and line pipe products.

Operating income from tubular products and services, amounted to $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to a loss of $66 million in the previous quarter and a gain of $138 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. During the quarter leaving indemnities in the Tubes segment amounted to $37 million, $9 million more than in the previous quarter. The improvement in our Tubes operating result reflects a better industrial performance and the operating leverage of higher volumes on a lower fixed cost base after the restructuring measures implemented during the year.

Net sales of other products and services increased 22% sequentially and declined 26% year on year. The sequential increase in sales is mainly due to the improvement in the sucker rods and coiled tubing businesses, mainly due to the recovery of drilling activity, in particular in the Americas.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, or SG&A, amounted to $242 million (21.4% of net sales), compared to $234 million (23.1%) in the previous quarter and $349 million (20.0%) in the fourth quarter of 2019. SG&A during the quarter included $16 million of leaving indemnities compared to $9 million in the previous quarter. Excluding leaving indemnities, SG&A remained relatively flat compared to the previous quarter in absolute terms but declined 220 basis points as a percentage of sales due to the increase in sales. Additionally, SG&A of the quarter, included a $9 million gain due to the reversal of a provision on a claim against the former IPSCO in Canada.

Other operating income (expense) amounted to a net gain of $14 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with a gain of $7 million in the previous quarter and a gain of $4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we recognized a gain of approximately $8 million for a favorable decision on a fiscal litigation in Brazil.

Financial results amounted to a loss of $14 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to a loss of $15 million in the previous quarter and a loss of $7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. The loss of the quarter corresponds mainly to a $13 million FX charge due to the Euro appreciation on Euro denominated intercompany liabilities at subsidiaries whose functional currency is the USD, largely compensated by changes to our currency translation adjustment reserve in equity.

Equity in earnings of non-consolidated companies generated a gain of $81 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $21 million in the previous quarter and $13 million in the same period of 2019. These positive results are mainly derived from our equity investment in Ternium and Usiminas.

Income tax was a gain of $35 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to a $28 million gain in the previous quarter and $10 million charge in the fourth quarter of 2019. Income tax continues to be affected by losses which generates tax credits and during the quarter was affected by the effect on the tax base of the revaluation of the Mexican Peso, Canadian Dollar and Colombian Peso, partially offset by the Argentine Peso devaluation.

Cash Flow and Liquidity of 2020 Fourth Quarter
Net cash provided by operations during the fourth quarter of 2020 was $139 million, compared with $417 million in the previous quarter and $264 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. With the recovery in activity our working capital increased by $38 million during the fourth quarter of 2020 mainly due to higher receivables and inventories partially offset by higher accounts payables.

Capital expenditures amounted to $38 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $42 million in the previous quarter and $80 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Free cash flow amounted to $101 million during the quarter, compared to $376 million in the previous quarter and $184 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. After paying an $83 million dividend during the quarter, at December 31, 2020 our net cash position amounted to $1.1 billion, similar to the end of the previous quarter.

Net sales of tubular products and services decreased 29% to $4,844 million in 2020, compared to $6,870 million in 2019, reflecting a 27% decline in volumes and a 4% decrease in average selling prices. In North America, we had lower volumes and prices across the region where activity was severely affected by the downturn in oil prices and the pandemic. In South America we also had lower volumes and prices across the region where activity was severely affected by the downturn in oil prices and the pandemic, except in Brazil where offshore drilling activity continued. In Europe, while sales of OCTG in the North Sea and line pipe for downstream processing remained stable, sales of mechanical and other products declined. In the Middle East & Africa, while sales in Saudi Arabia declined, they were compensated by higher OCTG sales in the rest of the Middle East. Line pipe for deepwater product in West Africa and downstream projects through the region declined. In Asia Pacific, our sales declined mainly driven by lower sales in Thailand.

Operating results from tubular products and services, amounted to a loss of $616 million in 2020, compared to a gain of $755 million in 2019. In addition to the decline in sales following the drop in drilling activity, our results were negatively impacted by lower absorption of fixed costs and the inefficiencies related to the low level of capacity utilization since March 2020. Additionally, Tubes operating income was affected by $139 million of severance charges, by an impairment charge of $582 million, reflecting the difficult business conditions generated by COVID-19 pandemic, with the collapse in oil demand and prices and the impact on drilling activity and on the demand for steel pipe products and by $138 million higher depreciation and amortization charge mainly related to the incorporation of the IPSCO facilities and the accelerated depreciation of the Prudential facility after the decision to close it and consolidate our Canadian pipe manufacturing operations at our facility in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Net sales of other products and services declined 29% from $424 million in 2019 to $303 million in 2020, mainly due to lower sales of energy related products, i.e., sucker rods and coiled tubing.

Operating results from other products and services, amounted to a loss of $47 million in 2020, compared to a gain of $77 million in 2019. Others segment in 2020 includes impairment charges for $40 million, as well as charges for leaving indemnities amounting to $4 million. Additionally, results in 2020 were negatively impacted by lower absorption of fixed costs and the inefficiencies related to the low level of capacity utilization since March 2020.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, or SG&A, amounted to $1,119 million (21.7% of net sales), compared to $1,366 million (18.7%) in 2019. SG&A during 2020 included $61 million of leaving indemnities. The $247 million reduction in SG&A was mainly due to lower selling expenses and fixed costs, net of higher depreciation and amortization related mainly to the incorporation of IPSCO.

Financial results amounted to a loss of $65 million in 2020, compared to a gain of $19 million in 2019. The loss in 2020 corresponds to a net finance cost of $9 million, reflecting a lower net cash position and lower yields on the position and $55 million FX loss net of derivative results, mainly due to a 9% Euro appreciation on Euro denominated intercompany liabilities at subsidiaries whose functional currency is the U.S. dollar and a 29% Brazilian Real depreciation on USD denominated intercompany liabilities at subsidiaries in Brazil whose functional currency is the Brazilian Real, both results are to a large extent offset by changes to our currency translation reserve.

Equity in earnings of non-consolidated companies generated a gain of $109 million in 2020, compared to $82 million in 2019. These results were mainly derived from our equity investment in Ternium, Techgen and Usiminas.

Income tax charge amounted to $23 million in 2020, compared to $202 million in 2019. The lower charge in 2020 is explained by deferred tax gains arising from losses since the COVID-19 outbreak around March 2020.

Net results for continuing operations amounted to a loss of $642 million in 2020, compared with a gain of $731 million in 2019. The lower results reflect a worse operating environment, include impairment and severance charges, worse financial results, partially compensated by a higher contribution from our non-consolidated investments, mainly Ternium and lower taxes.

Cash Flow and Liquidity of 2020
Cash flow provided by operating activities amounted to $1.5 billion during 2020, similar to 2019 as the lower contribution from operating results was compensated by a higher contribution from the reduction in working capital which amounted to $1.1 billion in 2020.

Capital expenditures amounted to $193 million in 2020, a reduction of $157 million compared to the $350 million invested in 2019.

Free cash flow amounted to $1.3 billion (26% of revenues) in 2020, compared to $1.2 billion (16%) in 2019.

Our financial position at December 31, 2020 amounted to a net cash position of $1.1 billion ($1.7 billion of liquid assets less $0.6 billion of debt), after having paid $1.0 billion for the acquisition of IPSCO in January 2020.


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