AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
Results in first nine months of 2010|11 - Robust upward trend continues

@@start.t1@@--------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer/originator is solely   responsible for the content of this announcement. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------@@end@@

Financial Figures/Balance Sheet/quarterly report/9-month report

Wien (euro adhoc) - With a strong third quarter, AGRANA, the sugar, starch and fruit group, continued its positive  performance of the current financial year. Revenue in the first three quarters (ended 30 November 2010) grew by 5.8% from one year earlier, to EUR 1,624.4 million. In each of the three business segments, the revenue growth reflected the combined net effect of higher volumes and somewhat lower average prices. AGRANA recorded operating profit of EUR 104.8 million before exceptional items, an increase of 32.8% from the prior year´s first three quarters that was driven by all three segments. The - anticipated - rise in raw material costs in the Starch and Fruit segments during the third quarter was to some degree already successfully offset by sales price increases, which kept the strain on margins milder than expected. As well, the optimisation measures initiated in the prior financial year made a positive difference in operating profit before exceptional items.

After a net finance expense of EUR 20.2 million (the lower net finance expense of EUR 4.9 million in the prior-year comparative period was attributable to currency translation gains) and an income tax expense of EUR 19.5 million (at a tax rate of 23%), the Group´s profit for the period was EUR 65.0 million (Q1-Q3 2009|10: EUR 57.8 million). Earnings per share attributable to AGRANA shareholders grew from EUR 4.04 to EUR 4.43.

At 30 November 2010, net debt was EUR 389.4 million. The gearing ratio (net debt to total equity) of 41.4% was just below the prior year-end level of 41.6%. The equity ratio on 30 November 2010 measured 44.6%.

AGRANA Group results (IFRS)

@@start.t2@@In EUR (except margin and staff Q3 10|11    Q3 09|10  Q1-Q3 10|11 Q1-Q3 09|10
Revenue                                        551.0 m      501.6 m    1,624.4 m    1,535.8 m
Operating profit before                40.0 m        35.0 m        104.8 m         78.9 m
exceptional items
Operating margin                            7.3%          7.0%            6.5%            5.1%
Profit before tax                         35.8 m        27.6 m         84.5 m         74.0 m
Profit for the period                  27.7 m        23.0 m         65.0 m         57.8 m
Earnings per share                         1.85          1.58           4.43           4.04 
Purchases of property, plant         8.8 m         9.2 m         28.0 m         25.5 m
and equipment and intangibles
(other than goodwill)
Staff count                                                                         8,558         8,117@@end@@

AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann Marihart says: "We are very pleased with our business performance for the financial year to date. For the full year 2010|11 we expect revenue to increase from the prior year to more than EUR 2 billion and, in view of the good third quarter, both our operating profit before exceptional items and our operating margin should rise significantly in all three segments."

Sugar segment

@@start.t3@@In EUR (except operating        Q3 10|11    Q3 09|10    Q1-Q3 10|11  Q1-Q3 09|10
Revenue                                  193.9 m      176.3 m      560.1 m         547.7 m
Operating profit before          13.7 m         6.1 m        26.0 m          19.2 m
exceptional items
Operating margin                        7.3%          3.5%          4.6%              3.5%

In the Sugar segment the price-related reduction in quota sugar revenue was@@end@@

more than offset by significantly increased non-quota sugar exports. The expansion in pre-exceptionals operating profit especially in the strong third quarter was made possible by improved market conditions and cost savings.

Starch segment

@@start.t4@@In EUR (except operating        Q3 10|11    Q3 09|10    Q1-Q3 10|11  Q1-Q3 09|10
Revenue                                  152.0 m      128.6 m      424.6 m         380.4 m
Operating profit before          12.7 m        13.9 m        43.5 m          34.3 m
exceptional items
Operating margin                        8.4%         10.8%         10.2%              9.0%

The revenue trend in the Starch segment was positive as a result of higher sales volumes. Economies of scale associated with the revenue growth, together@@end@@

with an effective purchasing strategy, were the main drivers of the improvement in operating margin.

Fruit segment

@@start.t5@@In EUR (except operating        Q3 10|11    Q3 09|10    Q1-Q3 10|11    Q1-Q3 09|10
Revenue                                  205.2 m      196.7 m      639.7 m          607.7 m
Operating profit before          13.7 m        14.9 m        35.4 m            25.4 m
exceptional items
Operating margin                        6.7%          7.6%          5.5%                4.2%@@end@@

AGRANA´s revenue also increased in the Fruit segment, as sales volumes grew both in fruit preparations and fruit juice concentrates. The key reasons for the rise in operating margin were the economies of scale from volume growth, and the numerous organisational and cost improvement measures.  The higher raw material prices did not make themselves felt until near the end of the reporting period.

Outlook For the full year 2010|11, AGRANA expects revenue to grow from the prior year in all three business segments. Notable increases in raw material prices were already evident towards the end of the first half of 2010|11. Although (as the Group had anticipated) this led to margin pressure, the brisk market demand allowed the margin effect to be moderated by adjusting sales prices. Buoyed by the good third quarter, a significant increase in operating profit and operating margin in all segments is now likely for the full financial year.

This press release is available on the internet at

@@start.t6@@end of announcement                                                 euro adhoc

Further inquiry note: AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG Mag.(FH) Hannes Haider Investor Relations Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12905 e-mail:

Mag. Ulrike Middelhoff Public Relations Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084

Branche: Food
ISIN:      AT0000603709
WKN:        779535
Index:    WBI, ATX Prime
Börsen:  Berlin / Präsenzhandel
              Frankfurt / Präsenzhandel
              Stuttgart / Präsenzhandel
              Wien / official market

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