This year was a turning point for the career of 47-year-old Mikhail Shamolin, who worked for seven years as president of AFK Sistema. The company paid for the terms of the settlement agreement with Rosneft. The trial lasted almost a year. "Rosneft" and "Bashneft" demanded through the court of the "Sistema" more than 170 billion rubles. for causing Bashneft, which was previously controlled by AFK, losses during the reorganization in 2013-2014, and in December 2017, Rosneft filed another claim - for compensation of more than 131 billion rubles. dividends. After the intervention of President Vladimir Putin, who called on the parties to go to the world, the parties agreed on 100 billion rubles.
Shortly thereafter, it became known that Shamolin would leave the post of AFC President and head the timber holding company Sistema, the Segezha Group, with a minority stake in it. Shamolin himself assures that his transition is not connected with the situation around Bashneft. The scale of the Segezha Group (formerly Lesinvest) has already grown strongly since 2014, when Sistema entered the forest business.
Shamolin calls his new business "a breath of fresh air," until the end of the year he intends to decide on a further development scenario for the Segezha Group. The main goal is to increase the value of the company.
Previously, the company headquarters was located in a modest business center, now - in a modern high-rise in the former territory of ZiLa. Inside the office walls of the corridor are decorated with wooden spills, and on the screen attached to the wall you can watch the enterprises of the Segezha Group in real time. Judging by what Shamolin said, objects on the screen will soon become larger.
- Your transition from the post of AFK Sistema President to the position of president of the Segezha Group - whose decision was it?
- It was a mutual decision - mine and the main shareholder [Vladimir Evtushenkov]. I worked for seven years as the president of Sistema and have never worked in my previous positions and projects for so long. For me personally, seven years is a long term. This is a question of interest, motivation, bronze in the good sense of the word - you are doing about the same thing for a long time, more or less, in your opinion, already rebuilt. That drive, which was several years ago, no longer exists, and when you come to work every day, you understand: it is necessary to change something so that the drive appears again. To me the current operational work is very interesting - a breath of fresh air, if you want. So I took great pleasure in this matter. This is a very difficult project. There are a lot of challenges - starting with a high level of debt burden, the need to increase EBITDA, business indicators, the implementation of many projects, the search for financing.
Among other things, we also agreed that I am becoming a shareholder in this business (minority, but nonetheless), and so I move from the "hired manager" category to the "shareholder manager" category, which will work, including multiplying equity.
- So this was Yevtushenkov's proposal?
"And how did he explain?" Or you hinted that you want to change the profile?
- No, it's just time, a certain stage, when the decision is brewing. It has matured for me. It makes no sense to talk about the details of conversations and conversations, but the essence of what is happening is precisely this.
- So this is not related to the latest developments around Bashneft?
- No, absolutely not at all. And how can this be related? We signed an amicable agreement with Rosneft, paid off and live on.
- Did you have a choice of directions, in addition to the Segezha Group?
- Yes, of course. And I deliberately chose Segezha.
- Why? You said that the project is interesting to you, but after all, Sistema has other, equally interesting businesses. Drones, for example, are.
- Yes there is. (Smiles.) In fact, the answer is simple. This is a matter of my personal nature. I always understood and appreciated not that simple, but logical and understandable businesses. I will explain what I mean.
The timber industry in Russia has, I believe, a global competitive advantage. This is due to the availability of raw materials - forests - and its low cost. Both the forest and products from the forest in the global dimension, in my opinion, have great prospects for several reasons. The first is the ubiquitous development of Internet commerce and, accordingly, the industry of the delivery of goods in paper packaging. It is eco-friendly, convenient, built into the industrial cycle, and there are no alternatives in the mass plan for consumer properties and prime cost and are not yet expected. A huge market has been formed, and those who can supply it at competitive cost will always make money. This is an industry that will be able to "print money" for many years, quite guaranteed - using Russian competitive advantages. And I understand how this can be done.
- Did you rely on the Golden Parachute when leaving the post of AFK Sistema President?
- No. To make it clear: I worked for a long time at various top managerial positions and earned enough to, in principle, do nothing until the end of my life. I can go to Bali tomorrow and surf. But I personally categorically do not like this way of life. I will get tired of all this in a month, at most - two and then I will be in prostration, thinking why I live and what I'm doing ... So for me participation in this project is not a necessity or greed, but a desire to do something really interesting.
- After the transition to Segezha Group, did you become less likely to communicate with the main shareholder?
- We support our relations, of course, but not as before. I do not sit with him in the same office and do not communicate every day on operational and operational issues. With Vladimir Petrovich, we have been working together for many, many years, and our relations are the warmest and the best.
- The process of transferring cases to the successor - Andrei Dubovskov - passed quickly?
- Andrei worked as president of MTS for seven years - exactly as I was president of AFK Sistema. He is certainly a highly professional manager. He proved it on the market, and everyone admits it. He is also immersed in the affairs of AFK, taking into account the fact that MTS is one of the main, fundamental assets of Sistema. Moreover, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Sistema since 2015. He is not a stranger from the outside, and there was no talk about the transfer of something unknown and unknown to him. So everything went smoothly enough. Moreover, the "System" from the point of view of its main business was not in any critical condition. With the exception of court proceedings, Sistema's business as such and its individual companies is very healthy and, in my opinion, one of the best in Russia.
- You used to say that in Sistema there is a motivation program for managers - they must co-invest into the proposed projects. Before deciding to move to Segezha Group, you invested something in this company?
- No, I invested in Sistema. We had a program in which the president and department heads invested in the shares of AFC, and the heads of investment portfolios - in the shares of assets that were under their control. Now this scheme, as far as I know, is undergoing changes. How exactly - I do not explain, it is better to address this question to AFC.
- What is your share in the Segezha Group?
- Now I will not disclose it. But not 1%, of course - more. For me this is an important part. (The main owner of AFK Vladimir Evtushenkov told RBC that the option is 5%.) - Vedomosti.)
- Entering the capital Segezha Group - your initiative?
- Mutual understanding. So, I have a certain motivation system, a certain interest, which is tied to the company's value increase. My goal is not to implement KPI and a bonus at the end of the year, but to increase the cost of the business within 2, 3, 5 years.
- What are the main goals and objectives for the development of the Segezha Group set by the main shareholder?
- The minimum bar - by 2021-2022. the cost of equity capital [should be] about 60 billion rubles.
"We are not under sanctions, we do not experience any restrictions"
- Segezha Group's revenue in 2017 under IFRS increased by 1.6% to 43.7 billion rubles, while net profit fell sharply, 24-fold, from 1.6 billion to 81 million rubles. What happened?
- It's simple. Segezha Group and AFK Sistema adopted in 2015 an extensive investment program of more than 40 billion rubles. It is aimed at expanding the capacities, primarily the Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill, for the construction of the second stage of the Vyatka Plywood Mill in Kirov, and smaller but no less important projects - the construction of a multi-fuel boiler at the Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill to reduce energy costs, the pellet plant in Lesosibirsk, Dock. Money for investment program Segezha Group took on credit, and, accordingly, interest payments on them affect the net profit. The cash flow of the company remains positive, the company earns more than it spends, but the accounting net profit due to large interest payments has significantly decreased, but this is not an operational factor, but a financial one. From the point of view of the main activity of the company, it is decisive how quickly new capacities will be introduced, what they will give an increase to EBITDA and cash flow and how this will affect in 2, 3, 4 years on the value of business.
In itself, the forest business, especially pulp and paper, is investment-intensive, on the one hand. On the other hand, it gives a fairly stable and long-term cash flow. This is akin to investing in real estate, stable bonds of high-quality issuers, when you, in principle, understand what profitability you will have for many years to come. But in the pulp industry, the most important thing is to effectively make the initial investment. That is, to build what is needed, where necessary, at the cost with which it is reasonable to do, based on market conditions and the cycle of the cost of other players and the estimated price for the goods that you produce. And if you do it right, you can easily earn about 25% of EBITDA and higher profitability for 20, 25, 30 years, having built one good enterprise. And examples of such exist.
- Did you expect that the reduction in profits will be so strong? At least in the message of AFK Sistema following the results of 2017, the deterioration of Segezha Group's financial results was due, among other things, to the decline in demand for paper and currency fluctuations ...
- The main reason for the decline in financial results is the shift in the timing of the launch of the projects of our investment program, the new machine at the Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill and the second stage at the Vyatsky Plywood Mill, and we are trying to compensate for the decline in 2018. We can also note some negative impact of major currencies. And in the long term, for us, a decline in profits in 2017 is not a matter of principle. We do not consider this on a one-year scale. This is not a business in the retail segment or consumer lending, which can grow very quickly, scale and fluctuations can be very serious from year to year, depending on the situation on the market, the behavior of competitors, etc. In our case, this is the business that produces the commodity (commodity production) products. This kind of oil is peculiar.
There is an oil market, Russia in this market is one of the world leaders, the price of oil rises or falls, but nevertheless, players who have the most competitive cost in the world from the point of view of the global [economic] cycle continue to earn. They can earn more margins or less, but they are almost always guaranteed to have it. Oil companies, when they calculate their investments, look and predict the price for a certain cycle and proceed from it. Pulp business is the same. The cellulose market is huge, and virtually any volume of pulp or products from it (paper, in particular) that we produce can be sold. The question is only in price. Within the economic cycle, the price of pulp varied from $ 900 to $ 500 per ton, but if our cost price, say $ 250, we understand that we will earn at a price of even $ 500. Will leave the market other players who have a cost of $ 500-600. Advantage at the cost price for us at the expense of low cost of raw materials, reasonable cost of energy resources, own forest. That's what this business is. Therefore, for us, the size of the net profit in one particular year does not matter. The question is whether we will increase the figures in the next five years. For example, based on the first quarter, we see that EBITDA is at least 30% higher than last year. It's too early to talk about the year as a whole, but we understand that we are already beginning to benefit from the investments that have been made.
- What are the financial results of the business plan for 2018?
- We do not disclose the business plan. We prefer not to create expectations, and then to tell how they came true, but to report on successes. (Smiling.)
- You finance the investment program at the expense of own and attracted funds. One of your predecessors at the post of president of the Segezha Group - Sergei Pomelov told Vedomosti that the company is being funded, including at the expense of foreign banks. Do not you find it more difficult to borrow from them because of sanctions against Russia?
- No. We are not under sanctions, therefore, we do not experience such limitations and are credited in the same way as any other enterprise in the world: based on the share of equity that we invest in the project and the risks inherent in a particular project and Russia as a whole. For example, if we are considering a project for the future construction of a pulp and paper mill in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, we understand that by giving, say, 30% of our capital, we can raise 70% of financing at an average rate, starting from 2-3% in currency. Money on such terms is provided by export agencies that offer products of their domestic producers - both Chinese and European - in foreign markets. Also, participation of foreign banks is possible, which are ready to lend in currency in the range of 5-7%, and Russian banks with a rate closer to 10%, but in rubles. If the share of own capital will be less, then, accordingly, the cost of financing will be greater. The conditions also depend on the structure of the financing, on what exactly (initial investment or plant start-up period) covers equity, when interest on loans is beginning to be paid-at the beginning or at the end. In the negotiation process, the rate can vary very significantly. From the average rate, if you take the project as a whole, in 3-5% to 8-10%.
- What is the proportion of own and attracted funds now?
- Now we have a net debt of 40 billion rubles. These are loans attracted for the implementation of projects, which I told you about. Its funds for the program are approximately 12 billion rubles. (this year we will spend 8 billion rubles on previously launched projects). That is, total investment - 52-53 billion rubles.
- And what is the net debt / EBITDA ratio now?
- Approximately 4,5-4,7.
- The indicator has grown, two years ago it was at level 3.
- Yes, it is natural - the money was invested, the units are built, and they are launched this year. By the end of the year, we expect this figure to decrease to 3 with a small one. Next year we plan to lower 3 below, which will put us in a comfortable position in relation to debt to EBITDA.
- What is the value of this ratio is considered comfortable in the industry for companies that are comparable to yours?
- There are companies that have 1-1,7, there are those who have 4,5-4,7. On average, it is considered normal and financially safe at 2.5-3.
- You said that the total cost of the investment program is 52-53 billion rubles. When it was approved, it was planned to spend 40 billion rubles by 2020. This figure did not include the cost of buying assets? The company, for example, acquired in 2016 the largest Russian manufacturer of sawn timber - Lesosibirskiy LDK No. 1.
- Yes, the M & A deals were not initially established, only projects of organic growth and development based on existing assets were taken into account.
"Further changes depend on the set of projects"
- As President of AFK Sistema, you, of course, followed the development of the company. Have you reviewed any projects, parameters of the investment program, when you headed Segezha Group?
- Have these investments been made strategically and in the right places? Yes.
For example, we built a new paper machine at Segezha PPM and now we can produce an additional 100,000 tons of high-quality sack paper (so-called micro-bonded kraft paper), which is a direct contribution to EBITDA increase. The IRR (internal rate of return) of this project is more than 25%. Or take the construction of a new plywood factory - we have already started the production of plywood and we will increase it to project volumes in the next 2-3 months. This is also an absolutely clear, transparent and clear contribution to EBITDA. The economy is visible, there is no doubt about the feasibility of the project. The construction of a multi-fuel boiler at Segezha PPM is also an understandable and correct investment. This allows us to use our bark and wood waste more to fuel the energy balance of the enterprise, while refusing from expensive fuel oil, the price of which now grows with the price of oil, plus it is not environmentally friendly, etc. In principle, the set of projects is correct.
Another question - could it be done faster and cheaper? Probably, it was possible, but this is the first experience of such a large-scale investment. And in Russia for the past 10 years, few people have done something like that.
- Will you change the management system, the composition of top managers?
"There are no radical changes in order to disperse everyone tomorrow, as we like -" to the ground, and then ... "- there is no such thing. Probably, there will be some changes. Some people will show themselves to be effective, others - not. Of course, the team and the strength of the team is the paramount factor of success.
- So you have not changed anything yet?
- A number of changes I have already made. Has united two divisions - "Forest Resources" and "Woodworking" (headed by Vice-President Yevgeny Batalov). De facto, woodworking is sawmilling, that is, the production of edged non-planed boards from saw logs (the lower part of a tree that is cut off and sent to a sawmill, and the upper part is called the balance that is used for the production of pulp). Since the sawmill is the first redistribution of the logging business, there is a huge amount of synergy in the delivery of timber, processing. For example, Lesosibirskiy LDK No. 1 is completely tied to the forest, fused through the Angara and Yenisey, and the work of this combine can not be effectively organized without effective delivery. And efficient delivery of the forest can not be organized without its efficient harvesting. Thus, this is one chain. In my understanding, the unification of these two divisions carried great synergies. I did it quickly enough. Appointed the new head of the Paper and Packaging Division (Vice President Maxim Pisarev), which is de facto the main one from the point of view of generating EBITDA and the proceeds of the entire Segezha Group. Well, a number of other, smaller permutations.
I prefer not to take hasty decisions - I came, at first impressed everyone, I hired new ones, I kicked them out again ... I prefer to understand the figures and facts, what people are capable of, what they can give, and what they can not give. There are people who know how to speak beautifully, but do not know how to show any figures, and vice versa - they seem to be criticizing people, he keeps silent, introvert, but in fact you see that he is doing a good job, and the figures confirm this.
Further changes depend, in particular, on the set of projects, the choice of the scenario, and so on.
"By the choice of the deadline until November"
- Preparing the company for an IPO? This opportunity was laid in the strategy Segezha Group.
- Any business that has good cash flow, reasonable debt and growth prospects can be sold elementary to any set of investors - through IPO, private placements, to a strategic investor. We do not have a model to inflate and sell something on an IPO, as is done with crypto-currencies, by many Internet companies, for example. It's not mine, and I do not want to do it. I want to do real business, which makes money.
- The IPO was planned for 2019, but recently it became known that the timing had shifted for 2020. Is the company not ready?
- The question is, what strategy do we want to implement in business, what is the company's value in a certain time horizon. Segezha Group now has two scenarios. The first is to stop further investments, increase business efficiency, realize all the potential built in already made investments, and, for example, in 2-3 years, get a company with an average EBITDA size, good cash flow, reduced debt, which will be absolutely ready for IPO, sales, etc. Another scenario is not to stop investment activities and invest, for example, $ 1 billion in doubling the production of the Segezha PPM, invest in the construction of a new pulp and paper mill in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, build a new plywood factory and five pellet plants. This will increase the company's cost in comparison with the first scenario by an average of 3 times. But not in 2021, but in 2025-2026. Which scenario to choose is the strategic decision that I have to take. Between them, of course, there is still an intermediate scenario, when we do 30% of the planned, but the basic fork in this. However, even having chosen the first strategy, we will still work on new investment projects, so that when it is time to make an investment decision, be ready for it.
- Who developed these scenarios?
"I've been working here since March, so I can only share my thoughts on the future, and not with specific plans that we are announcing.
- And when do you plan to choose a script?
- Until the end of the year for sure.
- Do you have some kind of deadline?
- I set deadline for myself until November. This does not cancel our current measures to improve operational efficiency, productivity - we have a whole program. But in parallel there are a number of strategic forks, which we, too, should solve for ourselves.
"I prefer to rely on my own resources to develop a strategy"
- In occasion of large projects, which you announced, but have not yet realized. As you have already said, the company continues to study the possibility of building a pulp and paper mill in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Yes, a lot of raw materials, next to the main market - China. But in the Krasnoyarsk Territory he plans to build a pulp and paper mill and Vnesheconombank (VEB). At what stage is the discussion of your project?
- We have a partner on this project, called Siberwood (the developer company, is engaged in the project of construction of a cellulose production complex in Lesosibirsk with a capacity of 930,000 tons since 2015, has brought the project to a high degree of readiness for implementation, including obtaining all necessary permits and readiness for construction). We are conducting close negotiations with them, working together to bring the project of building a new pulp and paper mill in Lesosibirsk to the most efficient level possible. This city is located far enough from Boguchan, where VEB plans to realize its project. And, in principle, these two projects are not mutually exclusive. The pulp and paper mill in Boguchany will not reduce the efficiency of the pulp and paper mill in Lesosibirsk. They are designed for two different forest basins. Lesosibirsk is fed by a forest that melts down the Angara and is harvested from the left side of the Yenisei River. The Angara flows from the east to the west, the Yenisei River flows from the south to the north. This is a potential cluster for the Lesosibirsk PPM. Estimated cutting area - around 10 million cubic meters. m and more. This makes it possible to build a pulp and paper mill with a capacity of 1-1.5 million tons of pulp [per year]. In Boguchany built infrastructure - a bridge, a railway through the river, and there is mainly logging and delivery by road.
The construction of the Lesosibirsk Combine is a greenfield project, which carries significant risks. First of all, the risks of infrastructure, which is not there. It is necessary to build a 10 km railway line, make a new water intake for the city of Lesosibirsk and build an automobile overpass in the place where the plant will be located. The total cost of all this, according to our estimates, is about 2 billion rubles. We are counting on state assistance, because for the state this project is significant. The president, the government set the task to increase non-oil and gas exports, and cellulose is already a rather complex redistribution, its final output is paper.
All industries have their own plans, but in the pulp and paper industry I see the possibility of building several pulp and paper mills in Russia and significantly increasing the export of pulp in competition with Finnish and Canadian enterprises whose raw material costs are higher. If Finns have a prime cost of raw materials at the gate of the enterprise $ 40-45, then we can get $ 25-30 in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. And this difference is really of great importance.
- And you can compete with the Brazilians, who quickly grow the forest?
- Brazilians are a slightly different segment.
We are talking about long-fiber pulp from coniferous species. Coniferous species with the quality of cellulose that we can give, grow in Russia, grow in the north, in Finland, Sweden. Although these countries already have a number of problems associated with the so-called intensive forest management - when a new forest is planted in place of the old one with the use of fertilizers. In the last few years, the problem of extensive logging has arisen: the root system of trees that grows rapidly, is less resistant than trees growing naturally, and in strong winds, forests are felling in large areas. It is unclear how this problem can be solved, how large it will be, but there is also a thing that raises the cost price. In Russia there is still no such problem. We are talking more about the development of existing logging sites, and for us intensive forest management and reforestation have not been included in everyday practice. Although, probably, we need to follow this path, now various studies are being carried out on this subject. Nevertheless, the cost of raw materials and finished products in Russia, if not the lowest in the world, then exactly one of the lowest.
- That is, you are not worried about the markets for the new pulp and paper mill.
- Yes, but for this purpose it is necessary to build a combine economically efficient from the point of view of costs. Very often it turns out: what is built in Europe for a billion, in Russia - for two billion. If you build for a billion, you will have 25% profitability. For two - 5%. I am speaking figuratively. The figure depends on the capacity of the plant. Let's say that a combine worth 500,000 tons is roughly $ 1.5 billion, $ 1 million is worth $ 2.5 billion.
- On the project of the pulp and paper mill in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, you have not yet made a final decision and are waiting for support from the authorities?
- We do not wait, we actively cooperate and work through this project.
- If there is no state support, will you in any case build it?
- We have a great desire to build it. And if we do not face some insurmountable obstacles, then we will do it. There is a feasibility study, detailed elaboration, financing mechanisms, attracting EPC contractors (engineering, procurement and construction - a contracting method in the construction industry with the engineering of survey, design and reconciliation works - Vedomosti), equipment suppliers, linking guarantees, bank financing . A big project, a lot of work on its finalization.
- What are the terms?
- Ideally, we want to enter the construction site next year, possibly in part this year too. The construction itself will take three years.
- Do you want to build a pulp and paper mill together with VEB?
- We are in dialogue, including with VEB. At the same time, one must understand that our calculated cutting area for the VEB project can not be used, because our forest in this case will have to be dragged up the river, which in practice is impossible. Therefore, if we participate in their project, our felling area will have to be sold to someone, to hand over. The pulp and paper mill is always built on the basis of some kind of forest. If there is no forest, then why invest? We will have to buy the Vebov forest.
- It turns out, if you do a joint project, then on your site?
- I think it's wrong to comment on our intentions and VEB's. We are in a dialogue. So far no final decisions have been made.
- Do you need government assistance only in creating an infrastructure?
- We need a railway branch, a water intake and an auto-overpass. At least three of these components. Further - the possibility of concessional lending through development institutions, the same VEB, the subsidy rate, because long and cheap money is needed. Plus risk insurance for possible foreign investors and creditors. A whole set of activities.
- So you want to attract co-investors?
- Of course, we can not pull the project by $ 2 billion.
"And who might that be?"
- Chinese investors are interested, there are a lot of funds.
People who understand the pulp and paper industry, look at the basic economy, estimate the cost of raw materials as one of the main factors. Further they look at the risks of unforeseen costs and delays in launching, based on the complexity of the technology, on the quality of contractors and equipment suppliers and draw conclusions about the riskiness of the entire project. The range of prices for cellulose taking into account the capacity of the world market is a more or less understandable parameter. And then the question is only what cost price you can provide at the output and what investment costs you need to make the necessary volume. If this lower parameter makes sense, then the investment decision is taken simply enough, because the risks are understandable and the payback is understandable. You do not invest in a start-up, which does not understand whether it will produce products that are needed in the market, whether it will be possible to compete with others, etc. There is a simple, straightforward history here.
- Do you want to produce only cellulose or other derivatives there?
- Initially - cellulose. It already has a sales market, it is already possible to earn money on it. Next comes the question of building paper machines. This is quite possible, the site allows.
- You said that one of the scenarios of the company's development involves doubling the production of the Segezha PPM. Is there enough wood for this?
- There are problems with the forest, of course. We have a large own cutting area, and there are certain ideas for increasing the efficiency and intensity of its use. There are a number of logging sites in neighboring areas, from which we deliver the forest. There are a number of M & A-goals in Karelia, to which we are looking, is the acquisition of farms with an additional cutting area. We have thoughts on how to expand the estimated cutting area there for a new volume of pulp.
- In Karelia there is Kondopoga PPM. Are not you going to buy it?
- As they say, consent is a product of non-resistance of the parties.
- So they are against it?
- Not that against ... In the development of the strategy, I prefer to rely on my own strength. What we can do ourselves, and what we understand how to do, we do it. If there are any additional interesting M & A opportunities or any other options during the play, we will implement them. But there is no point in making concrete deals in the strategy.
"The share of exports will grow"
- You have assets abroad. What are you going to do with them?
- Abroad, we have so-called converting capacities - factories for the production of a paper bag of paper, which we supply there. We are planning these capacities to increase and build or buy additional capacity. Not only in Europe, where our factories are concentrated mainly, but also all over the world - in Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, possibly in China. We look at the whole world from the point of view of where we can create a production that will increase the added value earned from our paper. Specifically, how many plants we will build, I will not tell you now. But strategically, we want to increase the share of converting our own paper. Now about 30% of the paper that we produce, we convert into a bag and sell bags for cement, dry building mixtures, for various feeds, coal packed, products of the chemical industry. And also as a consumer package. Paper bags, which are gradually replaced by polyethylene, we also do. And this ratio - 30% of our own bag and 70% of the paper - we would ideally like to turn: 70% of the bag and 30% of the paper. Well, probably, a more realistic task - 50% of your own bag and 50% of the paper on the market.
- Is there enough raw material for bag production?
- Those converting capacities, which are, are 100% loaded with our own paper, there is no problem. Raw materials for the production of paper is enough, but we still buy some on the market. We have our own raw materials at the moment at the level of 65%, which, in principle, is a normal balance.
- What is your strategy for export of finished products?
- About 70% of what we produce, including paper, bag, plywood, glued beam, lumber, we sell abroad. I think the share of exports will grow. The cost price is low, the quality of products is high, we penetrate new markets, our products are liked by buyers. We now have no problem selling, we have a problem to produce. If we could produce 300,000 tons more paper, we would sell it all tomorrow. Power is not enough, and those that are, are loaded almost 100%.
- And do you want to work on a give-and-take scheme, ordering the production of paper on other capacities?
- No, we have the bottleneck - this is the production of pulp. We can not produce more because of the physical limitation of the equipment's capacity. Naturally, there are thoughts on its further expansion. This is a complex engineering and technical task, and I think that we will solve it. But now we are limited. This year, we will produce somewhere around 350,000 tons of sack paper. Any increase in capacity, if we are not talking about operational and production increase due to bottlenecks, is the construction of new units. At Segezha PPM, in order to increase the production of pulp, it is necessary to build a new recovery boiler, which is approximately 250 million euros.
- Is the current ruble rate comfortable for business development, company export?
- 70% of the company's revenue is exported, and for us, of course, how cynically it sounds, the lower the national currency rate, the better. But within certain limits. Because the equipment we buy all imported. And our loans are also mostly foreign currency loans. They have a low rate, but they are balanced with our sales structure between currency and rubles. Therefore, the current course, in principle, suits us.
- To communicate with foreign partners because of anti-Russian sanctions became more difficult? The price of the equipment may have increased, taking into account the premium for risks?
- For us - no. The price of equipment has not increased. We do not feel this on ourselves, I can not speak for others. We work while in the framework of reasonable business.
- Have you already got acquainted with the project of the forest industry strategy being developed by the Russian authorities now? How do you assess it? What do you advise?
- The strategy for the development of the industry is correct, competent, the question is only in money. Will there be financing for development, where will it come from, on what terms, how quickly, etc.
In the pulp and paper industry of Russia, three large-scale players - the Ilim Group, the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and the Segezha Group. In comparison with international players, we look, unfortunately, quite small, all three. At the same time, Russia's potential in the global pulp and paper industry is much greater than the place now occupied by domestic companies. Russian oil companies are among world leaders in the world, pulp and paper are not such, but they can become. But the problem is that Ilim, perhaps, is the only one who can build a new pulp and paper mill at his own expense. One [new] PPM is not enough for the entire country. We need 5-10, which will work on the world market. In fact, we need a push to develop the industry, and first of all we need to find a financial resource.