AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA results for first three quarters of 2011|12 (ended 30 November 2011) - Good business performance continues, with substantial earnings improvement expected for full year

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9-month report

Wien (euro adhoc) - With a very good third quarter for the Group, AGRANA´s
international Sugar, Starch and Fruit activities kept up this financial year´s
positive trend. Revenue in the first three quarters grew by 20.2% from the prior
year´s comparative period, to EUR 1,952.2 million. The revenue growth in all
three segments was driven by favourable market trends in Sugar and Starch and
was achieved despite slightly lower sales volumes in the Fruit segment.
Operating profit before exceptional items was EUR 198.7 million, an increase of
89.6% from the first three quarters of the prior year. The main contributions to
this excellent earnings trend came from the Sugar and Starch segments. The
optimization measures taken in the previous years had a beneficial impact on
business activity, and the Group also seized the opportunities created by the
rapidly changing market conditions.

After a net financial items expense of EUR 30.6 million and a tax expense of EUR
37.0 million (based on a tax rate of 22.2%), the Group recorded profit for the
period of EUR 129.7 million (Q1-Q3 2010|11: EUR 65.0 million). Earnings per
share attributable to shareholders of AGRANA rose from EUR 4.43 to EUR 8.90 for
the nine months ended 30 November 2011.

Net debt amounted to EUR 466.2 million at the quarterly balance sheet date. The
gearing ratio of net debt to total equity was 45.1%, an increase from the level
of 39.4% marked at the end of the prior year (28 February 2011). The main
reasons for the increase were stronger investment and the financing of working
capital, which rose as a result of higher prices and inventories. 

AGRANA - IFRS results 

                            Q3 11|12     Q3 10|11    Q1-Q3 11|12    Q1-Q3 10|11
Revenue                  EUR 667.6 m  EUR 551.0 m  EUR 1,952.2 m  EUR 1,624.4 m
Operating profit
before exceptional items EUR  80.5 m  EUR  40.0 m  EUR   198.7 m  EUR   104.8 m
Operating margin              12.1 %        7.3 %         10.2 %          6.5 %
Profit before tax        EUR  67.8 m  EUR  35.8 m  EUR   166.7 m  EUR    84.5 m
Profit for the period    EUR  52.0 m  EUR  27.7 m  EUR   129.7 m  EUR    65.0 m
Earnings per share       EUR   3.55   EUR   1.85   EUR     8.90   EUR     4.43 
Purchases of property,
plant and equipment and
intangibles (1)          EUR  27.2 m    EUR 8.9 m  EUR    62.7 m  EUR    28.0 m
Average staff count                                        8,109          8,558
(1) Excluding goodwill

AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann Marihart says: "In view of the volatile
global environment, we are very happy with how our financial year has gone thus
far. We have expanded our investment in all three business segments to ensure a
strong basis for lasting growth. For the full financial year we are expecting
significant growth in revenue and substantially higher operating profit before
exceptional items than a year ago, driven by the Sugar and Starch segments.
Earnings in the Fruit segment will come in significantly below last year´s
because of the current continuing difficult economic setting." 

Sugar segment

                            Q3 11|12     Q3 10|11     Q1-Q3 11|12    Q1-Q3 10|11
Revenue                  EUR 255.5 m  EUR 193.9 m     EUR 691.4 m    EUR 560.1 m
Operating profit
before exceptional items EUR  43.7 m  EUR  13.7 m     EUR  94.3 m    EUR  26.0 m
Operating margin              17.1 %        7.1 %          13.6 %          4.6 %

High quota sugar sales were achieved both with resellers and the sugar-using
industry. Key factors behind the good results were the availability of non-quota
sugar and timely sugar sourcing in the world market, vigorous marketing and the
flexible use of opportunities arising from changing market conditions. The
operating profit improvement was also helped by the good 2011|12 beet campaign
with high beet quality, an early campaign start and thus a significant
year-on-year increase in production. 

Starch segment 
                            Q3 11|12     Q3 10|11   Q1-Q3 11|12   Q1-Q3 10|11
Revenue                  EUR 199.8 m  EUR 152.0 m   EUR 587.5 m   EUR 424.6 m
Operating profit
before exceptional items EUR  32.0 m  EUR  12.7 m   EUR  68.2 m   EUR  43.5 m
Operating margin              16.0 %        8.4 %        11.6 %        10.2 %

The growth in Starch segment revenue and earnings resulted primarily from higher
selling prices in all major groups of core- and by-products, which more than
offset the higher raw material prices. Especially AGRANA Stärke GmbH and the
starch plants in Hungary and Romania generated very good earnings.

Fruit segment 
                             Q3 11|12     Q3 10|11   Q1-Q3 11|12    Q1-Q3 10|11
Revenue                   EUR 212.3 m  EUR 205.2 m   EUR 673.4 m    EUR 639.7 m
Operating profit
before exceptional items  EUR   4.8 m  EUR  13.7 m    EUR 36.2 m     EUR 35.4 m
Operating margin                2.3 %        6.7 %         5.4 %          5.5 %

While revenue in the Fruit segment grew in the first three quarters, the
operating margin decreased in a difficult market environment. The margin
improvement for fruit juice concentrates witnessed in the first half of the year
was reversed as a result of a continuing reduction in sales volumes of fruit
preparations and fruit juice concentrates, leading to a decline in segment
earnings in the third quarter.


For the full 2011|12 financial year, based on the very good results of the first
nine months, AGRANA expects growth in Group revenue to about EUR 2.5 billion
(from EUR 2.17 billion in 2010|11) and a substantial increase in
pre-exceptionals operating profit. The profit growth is driven by the Sugar and
Starch segments. The process improvements and the contract situation, both on
the purchasing and sales sides, form the backbone of the continuing positive
trend. For the full year 2011|12, despite the stabilisation in volumes in the
fourth quarter, the Fruit segment is no longer expected to be able to match the
quantities - and hence the pre-exceptionals operating profit - of the prior

This press release is also available (in English and German) on AGRANA´s website

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

Mag.(FH) Christine Göller
Public Relations
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

company:     AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
             Donau-City-Straße 9
             A-1220 Wien
phone:       +43-1-21137-0
FAX:         +43-1-21137-12045
sector:      Food
ISIN:        AT0000603709
indexes:     WBI, ATX Prime
stockmarkets: Präsenzhandel: Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, official market: Wien 
language:   English

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