Press Release

Padaeng’s profit jumped 88% to 323.7 million Baht.

Padaeng Industry Plc, Thailand’s only zinc miner and smelter, has reported its net operating profit of 323.7 million Baht for the year 2000, an increase of 88% from the year earlier and planned to raise its revenue this year by almost doubling its zinc alloy production to 40,000 metric tons. As well, the company also succeeded in refinancing its long-term debts to cash in on the low lending interest in Baht term, reducing its interest payment burden by 50 million Baht per year.

In its report submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand today (February 22, 2001), Padaeng Industry Plc. said it posted a net operating profit of 323.7 million baht in 2000, an increase of 88% from 171.8 million Baht in 1999. Consolidated profit in 2000 reached 211 million Baht, an increase of 45% from 145 million Baht in 1999 while the earnings per share surged to 1.27 Baht from 0.96 Baht.

The improving profit was attributable to the increase in the metal production and sales due to an expansion in domestic market demand, the better international metal selling price which has averaged US$1,133 per metric ton last year compared with US$1,041 per metric ton the year before as well as the weakening of the Baht. As a result, the company’s revenue in 2000 amounted to 5,400 million Baht, an increase of 919 million Baht or 20.5% from 1999.

The production of metal last year grew 6% to 101,144 metric tons from 95,363 metric tons in 1999, of which 77,526 metric tons were zinc ingot and 23,618 metric tons were zinc alloy. On the marketing side, the company sold a total of 100,485 metric tons of metal last year, up 5% from 96,012 metric tons the previous year, of which 72,635 metric tons were slated for the domestic market and 27,850 metric tons for export. The proportion of domestic sales to export sales in 2000 was 72% to 28% compared with 67% and 33%, respectively in 1999.

The company plans a production of 100,000 metric tons of metal this year which is close to that of last year. To be consistent with the company’s policy to promote value-added sales, the company will almost double zinc alloy production to 40,000 metric tons this year. The company expects domestic demand for zinc will grow 5% to 95,000 metric tons this year from 90,000 metric tons last year and in order to focus on the domestic market, the company has set a 72% target for domestic sales and 28% for the export market.

In view of the company’s improved operating profit, significantly reduced debt burden and subsequent renewed stability, domestic and international financial institutions have offered the company extended credit at lower interest rates, as a show of boosted confidence. As such, to take advantage of relatively cheaper interest rates, the company refinanced an existing long-term loan of 1,252 million Baht in both Baht and USD denomination. With the signing of three loan contracts totalling 1,000 million baht, payable in 3-5 years with three financial institutions, along with the company’s operational proceeds, the company successfully refinanced the debt on January 31.

In addition to the 70 million Baht per year savings resulting from partial repayment of debt by using proceeds from share placement last year, the refinancing will help to trim the company’s interest cost burden by about 50 million Baht per year. As a result, the company’s interest payment burden will start declining aggressively this year and will increase the profitability from this year onwards.

Padaeng Industry Plc is the only operator of zinc mine and smelter in Southeast Asia. Established in April, 10, 1981, the company, capable of producing 100,000 metric tons per year of metal, is one of the world’s lowest-cost zinc smelters due to its achievement in mixing zinc silicate and zinc sulphide in the smelting process. The company, in partnership with Union Miniere S.A. will continue its development in the specialty markets to secure and stabilize its output.