Pha Lai Thermal Power (PPC), Electricity Generation

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Key Metrics
Foreign Ownership 34%
Foreign Limit 49%
Outstanding Shares 326.2m
Fully Diluted Share Count 326.2m
12M High VND 28,400
12M Low VND 17,200
EVN Genco 2 52.3%
REE Corp 22.3%
Halley Sicav 6.0%
Others 19.4%



Price: VND 18,200                    Target Price: VND21,700                 Upside + Div: 27.5%

Market Cap: USD 257m          Daily Val 30 Day: USD 0.1m            Foreign room: 15%

Key Metrics 2013A 2014A 2015F 2016F
Revenue, VND Billion 6,589 7,482 7,998 8,172
NPAT less Minority Interest (VNDb) 1,630 1,045 636 1,329
Revenue growth 59.5% 13.6% 6.9% 2.2%
EBIT growth 152.7% -57.9% 89.3% 56.7%
EPS growth (*) 66.5% -29.9% 42.0% 40.3%
PER at market price 6.1 8.6 9.5 5.0
PBR at market price 1.1 1.0 1.0 0.9
ROE 20.4% 12.3% 16.9% 22.1%
Dividend Yield at market price 8.2% 13.7% 8.2% 11.0%
Net Debt / Equity % 0.8 0.6 0.5 0.4

Notes: (*) EPS growth less one-off profit while PER is calculated on company reported EPS adjusted for bonus & welfare.

–  We increase TP for PPC by 4% and upgrade it from M-PF to BUY as a multitude of factors are working in favour of PPC from drought conditions to a vibrant economy that together are having a dual positive affect on utilisation rates, forces strong enough to override the temporary oversupplied situation in the North. Recent share price decline further improve upside.- Fully depreciated asset will lift EPS growth by 40.3% for 2016 while signals from the company suggest positive Pha Lai 1’s PPA re-negotiation next year (but applicable from 2017).

–  We retain our forecast on 2015 dividend payment of VND1,500 (8.2% yield) vs. company’s guidance of VND2,000 due to FX loss. However, we expect in 2016 PPC will be able to pay out VND2,000 (11.0% yield) if JPY/VND does not appreciate more than 5% and USD/VND does not appreciate more than 5%. Of note, JPY is anticipated to depreciate by in 2016. 

– PPC is trading at forward PER of 5.0x, 50% discount compared to its peers.

Expected drought and higher economic growth benefits both PPC and HPPP. PPC’s output in third quarter increased significantly by 28% and pushed 9M15’s output up by 4% despite 1H15’s decline of 4%, 3Q15 rising due to drought. We revise up utilization rate assumption for PPC and HPPP from 62%-65% to 70%-73% for both years (2015 & 2016). As such, PPC’s core NPAT was revised up by 42%.

PPA for Pha Lai 1 to be the same. According to one member of PPC’s Board of Directors, PPA of Pha Lai 1 which will be re-negotiated after 2015 is expected to remain the same. This relieves the risk that earnings of Pha Lai 2 will be used to make up for worse performance of Pha Lai 1. In addition, BOD member also explained that pressure to dispose PPC’s stake in HPPP is not significant.

PPC cannot pay VND2,000 for 2015 but will be able to 2016. We forecast that PPC’s reported NPAT will be VND636b for 2015 if JPY/VND does not move markedly for the rest of the year. This will allow PPC to pay out VND1,500 per share only, lower than its current guidance of VND2,000 per share. However, such dividend policy is extremely feasible for 2016.


Company At A Glance

Business                      Electricity generator

Key Sales Drivers         Utilization rate & electricity price

Key Cost Drivers          Coal price & maintenance cost

Key Risks                     Oversupplied situation in the Northern market & JPY appreciation

Major Clients                Viet Nam Electricity Group (EVN)

Leadership                   Mr. Lam Pham (Chairman) & Mr. Thu Pham (CEO)

Headquarters                Pha Lai ward, Chi Linh town, Hai Duong province



Telephone                    (+84) 320 3881 126


Revenue Mix % Gross Profit Contribution
Cost Structure % Capital Structure %

Source: PPC’s financial statements & VCSC

Financial Statements

INCOME STATEMENT 2014A 2015F 2016F BALANCE SHEET 2014A 2015F 2016F
VND Billion VND Billion
Revenue 7,482 7,998 8,172 Cash & cash equivalents 1,187 1,473 1,612
  Cost of goods sold -6,985 -7,139 -6,891 Short term investment 3,446 3,753 3,753
Gross Profit 497 859 1,281 Accounts receivables 2,138 1,895 1,936
  Sales & Marketing exp 0 0 0 Inventories 705 840 811
  General & Admin exp -107 -120 -122 Other current assets 4 4 4
Operating Profit (EBIT) 391 739 1,159 Total Current assets 7,480 7,965 8,116
   Financial income 1,055 314 342 Fix assets, gross 13,673 13,943 14,213
   Financial expenses -143 -400 -114  – Depreciation -12,587 -13,035 -13,115
     In which, interest expense -138 -115 -108 Fix assets, net 1,086 908 1,098
   Sh’d profit / loss fr associates -10 10 69 LT investment 1,431 1,431 1,431
   Net other income / (loss) 8 8 0 LT assets other 1,327 1,327 1,327
Profit before Tax 1,302 671 1,457 Total LT assets 3,844 3,666 3,856
   Income Tax -247 -30 -118 Total Assets 11,324 11,631 11,972
NPAT before MI 1,054 641 1,339 Accounts payable 326 308 297
  Minority Interest -9 -5 -10 Short-term debt 327 349 349
NPAT less MI, reported 1,045 636 1,329 Other ST liabilities 873 1,081 1,105
NPAT less MI, adjusted, 688 977 1,370 Total current liabilities 1,526 1,739 1,751
EBITDA 1,086 1,187 1,239  Long term debt 4,083 4,018 3,669
Other LT liabilities 0 0 0
Total LT debt 4,083 4,018 3,669
EPS basic reported, VND 3,202 1,949 4,074 Total Liabilities 5,608 5,757 5,420
EPS basic adjusted (1), VND 2,108 2,994 4,200 Preferred Equity 0 0 0
EPS fully diluted (2), VND 2,108 2,994 4,200 Paid in capital/Issued capital 3,262 3,262 3,262
Add. share capital/sh. premium 0 0 0
RATIOS 2014A 2015F 2016F Retained earnings & other equity 2,412 2,570 3,248
Rev growth 13.6% 6.9% 2.2% Minority interest 42 42 42
Op. profit (EBIT) growth % -57.9% 89.3% 56.7% Total equity 5,716 5,874 6,552
PBT growth -42.2% -48.4% 117.1% Liabilities & equity 11,324 11,631 11,972
EPS growth, adjusted -29.9% 42.0% 40.3%
Gross profit margin 6.6% 10.7% 15.7% CASH FLOW 2014A 2015F 2016F
Op. profit (EBIT) margin 5.2% 9.2% 14.2% VND Billion
EBITDA margin 14.5% 14.8% 15.2% Beginning Cash Balance 1,186 1,187 1,473
NPAT less MI margin 14.0% 8.1% 16.3% Net Income 1,045 648 1,330
ROE 12.3% 16.9% 22.1% Dep. & amortization 701 448 80
ROA 5.9% 8.5% 11.6% Change in Working Capital -227 298 1
Other adjustments -736 0 0
Efficiency Cash from Operations 782 1,394 1,411
Days Inventory On Hand 42.9 39.5 43.7 Capital Expenditures, net -200 -270 -270
Days AR 86.5 92.0 85.6 Investments, net 280 -307 0
Days AP 15.8 16.2 16.0 Cash from Investing 80 -577 -270
Cash Conversion Days 113.7 115.3 113.2 Dividends Paid -481 -489 -652
∆ in Share Capital 0 0 0
Liquidity ∆ in LT debt -380 -41 -349
Current Ratio 4.9 4.6 4.6 ∆ in ST debt  –  –  –
Quick Ratio 4.4 4.1 4.2 Other financing cash flows
Cash Ratio 0.8 0.8 0.9 Cash from Financing -860 -531 -1,002
Debt / Assets 0.4 0.4 0.3 Net Change in Cash 1 286 139
Debt / Capital 0.4 0.4 0.4 Ending Cash Balance 1,187 1,473 1,612
Net Debt / Equity 0.6 0.5 0.4
Interest Coverage 2.8 6.5 10.2

Source: Company financial statements, VCSC forecasts. (1) EPS basic adjusted is earnings per share less extraordinary profits and less contributions to employee bonus and welfare fund per Circular 200.

Quarter Results

2015F 1QA 2QA 3QA 4QF YTD Actual Company Guidance VCSC Forecast
Revenues, VND Billion 2,002 2,262 1,782 1,952 6,046            7,419 7,998
NPAT guidance, unadjusted 51 317 73 195 441               613 636
NPAT guidance, adjusted               149               327               270 230 746  n.a. 977
Gross profit margin 6.7% 8.3% 14.4% 14.4% 9.6%
Op Profit (EBIT) margin 5.4% 7.3% 13.1% 11.9% 8.4%
NPAT less MI (adj.) margin 2.6% 14.0% 4.1% 10.0% 7.3%
Revenue, YoY growth -7.3% 7.2% 30.4% 6.1%
Op Profit (EBIT) YoY growth -61.9% n.a. n.a. -12.3%
Revenues, VND Billion 2,160 2,111 1,366 1,840 7,482
NPAT guidance, unadjusted 1,045
NPAT guidance, adjusted 516
Gross profit margin 14.4% 0.6% -8.9% 16.1% 6.6%
Op Profit  (EBIT) margin 13.2% -0.6% -10.8% 14.3% 5.2%
NPAT less MI (adj.) margin 10.3% -2.3% 24.8% 29.8% 14.0%
Revenue, YoY growth 21.5% 13.1% 13.8% 5.5% 13.6%
Op Profit (EBIT) YoY growth -19.6% n.a. n.a. 251.8% -57.9%


Note: NPAT adjusted = NPAT less minority interest less extraordinary earnings less bonus & welfare fund

P&L Forecast

FY 14A FY15 Old Forecast FY15 New Forecast FY15F vs. FY14A Explanation new vs. old forecast
VND Billion
Revenues 7,482 7,230 7,998 6.9% Utilization rate revised from 65% to 73%
Gross profit 497 634 859 72.7%
Sales & marketing exp 0 0 0 n.a.
General admin exp -107 -108 -120 12.2%
Operating profit (EBIT) 391 526 739 89.3%
Interest income 362 314 314 -13.3%
Interest expense -138 -115 -115 -16.9%
Non-operating profit 696 -151 -278 n.a. More FX loss due to JPY/VND appreciation
Income from associates -10 93 10 n.a. Lower reported income from HPPP as HPPP’s earnings was hurt by 5% appreciation of USD/VND.
Profit before tax 1,302 674 671 -48.4%
Profit after tax 1,054 632 641 -39.2%
NPAT less MI, unadj 1,045 628 636 -39.1%
NPAT less MI, adj 688 687 977 42.0%
EBITDA 1,086 974 1,187 9.4%
Basis points movements
Gross profit margin % 6.6% 8.8% 10.7% 4.1%
Sales & marketing % sales 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
General admin % sales 1.4% 1.5% 1.5% 0.1%
EBIT margin % 5.2% 7.3% 9.2% 4.0%
EBITDA margin % 14.5% 13.5% 14.8% 0.3%
NPAT margin % 14.0% 8.7% 8.0% -6.0%
Effective tax rate % 19.0% 6.2% 4.5% -14.5%

Drought benefits PPC as well as HPPP

We revise up utilization rate assumptions for PPC from 65% to 73% in 2015 and from 62% to 73% in 2016. Likewise, HPPP’s utilization rates are adjusted accordingly.

Through 10 months of 2015, coal thermal power plants nationwide increased its contribution to Vietnam electricity system from 32% to 36%. This explains PPC and HPPP’s strong output year to date.

The fact that reservoirs across three regions have just been able to store from 20% to 50% of their design capacity at present indicates that 2016 will be another dry year for hydro power plants. Consequently, thermal power plants will continue to benefit.

Figure 1: PPC & HPPP’s utilization rate assumption changes



Source: PPC, HPPP & VCSC

PPC’s 9M result: FX loss obscures robust core earnings

PPC’s 3Q result came out with revenue growing by 31% and EBIT reached VND234b vs. a loss of VND146b in the same period last year. Core earnings jumped to VND270b, circa six-fold compared to 3Q14A. Output in this 3Q increased significantly by 28% and pushed 9M15’s output up by 4% despite 1H15’s decline of 4%. Severe drought as well as strong GDP growth benefited PPC remarkably despite a temporarily oversupplied situation in the North which we mentioned in our initiation report. However, PPC suffered FX loss of VND 214b vs. FX gain of VND 420b last year, resulting in 3Q15A NPAT declining 78% compared to 3Q14A.

For 9M15A result, revenue was up 7%. Meanwhile, EBIT soared by 304% on higher sales volume as well as lower depreciation expense of VND91b. In addition, 9M15A core NPAT has grown by 71% vs. 9M14A despite reported NPAT’s decline by 11% due to 7% appreciation of JPY vs. VND.


Figure 2: PPC’s 3Q and 9M results (VNDb)

Item 3Q14A 3Q15A Change (%) 9M14A 9M15A Change (%)
Electricity output (m kWh) 1,086 1,391 28% 4,367 4,538 4%
Revenue 1,365 1,782 31% 5,642 6,045 7%
Gross profit -121 257 n.a. 200 578 189%
EBIT -146 234 n.a. 126 509 304%
Interest income 173 88 -49% 371 243 -35%
Interest expense -34 -31 -9% -108 -90 -17%
Forex gain/loss 420 -214 -151% 170 -290 -271%
Income from JV 0 0 n.a. 35 95 171%
PBT 413 77 -81% 594 472 -21%
Reported NPAT 338 73 -78% 495 441 -11%
Core NPAT 34 270 698% 436 746 71%

Source: PPC & VCSC

Similarly, PPC’s 26% stake in associated company – Hai Phong thermal power plant (HPPP)’s earnings was also hurt by VND’s depreciation by 5% as of 30 Sep 2015. 3Q15A suffered huge loss of VND395b due to translation loss on its USD463m-denominated loan. As a consequence, for 9M15A, HPPP delivered core earnings of VND474b but reported NPAT still showed a loss of VND139b.

Through nine months, HPPP also benefit from drought and revenue has grown by 21% on the back of stronger output, however, bottom line saw more subdued growth of 2% due to ongoing expense for first years of operation.


Figure 3: HPPP’s 3Q15A and 9M15A results

Item 3Q14A 3Q15A Change (%) 9M14A 9M15A Change (%)
Revenue 1,739 1,968 13% 5,843 7,042 21%
Gross profit 163 192 18% 1,116 1,173 5%
EBIT 139 167 20% 1,064 1,106 4%
Financial income/expense -183 -607 232% -812 -1,246 53%
  Interest expense -250 -212 -15% -598 -632 6%
  Forex gain/loss 67 -395 -689% -214 -614 187%
Reported NPAT -45 -440 886% 252 -139 n.a
Core NPAT -111 -45 5% 466 474 2%


Source: HPPP & VCSC

We expect that HPPP’s core earnings will improve gradually owing to better cost control as well as lower interest expense going forward on lower loan balance. HPPP is estimated to contribute ~VND200b core earnings for PPC every year.

In terms of reported NPAT, we estimate that HPPP will only contribute materially for PPC from 2017 onwards. For 2015, HPPP was hurt by VND depreciation of 5% while for 2016 we assume that HPPP will book the final FX loss during construction period of VND392b.


Figure 4: HPPP’s earnings outlook

Source: HPPP & VCSC

PPC is expected to pay cash dividend of VND2,000 per share for 2016

We run two scenarios on foreign exchange rates, USD/VND and JPY/VND to see how these rates affect PPC’s capability of dividend payment:

  • Scenario 1: JPY/VND remains flat and USD/VND appreciates by 2%
  • Scenario 2: JPY/VND appreciates by 5% and USD/VND appreciates by 5%

We see that PPC will still be able to follow its dividend policy of VND2,000 per share if JPY does not appreciate more than 5% and USD does not appreciate more than 5%.

Figure 5: PPC’s dividend budget vs. reported NPAT



Source: PPC, HPPP & VCSC


Meanwhile, we note that currency experts are forecasting an uptrend for USD/JPY in 2016 given Japan is struggling with soft domestic capital expenditure and challenging global business conditions.

Figure 6: JPY/USD exchange rate trend

Source: The Economy forecast Agency

History of recommendations

Source: Bloomberg & VCSC


VCSC Rating and Valuation Methodology

Absolute, long term (fundamental) rating: The recommendation is based on implied total return for the stock defined as (target price – current price)/current price + dividend yield, and is not related to market performance. This structure applies from 27 May 2015.

BUY Total stock return including dividends over next 12 months expected to exceed 20%
OUTPERFORM (O-PF) Total stock return including dividends over next 12 months expected to be positive 10%-20%
MARKET PERFORM (M-PF) Total stock return including dividends over next 12 months expected to be between negative 10% and positive 10%
UNDERPERFORM (U-PF) Total stock return including dividends over next 12 months expected to be negative 10%-20%
SELL Total stock return including dividends over next 12 months expected to be below negative 20%
NOT RATED The company is or may be covered by the Research Department but no rating or target price is assigned either voluntarily or to comply with applicable regulation and/or firm policies in certain circumstances, including when VCSC is acting in an advisory capacity in a merger or strategic transaction involving the company.
RATING SUSPENDED A rating that happens when fundamental information is insufficient to determine an investment rating or target. The previous investment rating and target price, if any, are no longer in effect for this stock.


Unless otherwise specified, these performance parameters only reflect capital appreciation and are set with a 12-month horizon. Future price volatility may cause temporary mismatch between upside/downside for a stock based on market price and the formal recommendation, thus these performance parameters should be interpreted flexibly.

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Valuation Methodology: To derive the target price, the analyst may use different valuation methods, including, but not limited to, discounted free cash-flow and comparative analysis. The selection of methods depends on the industry, the company, the nature of the stock and other circumstances. Company valuations are based on a single or a combination of one of the following valuation methods: 1) Multiple-based models (P/E, P/cash flow, EV/sales, EV/EBIT, EV/EBITA, EV/EBITDA), peer-group comparisons, and historical valuation approaches; 2) Discount models (DCF, DVMA, DDM); 3) Break-up value approaches or asset-based evaluation methods; and 4) Economic profit approaches (Residual Income, EVA). Valuation models are dependent on macroeconomic factors, such as GDP growth, interest rates, exchange rates, raw materials, on other assumptions about the economy, as well as risks inherent to the company under review. Furthermore, market sentiment may affect the valuation of companies. Valuations are also based on expectations that might change rapidly and without notice, depending on developments specific to individual industries.

Risks: Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Foreign currency rates of exchange may adversely affect the value, price or income of any security or related instrument mentioned in this report. For investment advice, trade execution or other enquiries, clients should contact their local sales representative.



Analyst Certification of Independence

I , Duong Dinh, hereby certify that the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject securities or issuers. I also certify that no part of my compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed in this report. The equity research analysts responsible for the preparation of this report receive compensation based upon various factors, including the quality and accuracy of research, client feedback, competitive factors, and overall firm revenues, which include revenues from, among other business units, Institutional Equities and Investment Banking.

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