IC Market Espresso 31 May 2021

Luka Koper Publishes Q1 2021 Results

Luka Koper published their Q1 2021 results last week, showing a sales increase of 4% YoY, EBITDA increase of 10% YoY and a net profit of EUR 8.6m (+15% YoY).

In Q1 2021 Luka Koper recorded sales in the amount of EUR 57.5m which represents a 4.1% YoY increase. Of that, sales from market activities were up 5% YoY, while revenue from the performance of the public utility service of regular maintenance of the port’s infrastructure were down -15% YoY.

Maritime throughput in tons per cargo groups in Q1 2020 and Q1 2021

Throughput wise, Luka Koper achieved higher throughput in two strategic cargo types, containers and cars. Note that the increase came despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and that Luka Kope even set a new monthly record in container throughput during March, when 97,101 TEU container units were transhipped. Compared to the previous year, the throughput of liquid cargo decreased, mainly due to the cessation of airport passenger traffic and lower transhipment of petroleum products due to the effects of the covid-19 epidemic, and the transhipment of thermal coal, the consumption of which is declining in accordance with European legislation provides for complete decarburization.

Throughput of containers (number containers and TEU) and cars (in units) in Q1 2020 and Q1 2021

EBITDA amounted to EUR 17.1m, representing a 10.2% YoY increase. The growth can be attributed to higher sales. Meanwhile the costs of material (-18.4%) and other operating expense (-18.5%) decreased, whilst the costs of services (+7.6%) and labour costs (+2.2%) increased. Note that labour costs increased due to higher payment for job performance and due to a 0.3% adjustment of wages to inflation from August 2020 onwards.

Finally, net profit amounted to EUR 8.6m, representing a 15.3% YoY increase.

CAPEX amounted to EUR 18.1m, representing a 68% YoY increase and wase used to complete the construction of the parking garage for cars and the construction of the additional entrance to the Port. Mentioned investments were also used of the continued extension of the Pier I and the construction of a new petrol station for the needs of the port.

Luka Koper Key Financials (EUR)

Croatia’s Q1 2020 GDP Decreased by 0.9% YoY

On Friday, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics published its first estimate on GDP for Q1 2021 showing that in real terms it decreased by 0.9% YoY (seasonally adjusted data). The slowdown in GDP drop in the first quarter of 2021 is a result of continuation of recovery of consumer consumption as decrease of households expenditure slowed-down to -0.4% YoY. Increase in exports of goods continued from a previous quarter, showing that demand for locally produced goods continued.

According to the first estimates of Croatian Bureau of Statistic, Croatian economy contracted by 0.9% YoY in Q1 2021 on a comparison with same quarter of previous year and in relative terms this is the lowest quarterly YoY decrease since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Seasonally adjusted data showed an expansion by 5.8% compared to the previous quarter.

Final consumption, the main contributor to GDP, was down only 0.3% in Q1 as we are comparing it to Q1 2020 when pandemic has not yet started yet. Consumer consumption started to recover gradually despite lock-down in the ‘light’ format that was on again from November. Travel bans continued, so tourism activity was still at very low levels and could not support further spending as in Q1 45% YoY drop in tourist arrivals was evidenced. So, household consumption the biggest part of final consumption (73%), decreased by 0.4% YoY. Household expenditure decelerated its drop from the previous quarter of -4.5% YoY, while general government’s spending, amounting to 27% of final consumption, continued to support the economy in Q1 (+0.2% YoY), albeit at a lower rate compared to previous quarter (+3.1% YoY). In Q1 investments increased 4.6% YoY as outlook for the future opening of economies became more certain and vaccination of citizens was underway. It is expected that gross fixed capital formation will be positive in 2021 and 2022 driven by investments which will be directed from EU instrument named Next generation EU, that is allocating to Croatia loans and grants in the amount equaling 18.5% of pre-Covid crises GDP.

In Q1 2021 increase in exports of goods was evidenced at 8.3%, a continuation of a trend evidenced in previous quarter (+8.6% YoY) showing that demand for locally produced goods continued and that they have found their position on foreign markets. Drop in export of services decelerated to -18.6% as slow flow of people goods across borders continued. So the decrease in exports of goods and services (-0.9%) was completely driven by drop in exports of services as a result of continued drop in tourism movements. As Q1 already shows improvement in export of goods, we expect strong rebound of merchandise trade in remaining three quarters of 2021. On the level of 2021 we expect mid-teens goods and services exports growth which will together with hike in household consumption result in growth of GDP app. 5% YoY. Merchandise imports Q1 2021 growth rate came to a positive territory as crude oil prices increase (+ 22% YoY in USD terms) and car sales picked-up (Q1 +4.7 YoY). Despite increase in consumer consumption we do not see them to reach pre-pandemic times so quickly, so we expect imports goods and services to increase slower than exports.

Croatian GDP, Real Growth Rates (%, YoY)*

*Quarterly Gross Domestic Product, seasonally adjusted real growth rates

Unior Publishes Q1 2021 Results
In Q1 the Group recorded an increase in sales of 12.3%, an increase in EBITDA of 6.6% and a net profit of EUR 3.9m.

In Q1 of 2021, Unior Group achieved EUR 63.1m in net sales revenues, representing an increase of 12.3% YoY (or EUR 6.9m). The increase could somewhat be attributed to a lower base effect as in mid-March 2020 order balance fell sharply.

In the Hand tools program, the Group is facing a record volume of orders, which is a result of the growth of the segment of specialist hand tools and sales to newly acquired customers in recent years. The Covid-19 pandemic still has an impact on the operation of the Mechanical Engineering program, where there is currently a shortage of new orders, as buyers are more careful when ordering new investment equipment.

EBITDA of the Group reached EUR 8.8m, representing an increase of 6.6% YoY (or EUR 0.5m).

Meanwhile, in the first three months of this year, the Group recorded a net profit of EUR 3.9m,representing an increase of 45.6% YoY.

Following the publication of Q1 results, the company’s share, which tends to be illiquid noted the highest turnover on LJSE of EUR 884.9k. To put things into a perspective, this is slightly lower (EUR 94k) than the entire turnover recorded in 2021.

NLB to Sell NLB Skladi, According to Media
We note that NLB has not announced the aforementioned or published any official statement regarding the alleged sale.

According to Slovenian Media (STA) NLB Group, will sell its asset management arm NLB Skladi. NLB Skladi managed EUR 1.771bn in assets at the end of March, generating a net profit of EUR 1.9m in the first quarter of the year.

We note that NLB has not announced the aforementioned or published any official statement regarding the alleged sale

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