AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA reaffirms expectations for full year

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Subtitle: In the first three quarters of 2014|15, pressure on prices in the
Sugar segment and one-time structural effects in the Fruit segment led to
significant reductions in revenue and EBIT

quarterly report/9-month report

In the first nine months of the 2014|15 financial year, AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
as expected registered a significant year-on-year decrease of 15.3% in Group
revenue to EUR 1,914.4 million. While Starch segment revenue came close to
matching the year-earlier result, revenue in the Sugar and Fruit segments
declined as a consequence mainly of lower sales prices. Operating profit (EBIT)
was EUR 124.4 million, a decrease of 18.5% from the first nine months of the
prior year. The continued erosion of sugar prices, combined with non-recurring
exceptional expenses for restructuring at the Austrian fruit preparations site
in Kröllendorf, weighed on the Group's profitability.

"We are prepared for the situation in the Sugar segment to deteriorate further
in the next several months," says AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann
Marihart. "In times like these, our diversification clearly proves its worth,
with the Starch and Fruit segments lending stability to our Group results. To
safeguard AGRANA's long-term business performance, we will remain true to this
strategy going forward," explains CEO Marihart.

Net financial items in the first three quarters of 2014|15 amounted to a net
expense of EUR 11.6 million (Q1-Q3 2013|14: net expense of EUR 21.7 million);
the year-on-year improvement resulted primarily from net currency translation
gains. With an income tax expense of EUR 30.8 million, corresponding to a tax
rate of 27.3% (Q1-Q3 2013|14: 21.6%), profit for the period was EUR 82.0 million
(Q1-Q3 2013|14: EUR 102.6 million). Earnings per share attributable to AGRANA
shareholders were EUR 5.45 (Q1-Q3 2013|14: EUR 6.80).

Net debt at 30 November 2014 was EUR 284.6 million, down significantly - by
EUR 102.2 million - from the 2013|14 year-end level. Total assets eased slightly
compared with 28 February 2014, to EUR 2.54 billion, and the equity ratio
receded somewhat from 49.9% to 47.6%. The gearing ratio of 23.5% at the interim
balance sheet date was substantially lower (and thus better) than on 28 February
2014, when it stood at 32.4%.


AGRANA financial resultsfor the first three quarters of 2014|15
(1 March to 30 November 2014)*
EUR million, except %
 


                                                    Q1-3 2014|15 Q1-3 2013|14
Revenue                                             1,914.4      2,259.3
EBITDA**                                            168.2        188.7
Operating profit***                                 108.0        129.8
Share of results of equity-accounted joint ventures 20.1         22.8
Exceptional items                                   (3.7)        0.0
Operating profit (EBIT)                             124.4        152.6
EBIT margin                                         6.5%         6.8%
Net financial items                                 (11.6)       (21.7)
Income tax                                          (30.8)       (28.3)
Profit for the period                               82.0         102.6
Investment****                                      62.5         93.3

 

*All prior-year data have been restated for the adoption of IFRS 11 (equity
method accounting has replaced proportionate consolidation).
**EBITDA represents operating profit before exceptional items, results of
equity-accounted joint ventures, depreciation and amortisation.
***Before exceptional items and results of equity-accounted joint ventures
****Investment represents purchases of property, plant and equipment and
intangible assets, excluding goodwill.
 


 
Sugar segment
 


                        Q1-3 2014|15 Q1-3 2013|14
Revenue                 563.4        805.4
Operating profit (EBIT) 29.0         51.3
EBIT margin             5.2%         6.4%

 

Sugar segment revenue in the first three quarters of 2014|15 declined by a
significant 30.1% year-on-year to EUR 563.4 million. The reasons were a
continued reduction in sales prices and, to a lesser extent, a decrease in
quantities sold into the sugar-using industry and to resellers. Revenue from by-
products rose slightly. As expected amid the fall in sugar prices, EBIT too, at
EUR 29.0 million, was down significantly from the high year-ago value.
 
 
 
Starch segment
 


                        Q1-3 2014|15 Q1-3 2013|14
Revenue                 535.4        547.8
Operating profit (EBIT) 45.5         42.5
EBIT margin             8.5%         7.8%

 

Revenue in the Starch segment in the first nine months of 2014|15 was EUR 535.4
million, or 2.3% below the year-ago value. The decrease was attributable mainly
to lower selling prices, which were not fully offset by higher sales volumes. At
EUR 45.5 million, EBIT was up 7.1% year-on-year and the EBIT profit margin
expanded by almost one percentage point to 8.5% thanks to lower raw material and
energy prices.
 
 
 
Fruit segment
 


                        Q1-3 2014|15 Q1-3 2013|14
Revenue                 815.6        906.1
Operating profit (EBIT) 49.9         58.8
EBIT margin             6.1%         6.5%

 

Fruit segment revenue in the first three quarters of 2014|15 declined by 10.0%
to EUR 815.6 million. In fruit preparations, sales quantities were in line with
the prior-year level, but revenue eased by about 3%, owing especially to foreign
exchange effects. The revenue reduction of about one-quarter in the fruit juice
concentrate business resulted from reduced sales quantities and sharply lower
selling prices. Fruit segment EBIT in the first three quarters was EUR 49.9
million, a 15.1% decrease from one year earlier. In the fruit preparations
activities, a provisioning expense for moving the Kröllendorf plant to
Gleisdorf, as well as currency translation effects, detracted from earnings.
 

 
Outlook
 
For the 2014|15 financial year as a whole, AGRANA continues to expect a
significant decrease in Group revenue (2013|14: EUR 2,841.7 million), driven by
much lower average prices than last year. For operating profit (EBIT), the Group
is projecting a significant reduction (2013|14: EUR 167.0 million), as a result
of the price declines evident especially for sugar and ethanol. In 2014|15 the
AGRANA Group's total investment of about EUR 95 million will exceed depreciation
by about 15%, but will be significantly less than in the prior year.
 


About AGRANA
 
AGRANA turns agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous
industrial intermediate products. About 8,800 employees at more than 50
production sites worldwide generate annual revenue of around three billion
euros. Established in 1988, the company today is the leading sugar producer in
Central and Eastern Europe and its Starch segment is a major European
manufacturer of specialty products. AGRANA is also the world market leader in
fruit preparations and Europe's largest producer of fruit juice concentrates.

Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

Mag.(FH) Markus Simak
Pressesprecher
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084
e-mail: markus.simak@agrana.com

Mag.(FH) Hannes Haider
Investor Relations
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12905
e-mail:hannes.haider@agrana.com

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
             F.-W.-Raiffeisen-Platz  1
             A-1020 Wien
phone:       +43-1-21137-0
FAX:         +43-1-21137-12926
mail:     info.ab@agrana.com
WWW:      www.agrana.com
sector:      Food
ISIN:        AT0000603709
indexes:     WBI, ATX Prime
stockmarkets: Präsenzhandel: Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, official market: Wien 
language:   English
 



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