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Kraton Corporation Announces Third Quarter 2017 Results
HOUSTON, Oct. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Copyright (C) 2017 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Kraton Corporation (NYSE: KRA), a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers, specialty polymers and high-value performance products derived from pine wood pulping co-products, announces financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017.

THIRD QUARTER 2017 SUMMARY

-- Third quarter consolidated revenue of $510.9 million, up 12.5% compared to the third quarter of 2016

-- Third quarter consolidated net loss of $4.0 million compared to net income of $15.6 million in the third quarter of 2016

-- Third quarter Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $121.7 million, up 33.6% compared to the third quarter of 2016

-- Polymer segment Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $77.4 million, with an associated margin(2) of 24.6%, up $27.8 million or 56.0% compared to the third quarter of 2016

-- Chemical segment Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $44.3 million, with an associated margin(2) of 22.5%, up $2.8 million or 6.8% compared to the third quarter of 2016

-- Delivered incremental cost reductions and transaction synergies of $10.7 million, with full realization of $65 million of transaction synergies at September 30, 2017, ahead of the initial FYE 2018 target

"Kraton's favorable results for the third quarter 2017 reflect notable margin expansion and solid volume growth in our Polymer segment and improving fundamentals in our Chemical segment, where we posted our second quarter of sequential growth in Adjusted EBITDA and a return to Adjusted EBITDA margins above 22%. Building upon good business momentum in the second quarter, we posted consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $122 million for the third quarter of 2017. This result was up $31 million or nearly 34% compared to the third quarter 2016, with a 370 basis point improvement in Adjusted EBITDA margin to 23.8%," said Kevin M. Fogarty, Kraton's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As a result of our strong third quarter results, and in light of our overall year-to-date performance, we now expect that Adjusted EBITDA for the full-year 2017 will be approximately $375 million."

"As anticipated, cash generation continued to increase into the third quarter, and as a result we reduced Kraton net debt by $87 million in the quarter. For the full year 2017, we expect to reduce Kraton net debt by $125 to $150 million, despite incurring $16 million of financing costs in the first nine months of the year," said Fogarty. "During the quarter we repriced the USD tranche of our Term Loan Facility and issued a Euro tranche under the Term Loan Facility to further reduce interest expense," Fogarty added.

"With regard to ongoing cost reset initiatives in our Polymer segment and transaction synergies associated with the acquisition of our Chemical segment, as of September 30th we achieved our $65 million synergy goal, well ahead of our original year-end 2018 target. We now expect to realize approximately $50 million of our $70 million cost reset goal by year-end 2017, and we expect the full $70 million run rate to be achieved in 2018," Fogarty said.

Status of Synergies, Operational Improvement, and Cost Reduction Initiatives

We previously announced synergies and operational improvement initiatives associated with our January 6, 2016 acquisition of Arizona Chemical (the "Arizona Chemical Acquisition") and a cost reduction initiative targeted at lowering costs in our Polymer segment. Following is a summary of the status of these initiatives:

Polymer Segment

Q3 2017 VERSUS Q3 2016 RESULTS

Revenue for the Polymer segment was $314.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017 compared to $273.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016. Sales volumes of 91.9 kilotons for the three months ended September 30, 2017 increased 6.9% compared to the three months ended September 30, 2016. Performance Products volumes increased 11.1%, Specialty Polymers volumes decreased 3.8% (excluding the effect of the sale of the compounding business, sales volumes would have been relatively flat), and Cariflex volumes decreased 1.3%. The positive effect from changes in currency exchange rates between the periods was $3.3 million.

For the three months ended September 30, 2017, the Polymer segment generated Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) of $77.4 million compared to $49.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The increase was due to higher volumes and improved unit margins, primarily driven by higher selling prices. See a reconciliation of GAAP operating income to non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA below.

Chemical Segment

The following results of operations for the Chemical segment have been included in our consolidated results since January 6, 2016.

Q3 2017 VERSUS Q3 2016 RESULTS

Revenue for the Chemical segment was $196.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017 compared to $181.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016. Sales volumes were 107.8 kilotons for the three months ended September 30, 2017, an increase of 3.5 kilotons or 3.3%. Adhesives volumes increased 5.1%, Performance Chemicals volumes increased 2.7%, and Tires volumes increased 12.3%, and Roads and Construction volumes decreased 1.1%. The positive effect from changes in currency exchange rates between the periods was $3.7 million.

For the three months ended September 30, 2017, the Chemical segment generated $44.3 million of Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) compared to $41.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA reflects higher sales volumes and stable overall unit margins compared to 2016. See a reconciliation of GAAP operating income to non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA below.

CASH FLOW AND CAPITAL STRUCTURE

During the nine months ended September 30, 2017 (excluding borrowings under the Kraton Formosa Polymers Corporation (KFPC) Loan Agreement) we decreased Kraton Corporation net indebtedness by $69.4 million ($84.9 million excluding refinancing costs).

Summary of principal amounts for indebtedness and a reconciliation of Kraton debt to Kraton net debt and consolidated net debt (non-GAAP):

USE OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

This press release includes the use of both GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures. The non-GAAP financial measures are EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share, and Net Debt. Tables included in this earnings release reconcile each of these non-GAAP financial measures with the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure. For additional information on the impact of the spread between the FIFO basis of accounting and estimated current replacement cost ("ECRC"), see Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.

We consider these non-GAAP financial measures to be important supplemental measures of our performance and believe they are frequently used by investors, securities analysts and other interested parties in the evaluation of our performance including period-to-period comparisons and/or that of other companies in our industry. Further, management uses these measures to evaluate operating performance, and our incentive compensation plan bases incentive compensation payments on our Adjusted EBITDA performance and attainment of net debt, along with other factors. These non-GAAP financial measures have limitations as analytical tools and in some cases can vary substantially from other measures of our performance. You should not consider them in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of our results under U.S. GAAP in the United States.

EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, and Adjusted EBITDA Margin: For our consolidated results, EBITDA represents net income (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. For each reporting segment, EBITDA represents operating income before depreciation and amortization, disposition and exit of business activities and earnings of unconsolidated joint ventures. Among other limitations EBITDA does not: reflect the significant interest expense on our debt or reflect the significant depreciation and amortization expense associated with our long-lived assets; and EBITDA included herein should not be used for purposes of assessing compliance or non-compliance with financial covenants under our debt agreements. The calculation of EBITDA in our debt agreements includes adjustments, such as extraordinary, non-recurring or one-time charges, proforma cost savings, certain non-cash items, turnaround costs, and other items included in the definition of EBITDA in the debt agreements. Other companies in our industry may calculate EBITDA differently than we do, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure. As an analytical tool, Adjusted EBITDA is subject to all the limitations applicable to EBITDA. We prepare Adjusted EBITDA by eliminating from EBITDA the impact of a number of items we do not consider indicative of our on-going performance, including the spread between FIFO and ECRC, but you should be aware that in the future we may incur expenses similar to the adjustments in this presentation. Our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items. In addition, due to volatility in raw material prices, Adjusted EBITDA may, and often does, vary substantially from EBITDA and other performance measures, including net income calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP. We define Adjusted EBITDA Margin as Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue (for each reporting segment or on a consolidated basis, if applicable). Because of these and other limitations, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business.

Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Share: We prepare Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share by eliminating from Diluted Earnings (loss) per Share the impact of a number of non-recurring items we do not consider indicative of our on-going performance, including the spread between FIFO and ECRC.

Net Debt: We define net debt for Kraton as total debt (excluding debt of KFPC) less cash and cash equivalents. We define consolidated net debt as Kraton net debt plus debt of KFPC less KFPC's cash and cash equivalents. Management uses net debt to determine our outstanding debt obligations that would not readily be satisfied by its cash and cash equivalents on hand. Management believes that using net debt is useful to investors in determining our leverage since we could choose to use cash and cash equivalents to retire debt. In addition, management believes that presenting Kraton's net debt excluding KFPC is useful because KFPC has its own capital structure.

CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST INFORMATION

Kraton has scheduled a conference call on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss third quarter 2017 financial results. Kraton invites you to listen to the conference call, which will be broadcast live over the internet at www.kraton.com, by selecting the "Investor Relations" link at the top of the home page and then selecting "Events" from the Investor Relations menu on the Investor Relations page.

You may also listen to the conference call by telephone by contacting the conference call operator 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time and asking for the "Kraton Conference Call - Passcode: Earnings Call." U.S./Canada dial-in 800-857-6511. International dial-in #: 210-839-8886.

For those unable to listen to the live call, a replay will be available beginning at approximately 11:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) on October 25, 2017 through 1:59 a.m. (Eastern Time) on November 18, 2017. To hear a replay of the call over the Internet, access Kraton's Website at www.kraton.com by selecting the "Investor Relations" link at the top of the home page and then selecting "Events" from the Investor Relations menu on the Investor Relations page. To hear a telephonic replay of the call, dial 800-551-8152 or 203-369-3810.

ABOUT KRATON CORPORATION

Kraton Corporation (NYSE: KRA) is a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers, specialty polymers and high-value performance products derived from pine wood pulping co-products. Kraton's polymers are used in a wide range of applications, including adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, sealants and lubricants, and medical, packaging, automotive, paving and roofing applications. As the largest global provider in the pine chemicals industry, the company's pine-based specialty products are sold into adhesive, road and construction and tire markets, and it produces and sells a broad range of performance chemicals into markets that include fuel additives, oilfield chemicals, coatings, metalworking fluids and lubricants, inks and mining. Kraton offers its products to a diverse customer base in numerous countries worldwide.

Kraton, the Kraton logo and design, and Cariflex are all trademarks of Kraton Polymers LLC or its affiliates.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Some of the statements and information in this press release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release includes forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, beliefs, expectations, and current views with respect to, among other things, future events and financial performance. Forward-looking statements are often identified by words such as "outlook," "believes," "target," "estimates," "expects," "projects," "may," "intends," "plans", "on track", or "anticipates," or by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions, including, but not limited to our expectations with respect to full-year 2017 Adjusted EBITDA results, 2017 net debt reduction, and the amount and timing of our cost reset initiatives.

All forward-looking statements in this press release are made based on management's current expectations and estimates, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other important factors that could cause actual results, performance or our achievements, or industry results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are more fully described in our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K, including but not limited to "Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors" and "Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" therein, and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and include, but are not limited to, risks related to: the integration of Arizona Chemical (now, AZ Chem Holdings LP); Kraton's ability to repay its indebtedness; Kraton's reliance on third parties for the provision of significant operating and other services; conditions in the global economy and capital markets; fluctuations in raw material costs; limitations in the availability of raw materials; competition in Kraton's end-use markets; and other factors of which we are currently unaware or deem immaterial. There may be other factors of which we are currently unaware or deem immaterial that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. In addition, to the extent any inconsistency or conflict exists between the information included in this report and the information included in our prior reports and other filings with the SEC, the information contained in this report updates and supersedes such information. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we assume no obligation to update such information in light of new information or future events.

For Further Information:

H. Gene Shiels 281-504-4886

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