AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG raises Group forecast for full year

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Subtitle: Attractive business results in Starch segment

6-month report/Half year results 2015|16 (ended 31.08.2015) 

- Group revenue of EUR 1,263.5 million (H1 prior year: EUR 1,285.2 million)
marginally lower than in first half of 2014|15 for price reasons
- Operating profit (EBIT) at EUR 68.7 million still significantly below year-
earlier level (H1 prior year: EUR 87.0 million), but second quarter already up
slightly year-on-year
- Outlook for full year 2015|16: steady revenue, with EBIT now seen only
moderately below prior year

In the first half of the 2015|16 financial year, AGRANA, the sugar, starch and
fruit products manufacturer, posted revenue of EUR 1,263.5 million (H1 prior
year: EUR 1,285.2 million). The Group's revenue thus eased mildly by 1.7% from
one year earlier. Operating profit (EBIT), at EUR 68.7 million (H1 prior year:
EUR 87.0 million), was down significantly as expected, with a decline of 21.0%
from the first six months of 2014|15 as a result of the sustained negative price
situation for sugar. While EBIT in the Starch segment improved markedly compared
to the year-earlier period, and, in the second quarter, contributed to Group-
level EBIT growth of 9.1%, revenue in the Sugar segment remained down amid the
lasting low sugar market prices and led to the anticipated weaker EBIT result
for Sugar. In the Fruit segment, EBIT eased moderately as a result of poorer
earnings in fruit juice concentrates.
AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann Marihart says: "The current adverse sugar
price situation had a strong impact on our results for the first half of the
year. On the other hand, the present high ethanol prices are boosting operating
profit in the Starch segment and thus for the Group as a whole. As a result of
the improved projected margin in the ethanol business, we were also able to
raise our Group EBIT forecast for the full financial year. Once more, our
strategy of diversification across the three pillars of Sugar, Starch and Fruit
has proved invaluable in cushioning the effects of earnings fluctuations."
Consolidated financial results of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG*
EUR million, except %

                                                    H1 2015|16 H1 2014|15
Revenue                                             1,263.5    1,285.2
EBITDA**                                            93.1       113.2
Operating profit before exceptional items***        58.0       78.2
Share of results of equity-accounted joint ventures 12.0       12.9
Exceptional items                                   (1.3)      (4.1)
Operating profit (EBIT)                             68.7       87.0
EBIT margin                                         5.4%       6.8%
Net financial items                                 (11.2)     (8.1)
Profit for the period                               43.9       60.2
Investment****                                      40.8       38.6

                                                    Q2 2015|16 Q2 2014|15
Revenue                                             650.8      638.0
EBITDA**                                            49.9       49.7
Operating profit before exceptional items***        32.0       31.7
Share of results of equity-accounted joint ventures 6.3        6.5
Exceptional items                                   (1.1)      (4.1)
Operating profit (EBIT)                             37.2       34.1
EBIT margin                                         5.2%       5.3%
Net financial items                                 (9.5)      (5.4)
Profit for the period                               22.4       21.0
Investment****                                      22.9       23.7


*All prior-year data have been restated under IAS 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 in the first half of the year amounted to a net expense of
EUR 11.2 million (H1 prior year: net expense of EUR 8.1 million); the year-on-
year increase in expense resulted primarily from net currency translation
losses. After an income tax expense of EUR 13.6 million, corresponding to a tax
rate of about 23.7% (like one year earlier), profit for the period was EUR 43.9
million (H1 prior year: EUR 60.2 million). Earnings per share attributable to
shareholders of AGRANA were EUR 3.08 (H1 prior year: EUR 4.03).
Net debt as of 31 August 2015 stood at EUR 373.0 million, up by EUR 42.7 million
from the 2014|15 year-end level. The gearing ratio rose accordingly to 31.8% as
of the mid-year balance sheet date (28 February 2015: 27.7%). Total assets eased
moderately compared with 28 February 2015, from EUR 2.41 billion to EUR 2.22
billion, and the equity ratio rose from 49.6% to 52.9%.
Sugar segment
EUR million, except %

                        H1 2015|16 H1 2014|15
Revenue                 345.0      378.1
Operating profit (EBIT) 6.4        28.1
EBIT margin             1.9%       7.4%

                        Q2 2015|16 Q2 2014|15
Revenue                 197.2      193.0
Operating profit (EBIT) 8.4        11.1
EBIT margin             4.3%       5.8%


Sugar segment revenue in the first half of 2015|16 declined by 8.8% year-on-year
to EUR 345.0 million. Revenue from by-products retreated slightly. Given the
lasting negative market price situation, Sugar EBIT as expected was down
significantly to EUR 6.4 million, but it was positive again in the second
quarter after the first quarter?s negative result.

Starch segment
EUR million, except %

                        H1 2015|16 H1 2014|15
Revenue                 352.7      351.7
Operating profit (EBIT) 31.1       25.2
EBIT margin             8.8%       7.2%

                        Q2 2015|16 Q2 2014|15
Revenue                 178.6      173.9
Operating profit (EBIT) 16.4       10.7
EBIT margin             9.2%       6.2%


The Starch segment's revenue in the first half of 2015|16 was EUR 352.7 million,
somewhat higher than in the same period one year earlier. The revenue growth
came especially from the bioethanol business, which benefited from higher
selling prices. EBIT of EUR 31.1 million significantly surpassed the year-
earlier result, by 23.4%. This operating profit growth was driven above all by
the improved sales prices for ethanol; at the same time, average raw material
costs for the Starch segment as a whole also eased slightly year-on-year.
Fruit segment
EUR million, except %

                        H1 2015|16 H1 2014|15
Revenue                 565.8      555.9
Operating profit (EBIT) 31.2       33.7
EBIT margin             5.5%       6.1%

                        Q2 2015|16 Q2 2014|15
Revenue                 275.0      271.1
Operating profit (EBIT) 12.4       12.3
EBIT margin             4.5%       4.5%


Fruit segment revenue increased by 1.8% in the first half of 2015|16 to
EUR 565.8 million. In the fruit preparations business the revenue growth of
approximately 10% resulted from higher sales volumes and prices. In fruit juice
concentrates, selling prices of apple juice concentrate were down sharply and
revenue thus fell by about 20%, with the consequence of lower earnings. EBIT for
the whole Fruit segment in the first six months was EUR 31.2 million, or 7.4%
less than one year earlier.
AGRANA continues to expect Group revenue to remain steady in the 2015|16
financial year. For operating profit (EBIT), the Group is now projecting only a
moderate instead of a significant decrease, provided the ethanol price situation
remains positive. "We should be able to almost fully make up for the likely weak
EBIT result in the Sugar segment through year-on-year EBIT growth in the Starch
and Fruit segments. The improved outcome projected in our revised full-year
forecast will also be made possible by other factors, such as lower campaign
costs and energy savings," comments CEO Marihart. The budgeted investment for
the 2015|16 financial year, at approximately EUR 93 million, will be slightly
above depreciation.

AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous
industrial intermediate products. About 9.000 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 announcement is available in German and English 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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