AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA results for Q1 of 2015|16 (ended 31 May 2015) - Sustained pressure on sugar prices led to decrease in revenue and EBIT - Starch and fruit preparations at year-earlier level

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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet/3-month report

AGRANA, the global sugar, starch and fruit products manufacturer, as predicted
posted reductions in revenue and EBIT in the opening quarter of the 2015|16
financial year, as a result of lower market prices. Compared to the year-earlier
quarter, the Group's revenue declined by 5.3% in the first three months, to
EUR 612.7 million. As expected, operating profit (EBIT), at EUR 31.6 million,
was down significantly, with a decline of 40.3% from the prior year's first
quarter. While in the Sugar segment the significant erosion in sales prices
detracted from revenue and led to a negative operating result, EBIT in the
Starch segment improved somewhat. In the Fruit segment, EBIT eased year-on-year
as expected, as a result of a modest dip in the profit trend in fruit juice
"In the Sugar segment we are passing through a challenging financial year in
2015|16. The first quarter too was marked by lasting downward pressure on sugar
prices. In the Starch and Fruit segments we achieved a good trend in sales
volume. Our diversification across three business segments will be helpful in
delivering solid profit for the period as a Group in the full financial year,"
emphasises Johann Marihart, Chief Executive Officer of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG.
AGRANA-Group financial results
EUR million, except %

                        Q1 2015|16 Q1 2014|15
Revenue                 612.7      647.2
EBITDA*                 43.2       63.5
Operating profit (EBIT) 31.6       52.9
EBIT margin             5.2%       8.2%
Net financial items     (1.7)      (2.7)
Income tax              (8.3)      (11.0)
Profit for the period   21.6       39.2
Investment**            17.9       14.9


*EBITDA represents operating profit before exceptional items, results of equity-
accounted joint ventures, depreciation and amortisation.
**Investment represents purchases of property, plant and equipment and
intangible assets, excluding goodwill.

Net financial items in the first quarter of 2015|16 amounted to a net expense of
EUR 1.7 million (Q1 of prior year: net expense of EUR 2.7 million); the year-on-
year improvement arose primarily from the net interest result. After an income
tax expense of EUR 8.3 million, corresponding to a tax rate of 27.8% (Q1 of
prior year: 21.9%), profit for the period was EUR 21.6 million (Q1 of prior
year: EUR 39.2 million). Earnings per share attributable to AGRANA shareholders
were EUR 1.45 (Q1 of prior year: EUR 2.66).
Total assets eased slightly compared with 28 February 2015, from EUR 2.41
billion to EUR 2.33 billion, and the equity ratio rose from 49.6% to 52.5%. Net
debt as of 31 May 2015 stood at EUR 410.3 million, which for seasonal reasons
was up significantly (by EUR 80.0 million) from the 2014|15 year-end level. The
gearing ratio therefore rose to 33.5% as of the quarterly balance sheet date
(28 February 2015: 27.7%).

Sugar segment

                        Q1 2015|16 Q1 2014|15
Revenue                 147.8      185.1
Operating profit (EBIT) (1.9)      17.0
EBIT margin             (1.3%)     9.2%


In the Sugar segment the trend of the previous two quarters continued. Revenue
in the first quarter of 2015|16 fell substantially by 20.2% year-on-year, to
EUR 147.8 million. The reasons were a significant reduction in sales prices and
also a decrease in quantities sold into the sugar-using industry. The negative
EBIT (EUR -1.9 million) was likewise attributable to the significant drop in
sales prices compared with the prior year. Lower raw material costs
(particularly for raw sugar) were not able to compensate for the revenue
Starch segment

                        Q1 2015|16 Q1 2014|15
Revenue                 174.1      177.3
Operating profit (EBIT) 14.7       14.5
EBIT margin             8.4%       8.2%


The Starch segment's revenue in the first quarter was EUR 174.1 million, about
1.8% less than in the same quarter one year earlier. This small downtick was
driven mainly by lower selling prices for products purchased for resale, which
were almost fully made up for by greater sales volumes of modified starches and
higher prices for bioethanol. At EUR 14.7 million, absolute EBIT was up slightly
year-on-year, and profitability (the EBIT margin) rose to 8.4%.
Fruit segment

                        Q1 2015|16 Q1 2014|15
Revenue                 290.8      284.8
Operating profit (EBIT) 18.8       21.4
EBIT margin             6.5%       7.5%


Fruit segment revenue increased by 2.1% in the first quarter, to EUR 290.8
million. In the fruit preparations division, where sales volume rose slightly
from one year earlier, higher sales prices and currency translation effects were
the key drivers of revenue growth of about 10%. The revenue reduction of
approximately 20% in the fruit juice concentrate division resulted from lower
sales quantities and prices. EBIT of the Fruit segment as a whole was EUR 18.8
million, a decrease of 12.2% from one year earlier. While the fruit preparations
business showed a moderate improvement in EBIT, a decline in apple juice
concentrate prices had a negative effect in the fruit juice concentrate
In view of the persistent downward pressure on prices of sugar and
saccharification products, AGRANA maintains its forecast of a significant
decrease in EBIT for the full year 2015|16. AGRANA continues to expect Group
revenue to be steady for the 2015|16 financial year. The budgeted investment for
the year, at approximately EUR 93 million, is slightly above depreciation.
AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous
industrial intermediate products. About 8,700 employees at more than 50
production sites worldwide generate annual Group sales of around EUR 2.5
billion. 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, as well as the largest producer of
bioethanol in Austria. AGRANA is also the world market leader in fruit
preparations and Europe's largest maker of fruit juice concentrates.
This press release is also available on the AGRANA website at

Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

Mag.(FH) Markus Simak
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084

Mag.(FH) Hannes Haider
Investor Relations
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12905

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

company:     AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
             F.-W.-Raiffeisen-Platz  1
             A-1020 Wien
phone:       +43-1-21137-0
FAX:         +43-1-21137-12926
sector:      Food
ISIN:        AT0000603709
indexes:     WBI, ATX Prime
stockmarkets: Präsenzhandel: Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, official market: Wien 
language:   English


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