Karachi, January 26, 2018 (PPI-OT):JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has reaffirmed the entity ratings of Ittehad Chemicals Limited (ICL) at ‘A-/A-2’ (Single A Minus/ A-Two). Outlook on the assigned rating is ‘Stable’. The previous rating action was announced on December 20, 2016.
Ratings assigned to ICL take into account the company’s prominent position in the chlor-alkali sector. Ratings also incorporate conservative risk appetite of sponsors that has resulted in adequate financial profile of the company. Ratings also recognize management’s continuing efforts of technology advancement in order to minimize operating costs.
The company is in the process of replacing IEM-I plant with more efficient IEM-III, which is likely to be commercially operational by 4QFY18. Subsequently, the management intends to utilize IEM-I plant only on a need basis. Meanwhile, the obsolete DSA plant has been scrapped in FY17.
Caustic soda remained the primary contributor in overall sales during FY17. While revenue increased on the back of higher volumetric sales, the positive impact was partly diluted on account of decline in margins. Gross margins declined mainly owing to lower average prices of caustic soda and some other auxiliary products. Recent increase in the product price and commencement of timely commercial operations of IEM-III are expected to help in improving margins. Being prudent, the company continues to recognize provision related to industrial as well as captive power consumption under Gas Infrastructure Development Cess.
The company has issued right shares during the last two consecutive years. This along with reduction in borrowings have resulted in decline in gearing while debt service coverage has remained comfortable. The company has embarked upon exploring various avenues in order to diversify its business risk. Going forward, gearing and coverages are projected to remain sound.
For more information, contact:
JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited
VIS House, 128/C,
25th Lane off Khayaban-e-Ittehad,
Phase VII, DHA, Karachi