Operating cash flow through this period increased by 33 per cent, to US$1.3 billion, as a result of lower prices and operational excellence.
IVL has proposed a dividend of Bt1.225 per share for 2019.
IVL concurrently undertook several transformative initiatives that were announced on February 4 at its Capital Market Day and are expected to generate benefits starting in 2020 and targeted to lead to $350 million in run-rate cost savings by 2023.
These initiatives and the strategic acquisition of the Huntsman Integrated Ethylene and Propylene Oxide assets (codenamed Spindletop), footprint expansion into a growing market in India, formation of a dedicated team to grow the PET recycling business, continued focus on working-capital optimisation coupled with an increased emphasis on leadership development are the key strategic priorities for the group.
“IVL now has three strong growth engines to generate continued returns for its stakeholders,” said Group chief executive Aloke Lohia.
“The first is the combined PET segment, which includes its key feedstocks and recycling business, the integrated oxides and derivatives segment, which includes the recent acquisition of the Spindletop assets, the completed IVOL gas cracker in Louisiana, and the fibres segment, which serves mobility, hygiene and lifestyle verticals.
“Our global reach, with around 80 per cent of capital invested in Europe and the Americas, makes our business resilient to events happening in any particular country or region. On the other hand, our end-product strategy of serving the packaging, hygiene and safety needs of society, leads to our growth in excess of GDP growth.
“Going forward, we will reinforce our strengths via five strategic priorities – cost transformation, asset full potential, adjacency growth, recycling leadership and leadership development.”