The credit rating assigned to JSC Concern Kalashnikov (hereinafter, Kalashnikov, the Company, or the Concern) is based on its strong business profile, adequate corporate governance, high profitability, and strong liquidity. The rating is further supported by a high strategic importance of the Company for the state. On the other hand, the Company's medium size, high leverage and FCF shortage restrict the credit rating.
JSC Concern Kalashnikov is the Russia's largest manufacturer of firearms, which is the main supplier of small arms to the RF Armed Forces and controls the manufacture of high-precision guided weapons for army aviation. In 2017, the Company's revenue plunged on a shift of shipping deadlines under Russian and foreign contracts to 2018.
Key rating assessment factors
Strong business profile and strong market positions. Kalashnikov supplies up to 95% of small arms to the Russian market. In addition, the Concern manufactures guided weapons systems that are in high demand in Russia and abroad. The exports share in the sales exceeds 50%. Sanctions raised against the Company in 2014 did not affect its creditworthiness, because the volume of exports to sanctioned countries has historically been insignificant, while the need for imported components is low. The Company has a complete and long-term portfolio of orders, and the utilization ratio of its manufacturing capacities is about 100%.
Adequate corporate governance is due to a high assessment of the management strategy, the implementation of which allowed the new owners of the Company to successfully restructure OJSC Concern Izhmash that went bankrupt. The strategy is aimed further at increasing revenues from sales of civilian products, as well as such promising products as UAVs, motorboats and boats. The Agency notes that the financial risk management is not regulated in the Company, however, the actual level of accepted currency and interest risks is minimal. The management structure allows the Company to minimize conflicts of interest, since two of nine members of the board of directors are independent directors, and all key decisions are coordinated with the largest creditor. The Company’s structure is rather complicated but matches the scale of its business. Financial transparency is acceptable, taking into account the confidential nature of the Concern’s activities.
High profitability is determined by the current state defense order contracts and the pricing policies for military products. By 2019, the Company is expected to start manufacturing products that are more marginal. In 2017, the FFO margin before net interest and taxes declined to 7%, but in 2018–2020, it is expected to reach 22–28%, which is comparable with the period of 2015–2016. The size of the business is estimated by the Agency as medium, as the annual FFO before net interest and taxes will amount to RUB 5.5 billion for the period from 2014 to 2020.
High leverage and medium coverage. The Agency expects that by late 2018 the Company will significantly increase its debt obligations to upgrade its core manufacturing facilities and increase R&D investments. According to ACRA estimates for the period from 2014 to 2020, the annual ratio of total debt / FFO before net interest is expected to reach 3.6x, the ratio of net debt to capital is expected to be 1.7x, and the coverage of interest payments will be about 4.1x.
High liquidity of the Company stems from the comfortable terms of payment for its products. The Agency notes that the defense sector payment regulations imply strict targeted use of advance payments, therefore, not all cash was taken by the Agency in its calculations of liquidity. The Agency also notes a significant amount of unwithdrawn loan limits in banks and available credit lines. As a result, despite a significant shortfall in free cash flow in 2018, the short-term liquidity ratio is 1.8x, which is very high. ACRA expects that in 2019–2020, the free cash flow will become positive, due to a drop in capital expenditures down to the level of supporting investments, as well as the absence of significant debt repayments.
- Growth of prices for Company’s products about 6% per year;
- Completion of the current contractual base in 2018–2020;
- 5.7% annual growth of Company’s costs;
- Dividend payments at about 25% of the net profit.
Potential outlook or rating change factors
The Stable outlook assumes that the rating will most likely stay unchanged within the 12 to 18-month horizon.
A positive rating action may be prompted by:
- A substantial decrease in leverage: the total debt to FFO before net interest going below 3.5х, or coverage of interest payments growing above 5.0х;
- A sustainable and positive FCF margin above 2%.
A negative rating action may be prompted by:
- A growth in the total debt above 5.0х of FFO before net interest, or coverage of interest payments decreasing below 2.5х;
- FFO margin before fixed payments decreasing below 10%;
- A substantial shrink in the contractual base;
- A substantially worsened access to external sources of liquidity and a lower liquidity assessment.
Standalone creditworthiness assessment (SCA): а-.
Support: 1 notch up to SCA.
No outstanding issues have been rated.
The credit rating has been assigned under the national scale for the Russian Federation and is based on the Methodology for Credit Ratings Assignment to Non-Financial Corporations under the National Scale for the Russian Federation, Methodology for Analyzing Member Company Relationships within Corporate Groups, Methodology for Analyzing Relationships Between Rated Entities and the State, and the Key Concepts Used by the Analytical Credit Rating Agency Within the Scope of Its Rating Activities.
The credit rating assigned to JSC Concern Kalashnikov was first published by ACRA on August 16, 2017. The credit rating and its outlook are expected to be revised within one year following the rating action date (August 14, 2018).
The assigned credit rating is based on the data provided by JSC Concern Kalashnikov, information from publicly available sources, as well as ACRA’s own databases. The credit rating is solicited, and JSC Concern Kalashnikov participated in its assignment.
No material discrepancies between the provided data and the data officially disclosed by JSC Concern Kalashnikov in its financial statements have been discovered.
ACRA provided no additional services to JSC Concern Kalashnikov. No conflicts of interest were discovered in the course of credit rating assignment.