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viewAfarak Group PLC

Afarak Group is a significant ferrochrome producer with an international spread of assets

Snapshot

  • Profits have been under pressure due to weak ferrochrome price and previous technical problems at Mogale alloys plant
  • New management installed at Mogale
  • Moving out of business rescue
Helsinki

Quick facts: Afarak Group PLC

Price: 20 GBX

LSE:AFRK
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £47.7 m
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What it does

Afarak Group PLC (LON:AFRK) is a chrome and alloys specialist with mines and a plant in South Africa, as well as operations in Turkey and Europe.

Headquartered in Helsinki, the group runs the Mogale processing plant, along with the Stellite, Mecklenburg and Vlakpoort mines, gaining full control of the mines in the first half of 2019.

Originally named Ruukki, the Finnish company has been mulling a switch of domicile to the UK to help with share illiquidity.

It's assets in Turkey produce niche low carbon and ultra-low carbon ferrochrome products.

How it's doing?

In the first half of 2020 revenue decreased by 45.7% to €44.9mln and processed material sold decreased by 46.1% to 23,356 tonnes.

Tonnage mined decreased by 46.4% to 102,659 tonnes due to lower mining activity at Stellite mine and no mining activity at Mecklenburg mine as a result of coronavirus.

The loss for the period totalled €16.1 mln.

Cash and cash equivalents at 30 June 2020 totalled €6.14mln.

The South African operations are continuing to move through the business rescue process.

From the chief executive

“In the beginning of the first half of 2020 we were on the right track of recovery where we have seen stronger performance in the Speciality Alloys segment and recovery in the FerroAlloys segment," said chief executive Guy Konsbruck.

"Unfortunately the global economic downturn originated by COVID-19 halted this and showed to be the most challenging business environment that I have ever experienced in my professional career. Having said this, we have still managed to show good signs of recovery when compared to the first half of 2019. Our specialty segment remained profitable. We have reduced our overall EBITDA loss by 78.2%, we have reduced our working capital by 36.3%, we have further reduced our total inventory by 36.7% and our total cost by 26.1%. I express my sincere gratitude to all colleagues for their substantial personal contributions to make this happen."

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Inflection points

  • Recovery in ferrochrome price
  • Action taken by South African government to improve energy market  
  • Remedial action at Mogale starts to improve performance
  • Completion of share buyback and switch of listing to London

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