VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA—(Marketwire – Jan. 28, 2009) – For the fourth quarter of 2008, Methanex (TSX:MX)(NASDAQ:MEOH)(SANTIAGO:Methanex) reported Adjusted EBITDA(1) of negative $12.4 million after recording a $33 million pre-tax charge to write-down inventories to net realizable value and a net loss of $3.1 million ($0.03 per share on a diluted basis). Also included in earnings in the fourth quarter is the benefit of a reduction of $27 million to future tax liabilities related to a resolution of a tax position. For the year ended December 31, 2008, Methanex reported Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $334.0 million and net income of $172.3 million ($1.82 per share on a diluted basis).
Bruce Aitken, President and CEO of Methanex, commented, “The slowdown in the global economy led to a significant decline in methanol demand in the fourth quarter. This resulted in lower sales volumes and a sharp drop in methanol prices which triggered a write-down in the value of our inventories. These factors contributed to significantly lower earnings in the fourth quarter.”
Mr. Aitken added, “However, with the slowdown in demand, supply has also reacted quickly. Many plants, particularly in China, are either operating at lower rates or have shut down and this has provided some stability to pricing. Overall demand remains constrained and we expect that any recovery in demand is dependant on a more positive global economic outlook.”
Mr. Aitken concluded, “Despite reporting losses in the fourth quarter, we generated $51 million in cash flow from operations during the quarter and we continue to be in a strong financial position to endure the current weak economic environment. With US$328 million of cash on hand at the end of the quarter, a strong balance sheet, no near term refinancing requirements and a US$250 million undrawn credit facility, we believe we are well positioned to meet our financial commitments through this period of uncertainty and continue to invest to grow the Company.”
A conference call is scheduled for Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 10:30 am EST (7:30 am PST) to review these fourth quarter results. To access the call, dial the Telus Conferencing operator ten minutes prior to the start of the call at (416) 883-7132, or toll free at (888) 205-4499. 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 668310. 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.
This Fourth Quarter 2008 Management’s Discussion and Analysis contains forward-looking statements with respect to us and the chemical industry. Statements that include the words “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “seeks”, “intends”, “plans”, “estimates”, “anticipates”, or the negative version of those words or other comparable terminology and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature identify forward-looking statements.
We believe that we have a reasonable basis for making such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this document are based on our experience, our perception of trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors. 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.
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, including the on-time and on-budget completion of our new methanol joint venture project in Egypt, the ability to successfully carry out corporate initiatives and strategies, conditions in the methanol and other industries, fluctuations in supply, demand and price for methanol and its derivatives, including demand for methanol for energy uses, the price of oil, the success of natural gas exploration and development activities in southern Chile and New Zealand and our ability to obtain any additional gas in those regions 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 this Fourth Quarter 2008 Management’s Discussion and Analysis. In addition to the foregoing risk factors, the current global financial crisis and its impact on global economies has added additional risks and uncertainties including changes in capital markets and corresponding effects on the company’s investments, our ability to access existing or future credit and defaults by customers, suppliers or insurers.
Having in mind these and other factors, investors and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance 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.
|(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 Additional Information – Supplemental Non-GAAP Measures in the attached Fourth 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.|
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