AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
AGRANA EBIT grows 45% – Outlook: Significant earnings growth confirmed for full year 2017|18

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Mid Year Results/Mid Year Financial Report

Vienna -
AGRANA, the Sugar, Starch and Fruit manufacturer, is delivering compelling
results for the first half of the 2017|18 financial year. Operating profit
(EBIT) grew to EUR 130.6 million, a substantial improvement of 44.5% from one
year earlier. The Group's revenue rose slightly, by 3.2% to EUR 1,362.1 million
(H1 prior year: EUR 1,320.3 million). AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann
Marihart says: "AGRANA had a very satisfactory first half of 2017|18 in all
three business segments. We are especially pleased with the significant profit
growth in the Starch segment, where productivity gains and higher ethanol
quotations enabled EBIT to surpass the already very good year-earlier result.
While in the Sugar segment our earnings were improved by a year-on-year increase
in sugar sales prices, EBIT in the Fruit segment was pushed up by higher sales
volumes both in the fruit preparations and fruit juice concentrate businesses."

AGRANA Group consolidated financial results
EUR million, except %


                                                    H1 2017|18 H1 2016|17
Revenue                                             1,362.1    1,320.3
EBITDA*                                             149.6      114.2
Operating profit before exceptional items**         113.4      78.3
Share of results of equity-accounted joint ventures 20.0       15.0
Exceptional items                                   (2.8)      (2.9)
Operating profit (EBIT)                             130.6      90.4
EBIT margin                                         9.6%       6.8%
Net financial items                                 (8.9)      (10.3)
Profit for the period                               97.3       62.6
Investment***                                       58.1       42.4




                                                    Q2 2017|18 Q2 2016|17
Revenue                                             677.9      654.8
EBITDA*                                             72.0       56.1
Operating profit before exceptional items**         53.7       37.7
Share of results of equity-accounted joint ventures 9.9        8.6
Exceptional items                                   (2.8)      (2.9)
Operating profit (EBIT)                             60.8       43.4
EBIT margin                                         9.0%       6.6%
Net financial items                                 (4.1)      (2.8)
Profit for the period                               46.4       31.8
Investment***                                       36.6       23.8



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


Net financial items improved to a net expense of EUR 8.9 million from the year-
earlier net expense of EUR 10.3 million. After an income tax expense of EUR 24.4
million, corresponding to a tax rate of approximately 20.0% (H1 prior year:
21.8%), profit for the period was EUR 97.3 million (H1 prior year: EUR 62.6
million).

Net debt as of 31 August 2017 stood at EUR 190.1 million, down by EUR 49.8
million from the 2016|17 year-end level. The gearing ratio thus eased to 13.4%
as of the quarterly balance sheet date (28 February 2017: 17.0%).



Sugar segment
EUR million, except %


                        H1 2017|18 H1 2016|17
Revenue                 376.7      352.0
Operating profit (EBIT) 36.6       18.3
EBIT margin             9.7%       5.2%



                        Q2 2017|18 Q2 2016|17
Revenue                 198.3      173.6
Operating profit (EBIT) 18.5       8.3
EBIT margin             9.3%       4.8%


Sugar segment revenue in the first half of 2017|18 grew by 7.0% year-on-year to
EUR 376.7 million. While sugar sales volumes were constant, higher sales prices
relative to one year earlier were responsible for this positive change. The
doubling of EBIT to EUR 36.6 million was driven by an improvement in the market
environment from one year earlier.



Starch segment
EUR million, except %


                        H1 2017|18 H1 2016|17
Revenue                 385.5      363.1
Operating profit (EBIT) 50.5       32.0
EBIT margin             13.1%      8.8%



                        Q2 2017|18 Q2 2016|17
Revenue                 190.7      183.7
Operating profit (EBIT) 23.9       18.2
EBIT margin             12.5%      9.9%



Revenue in the Starch segment for the first half of 2017|18 was EUR 385.5
million, representing growth of 6.2% from one year earlier. The revenue growth
resulted primarily from higher sales volumes of starches and higher bioethanol
prices than in the year-ago period. EBIT, at EUR 50.5 million, was 57.8%
stronger than the already good year-earlier result. Besides the higher
bioethanol quotations, other drivers of the earnings growth were productivity
gains, stable raw material prices and lower energy prices.



Fruit segment
EUR million, except %


                        H1 2017|18 H1 2016|17
Revenue                 599.9      605.2
Operating profit (EBIT) 43.5       40.1
EBIT margin             7.3%       6.6%



                        Q2 2017|18 Q2 2016|17
Revenue                 288.9      297.5
Operating profit (EBIT) 18.4       16.9
EBIT margin             6.4%       5.7%


Revenue in the Fruit segment in the first half of 2017|18, at EUR 599.9 million,
was in line with the same period one year earlier. In the fruit preparations
business, a slight increase in sales volumes, higher selling prices, and
positive foreign currency effects (notably in Eastern Europe, the USA, Brazil
and South Korea) added up to revenue growth. In the fruit juice concentrate
operations, revenue decreased as a result of lower raw material prices and the
associated reduction in concentrate prices for product from the 2016 crop
compared to 2015. EBIT of the Fruit segment overall, at EUR 43.5 million, grew
by 8.5% from the prior year's comparative figure. Both the fruit juice
concentrate business (partly through volume and margin growth in beverage bases)
and the fruit preparations side contributed to the earnings improvement.


Outlook
For the full 2017|18 financial year, AGRANA expects Group revenue to rise
moderately and continues to predict a significant increase in operating profit
(EBIT). Total investment across the three business segments in the financial
year, at approximately EUR 140 million, will exceed the budgeted depreciation of
about EUR 93 million.



About AGRANA
AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous
industrial intermediate products. About 8,600 employees at 55 production sites
worldwide generate annual Group revenue of approximately EUR 2.6 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
custom starch products and bioethanol. AGRANA is also the world market leader in
fruit preparations and the largest manufacturer of fruit juice concentrates in
Europe.

This announcement is available in German and English at www.agrana.com [http://
www.agrana.com/].



Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

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

Mr. Markus Simak
Public Relations
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084
e-mail: markus.simak@agrana.com

end of announcement                         euro adhoc
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issuer:       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
ISIN:         AT0000603709
indexes:      WBI
stockmarkets: Berlin, Stuttgart, Wien, Frankfurt
language:     English
 



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