MOL Group 2021 results: record high EBITDA driven by oil and gas prices

Today, MOL Group announced its financial results for Q4 and full year 2021. In a very volatile external environment, MOL Group generated USD 947mn Clean CCS EBITDA in Q4, bringing full-year Clean CCS EBITDA to an all-time high USD 3.531bn, above the updated guidance. Simplified free cash flow tripled since last year and amounted to USD 1,988mn, mainly driven by the favorable oil and gas prices and refinery/petrochemical margins. This result allows MOL to fund its ongoing and planned transformational projects.  MOL expects 2022 EBITDA to reach or even exceed USD 2.8bn.

Chairman-CEO Zsolt Hernádi commented the results: “I am proud that MOL Group significantly outperformed the upgraded guidance and delivered an all-time high EBITDA of USD 3.5bn in 2021. Due to MOL’s integrated business model and the good internal performance we were able to maximize the benefits from the external environment, allowing us to fund our transformational investments.

“Despite the operational challenges we continued our strategic transformational journey that we accelerated with the Shape Tomorrow 2030+ Strategy update one year ago. The construction of the new polyol complex proceeded according to plan, and we also took inorganic steps to strengthen our Consumer Services portfolio in Poland and Slovenia. We expect that the external environment will remain volatile and unpredictable in 2022. Against this macro backdrop we expect MOL’s EBITDA generation to reach or even exceed USD 2.8bn this year.”

Upstream: 2021 Q4 clean EBITDA jumped by 184% to USD 513mn from the 2020 lows, bringing full-year Upstream EBITDA to USD 1.554bn, nearly half of MOL Group’s total results. The great performance was driven by the 70% uplift of Brent oil price and the 3.5 times higher gas prices compared to last year. Simplified free cash flow significantly improved to USD 399mn in Q4, bringing Upstream’s simplified free cash flow generation to USD 1.15bn in 2021. Annual oil and gas production remained above 110 mboepd that meets the group-level target, ACG asset in Azerbaijan positively contributed to the volumes while natural decline continued mainly in Central and Eastern Europe and in the UK. 

Downstream: Full-year 2021 Clean CCS EBITDA doubled to nearly USD 1.5bn, due to the much higher refinery margins and petchem margins, of which petchem contributed over 50%. Q4 2021 result also increased from a depressed base by 165% to USD 352mn year-on-year. Sales volumes grew by 3% year-on-year in Q4, supported by higher third-party sales, while regional motor fuel demand increased by 4% in Central and Eastern Europe, MOL’s core region.

Consumer Services:  The division achieved a 19% full-year EBITDA growth, supported by sales volumes and non-fuel margin improvement. Fuel price cap in Hungary and Croatia, and the weakening of the local currencies against the USD had a negative effect on the trend of continuous year-on-year EBITDA increases, Q4 EBITDA declined by 10% compared to the 2020 same quarter results.

The non-fuel concept rollout continued: the number of reconstructed sites with Fresh Corners rose to 1,069 from 955 at the end of 2020. In 2021, MOL announced several acquisitions to deliver on the “ShapeTomorrow” 2030+ strategy: 16 service stations in Slovakia and 120 OMV service stations in Slovenia. The acquisitions continued in Q1 2022 with 417 Lotos-branded service stations in Poland.

The Gas Midstream segment reached USD 135.6mn EBITDA in 2021, 33% lower than a year ago. In Q4, EBITDA fell by 18% year-on year to USD 34mn, due to sharply rising gas purchase prices and because transmission towards Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina stopped in 2021, resulting in diminishing non-regulated transit revenues. CAPEX spending was lower as Serbian-Hungarian interconnector project was completed in Q3 2021 and was commissioned during Q4 2021.