VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA—(Marketwire – April 23, 2008) – Methanex Corporation (TSX:MX)(NASDAQ:MEOH)(SANTIAGO:Methanex) – For the first quarter of 2008, Methanex reported Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $127 million, net income of $65 million and earnings per share of $0.67 (on a diluted basis).
Bruce Aitken, President and CEO of Methanex commented, “Our average realized price in the first quarter was $545 per tonne which resulted in another good quarter of earnings for our shareholders. Our earnings under this pricing environment would normally be higher, however, we sourced less of our sales from produced methanol during the first quarter and more from purchased methanol and this had an impact on our profitability. In addition, methanol pricing peaked in December and decreased through the first quarter and, as is typical in a decreasing methanol price environment, our sales margins on both produced and purchased methanol are impacted by inventory timing issues.”
Mr. Aitken added, “In the high methanol price environment of the last six months, we saw China moving from being a net importer to a net exporter, which we believe has been the most significant factor causing the methanol market to rebalance and methanol prices to decline. We have also seen some regional softness in demand in some derivatives, but globally we continue to observe that demand for methanol is healthy and the high energy price environment continues to underpin strong demand growth for new methanol demand in energy applications, particularly in DME and fuel blending in China.”
Mr. Aitken continued, “China has recently reverted to being a net importer and spot methanol prices are increasing. We are continuing to make good progress on our initiatives to source more gas in Chile and we recently agreed to terms on a gas supply arrangement in New Zealand which will allow us to switch production to one of our larger idle plants in the second half of the year.”
Mr. Aitken concluded, “Our strong cash generation in the first quarter continues to leave us in a strong financial position. With US$465 million cash on hand at the end of the quarter, a strong balance sheet and a US$250 million undrawn credit facility, we are well positioned to meet our financial commitments related to the Egypt methanol project, pursue opportunities to accelerate natural gas development in southern Chile, pursue opportunities to sponsor methanol demand in new energy applications, pursue other strategic growth initiatives, and continue to deliver on our commitment to return excess cash to shareholders.”
A conference call is scheduled for Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 11:00 am EST (8:00 am PST) to review these first quarter results. To access the call, dial the Telus Conferencing operator ten minutes prior to the start of the call at (416) 883-0139, or toll free at (888) 458-1598. The passcode for the call is 45654. A playback version of the conference call will be available for fourteen days at (877) 653-0545. The reservation number for the playback version is 518972. There will be a simultaneous audio-only webcast of the conference call, which can be accessed from our website at www.methanex.com. In addition, an audio recording of the conference call can be downloaded from our website for three weeks after the call.
Methanex is a Vancouver based, publicly traded company engaged in the worldwide production, distribution and marketing of methanol. Methanex shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada under the trading symbol “MX”, on the NASDAQ Global Market in the United States under the trading symbol “MEOH”, and on the foreign securities market of the Santiago Stock Exchange in Chile under the trading symbol “Methanex”. Methanex can be visited online at www.methanex.com.
Information contained in this press release and the attached First Quarter 2008 Management’s Discussion and Analysis contains forward-looking statements. Certain material factors or assumptions were applied in drawing the conclusions or making the forecasts or projections that are included in these forward-looking statements. Methanex believes that it has a reasonable basis for making such forward-looking statements. However, forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include those attendant with producing and marketing methanol and successfully carrying out major capital expenditure projects in various jurisdictions, the ability to successfully carry out corporate initiatives and strategies, conditions in the methanol and other industries including the supply and demand balance for methanol, the success of natural gas exploration and development activities in southern Chile and our ability to obtain any additional gas in that region on commercially acceptable terms, actions of competitors and suppliers, actions of governments and governmental authorities, changes in laws or regulations in foreign jurisdictions, world-wide economic conditions and other risks described in our 2007 Management’s Discussion & Analysis and the attached First Quarter 2008 Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. They are not a substitute for the exercise of one’s own due diligence and judgment. The outcomes anticipated in forward-looking statements may not occur and we do not undertake to update forward-looking statements. These materials also contain certain non-GAAP financial measures. Non-GAAP financial measures do not have any standardized meaning and therefore are unlikely to be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. For more information regarding these non-GAAP measures, please see our 2007 Management’s Discussion & Analysis and the attached First Quarter 2008 Management’s Discussion and Analysis.
|(1)||Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure that does not have any standardized meaning prescribed by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and therefore is unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Refer to Supplemental Non-GAAP Measures in the attached First Quarter 2008 Management’s Discussion and Analysis for a description of each Supplemental Non-GAAP Measure and a reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measure.|