Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded PKN ORLEN’s rating to Baa2 from Baa3. The outlook remains stable. Concurrently, the baseline credit assessment of PKN ORLEN has been upgraded to Baa3 from Ba1. The upgrade reflects mainly the company’s consistent effort to reduce its debt and keep all financial ratios at safe levels, benefiting from supportive macroeconomic environment.
In the ratings rationale, Moody’s noted PKN ORLEN’s improving financial profile in 2015-2016, with LIFO-based EBITDA rising to a record high of PLN 8.7bn in 2016. The agency also commended the company’s consistency in reducing its debt. Moody’s believes that PKN ORLEN’s strategy announced in late 2016 sets out ambitious yet realistic financial and investment targets. The rating also reflects PKN ORLEN’s strong presence in Central and Eastern Europe, the high level of integration between its refining, petrochemical and retail businesses, as well as its leading position in the Polish wholesale and retail fuel markets.
“The rating upgrade means a lot to us, especially in the context of how we are perceived by the financial markets. We are currently a reputable company with sound financials, as confirmed by a high national rating of A-(pol) and international investment grade ratings from Moody’s and Fitch, which underpin our credibility to investors,” said Sławomir Jędrzejczyk, Vice President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board, Chief Financial Officer.
PKN ORLEN’s stable market position, confirmed by the high international ratings, supports the company’s progress in diversifying its sources of funding. In 2016, PKN ORLEN, through its subsidiary ORLEN Capital AB, successfully placed a EUR 750m eurobond issue. This largest issue of investment grade corporate eurobonds was also introduced to trading on the Catalyst market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Besides upgrading PKN ORLEN’s issuer rating and credit assessment, Moody’s Investors Service has also upgraded today the rating of this eurobonds issue to Baa2 from Baa3.