DGAP-Adhoc: HOCHDORF Holding AG: A pleasing result under challenging circumstances

HOCHDORF Holding AG  / Key word(s): Half Year Results

21.08.2013 17:31

Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 KR

Hochdorf, 21 August 2013 - The HOCHDORF Group processed a total of 229.3
million kg of milk, whey and permeate in the first six months of the year.
Gross sales revenue stands at CHF 182.5 million - slightly below last
year's figure of CHF 184.3 million. The significantly lower milk receipts,
persistent pressure exerted by prices and imports as well as the strong
Swiss franc made it a testing time for the Group.  Business activities from
the first half of the year resulted in a lower EBITDA compared to the
previous year of CHF 8.4 million (previous year CHF 9.2 million).
Operational net profit rose by 108.2% to CHF 1.8 million, with an
improvement in the operational net profit margin to 1.0% (first six months
of 2012: 0.5%). This is a pleasing result given the market situation
outlined and the transition phase in top management.

Across the Group, HOCHDORF processed a total of 229.3 million kg of milk,
whey and permeate (previous year 249.6 million kg; -8.1%) and has therefore
achieved a gross turnover of CHF 182.5 million (previous year CHF 184.3
million; -1.0%). The fall in turnover is a direct consequence of reduced
milk receipts, which is partially offset by rising milk prices. Turnover in
Switzerland therefore fell by 1.8% to CHF 117.1 million (previous year CHF
119.3 million), whereas international business rose to CHF 65.3 million
(previous year CHF 64.7 million; +0.9%).

A pleasing result
Compared to the previous year, the HOCHDORF Group achieved a lower EBITDA
of CHF 8.4 million (previous year CHF 9.2 million; -9.3%). By comparison,
operational net profit rose by 108.2% to CHF 1.8 million and there was also
an improvement in the operational net profit margin to 1.0% (first six
months of 2012: 0.5%). The HOCHDORF Group achieved these results in a first
half year that was shaped by the change at top management level as well as
rapidly shifting market circumstances and political influences.

The Group was able to partially offset the sharp fall in milk production by
purchasing significantly more whey and permeate. The high price pressure
with simultaneously rising milk prices on the domestic market, coupled with
the latent uncertainty surrounding export contributions on account of the
'Schoggi law' put the HOCHDORF Group to the test. Taking these factors into
account the turnover and the company's results in the first half of 2013
can be regarded as a pleasing outcome.

Milk derivatives
We succeeded in securing domestic provision at all times in spite of the
lower milk production. In the main segment of the chocolate industry
HOCHDORF Swiss Milk Ltd. even managed to achieve a positive growth in
turnover of +3.2% compared to the previous year. However the reduced milk
production did mean it was not possible to maintain all customer
relationships built up in the area of exports. We applied for inward
processing in order to be in a position to supply a part of our
international customer base at least and this application was approved by
the Directorate General of Customs.

HOCHDORF Swiss Milk Ltd. increased its share at the milk plant in Lithuania
to 100% as of 1.1.2013. In the first six months of the year the plant
processed approximately the same quantity of milk as in the previous year.
MGL Baltija UAB was able to significantly increase its turnover and revenue
thanks to the good prices available on the world market.

Baby & Health Care
HOCHDORF Nutricare Ltd. is planning a growth in turnover of 20% to 30% in
the current business year. The company achieved growth of 21.3% at the end
of June. This growth was largely due to business with existing customers.
There was a particularly positive development with customers in the Asian,
North African and European markets. New markets were opened up in Jordan,
Yemen, Syria and Morocco.

Unfortunately HOCHDORF Nutrimedical Ltd.'s business in the area of medical
nutrition was unable to make significant headway in the first half of the
year. After approximately two years' work setting up the business, we came
to the conclusion that it was not as successful as we had hoped and
anticipated, both in terms of time and finance. The Board of Directors
therefore came to the decision to discontinue business in this area.

Cereals & Ingredients
Die HOCHDORF Nutrifood Ltd. reached turnover on a par with the previous
year with its VIOGERM(R) wheat germ products, dessert products and
ingredients. The VIOGERM(R) products established themselves in numerous
newly launched products such as muesli, muesli bars, crackers and soups.

In the area of milk derivatives, HOCHDORF will increase its sales in whey
and composite products and continue to maintain inward processing if
required. HOCHDORF Nutricare Ltd. (infant formula) plans to enter new
markets in five more Latin American countries in the second half of the
year and is in negotiation with additional partners on the Chinese market.
HOCHDORF Nutrifood Ltd. is planning to significantly increase sales in
desserts, targeting 'limited edition' products in particular.

Overall the HOCHDORF Group is anticipating stable milk production in the
second half of the year with milk prices remaining high. The Swiss franc
will remain strong, which means that exports from Switzerland will continue
to come under pressure. HOCHDORF will rise to these challenges and make
appropriate changes to structures and capacities as the situation demands.
This process is beginning in the second half of 2013 and will impact on
revenues from the beginning of 2014. HOCHDORF therefore anticipates that it
will not fully achieve its revenue objectives in 2013 in terms of EBITDA.
At the EBIT level, the Group expects an improvement on account of the
impairment conducted at the end of 2012.

Key figures for the HOCHDORF Group as of 30.06.13 (consolidated and

                                               1.1.13 -  1.1.12 -
CHF (thousands)                                30.06.13              Change
Processed milk, whey and permeate in
millions of kg                                    229.3     249.6     -8.1%
Quantities produced (including cream) in
tons                                             46,816    50,541     -7.4%
Quantities sold tons                             46,076    49,256     -6.5%
Gross sales revenues                            182,516   184,339     -1.0%
Export share                                      35.8%     35.2%
Earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA)            8,389     9,248     -9.3%
as % of production revenue                         4.4%      4.9%
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)           4,437     3,206    +38.4%
as % of production revenue                         2.3%      1.7%
Concern results                                   1,810       869   +108.2%
Staffing levels at 30.6.                            373       370     +0.8%
Gross sales revenue per employee                    489       498     -1.8%

                                             30.06.2013        12
Balance sheet total                             232,661   239,851     -3.0%
of which equity capital                          97,570    99,764     -2.2%
as a % of the balance sheet total                  41.9      41.6

Share details                                30.06.2013        12
Share price (in CHF)                              80.05     67.00    +19.5%
Stock exchange capitalisation (in million
CHF)                                               72.0      60.3

For the complete letter to the shareholders, see:
www.hochdorf.com/Investoren (Reports)

Christoph Hug, Head of Corporate Communications, HOCHDORF Group
Tel: +41 (0)41 914 65 62 / +41 (0)79 859 19 23, christoph.hug@hochdorf.com


Information and Explaination of the Issuer to this News:

The HOCHDORF Group, based in Hochdorf, achieved a consolidated gross sales
revenue of CHF 346.6 million in 2012. It is one of the leading foodstuff
companies in Switzerland, employing 381 staff as of 31.12.12 (356 full-time
staff). Made from natural ingredients such as milk and wheat germ, HOCHDORF
products have been contributing to our health and wellbeing since 1895 -
from babies to senior citizens. Its customers include the food industry and
the wholesale and retail sectors and its products are sold in around 80
countries. Hochdorf shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich
(ISIN CH0024666528).

Additional features:
Document: http://n.equitystory.com/c/fncls.ssp?u=CHWGDQPKEA

Document title: Letter to Shareholders 2013

21.08.2013 News transmitted by EQS Schweiz AG.
The issuer is responsible for the contents of the release.

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Language:               English
Company:                HOCHDORF Holding AG
                        Siedereistrasse 9
                        6281 Hochdorf
Phone:                  +41 41 914 65 65
Fax:                    +41 41 914 66 66
E-mail:              hochdorf@hochdorf.com
Internet:            www.hochdorf.com
ISIN:                   CH0024666528
Listed:                 SIX

End of Announcement                             EQS Group News-Service



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