Empresas Lipigas S.A. announced its consolidated financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018.

In this period, EBITDA reached CLP 14,825 million decreasing 3.4% regarding the same period of the previous year. Chile presents higher EBITDA during the quarter due to higher sales volume, while Colombia and Peru presented lower EBITDA regarding 1Q17. Colombia was impacted by lower LPG volumes, while Peru was impacted by decreased sales in the LPG and CNG businesses.  Operating expenses recorded a slight increase compared to the previous year (+2.4%).

General Manager, Ángel Mafucci, said: “During the first quarter Lipigas generated an EBITDA of 14,825 million Chilean pesos. This figure is 3.4% lower than the previous year given lower results in Colombia and Peru. In Chile, even with the negative effect on inventories due to a decline in international prices, we increased EBITDA by 4.9% with a 4.0% increase in LPG sales. In Colombia, we had achieved very good results during the first quarter of 2017, and when comparing to a high base, a negative variation occurs. In Peru, LPG margins continue to be negative, which does not allow to show good results. Actions continue to be developed in both countries to increase business volume, and in the case of Peru, to recover margin levels of previous years. Regarding projections, in addition to continue consolidating business strategies to approach our customers in the LPG business, we are generating multi-energy solutions for industrial and commercial clients that we are sure will position us as a reliable and efficient alternative to meet their energy needs”.

Consolidated revenues reached CLP 103,314 million, representing a 4.2% increase. In Chile revenues increase by CLP 7,479 million (11.2%) mainly due to greater volumes and higher unit prices, while in Colombia revenues remained stable regarding the previous year (-0.1%). Both countries have been influenced by increased prices of oil by-products when compared to price levels recorded during 1Q17 and, in the case of Chile, by the increase in the proportion of sales to end clients. Peru presents lower revenues of CLP 3,267 million (-15.3%) regarding 1Q17, which is mainly generated due to lower sales volume.

Gross margin reached CLP 41,585 million, increasing by 0.2%.  In Chile, gross margin increased by 5.1% compared to 1Q17, due to greater volumes and improved unit margins. In Colombia, gross margin decreased by 8.9% due to lower sales and raw material supply difficulties that have resulted in an increase of the cost of products sold. In Peru, gross margin decreased by 17.8%, due to lower sales, that in equivalent LPG tons, decreased by 17.1%.

Operating expenses increased by CLP 640 million (2.4%). Expenses in Chile increased CLP 966 million (5.3%) mainly due to freights, salaries, and logistics and distribution services, which increase relates to the development of integration strategies in the distribution chain towards end clients. In Colombia, expenses increased by CLP 103 million (3.4%) due to higher expenses in salaries and leases. In Peru, expenses decreased by CLP 429 million (8.8%) mainly in marketing and freights.

Negative non-operating income decreased by CLP 472 million, mainly by greater financial income associated to profits from the restatement of guarantee liabilities in Chile, and due to increased other profits for an amount of CLP 367 million mainly due to client collections in Peru resulting from an early contract termination.

Earnings after taxes decreased by 14.1% impacted by lower operating income, which is partially offset by improved non-operating income during the quarter.