DGAP-Adhoc: HOCHDORF Holding AG: A pleasing year thanks to increased efficiency

HOCHDORF Holding AG  / Key word(s): Final Results

10.04.2014 07:01

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

Hochdorf, 10 April 2014 - The HOCHDORF Group has significantly exceeded
expectations for both turnover and revenue for the business year 2013.
HOCHDORF achieved 8.5% growth with gross sales revenue of CHF 376.1
million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) went up 26.4% to CHF 18.1 million. There was a resulting net
profit of CHF 6.1 million. The Board of Directors is requesting that the
Annual General Meeting approves an increase in dividend from CHF 3.0 to CHF
3.2 per share from capital investment reserves.

The HOCHDORF Group sold 91,699 tonnes of products in the 2013 business year
(+1.7% compared to the previous year) and achieved gross sales revenue of
CHF 376.1 million (previous year 346.6 million; +8.5%). The low milk
quantities in spring were offset by a substantial increase in whey and milk
permeate drying, growth in infant formula and higher quantities of milk in
the autumn. Overall, capacity utilisation even increased slightly compared
to the previous year.

A positive development
Although more products were manufactured overall, it was still possible to
reduce the total operating costs by 2.4% to CHF 68.1 million (previous year
CHF 69.8 million) due to various operational efficiency improvements. These
measures have resulted in a pleasing EBITDA result of CHF 18.1 million
(+26.4% compared to the previous year). The EBIT is also moving in a very
positive direction. This stands at CHF 10.3 million. In addition to the
numerous improvement measures, the revaluation of fixed assets that took
place in 2012 also had a positive effect. At the bottom line, the group has
achieved profits of CHF 6.1 million.

The gross profit margin fell from 24.8% to 23.1%, mainly on account of the
rapidly rising milk prices at the beginning of 2013. In the first half of
the year, it was not possible to reflect the raw material price in the end
products in the traditional milk business quickly enough. However this
effect was more than offset by the better than expected results in the Baby
Care and Cereals & Ingredients areas. In terms of figures, we are pleased
by the fact that it was possible to halt cash outflow from operational
business. In 2013 the group achieved a cash inflow of CHF 5.8 million.

Commenting on the 2013 business year, CEO Dr Thomas Eisenring said: "Given
the background, I am reasonably satisfied with the results. We are still a
long way from where we want to be, but many of the measures we have
introduced will only affect net income in 2014 and 2015. The development in
the second half of the year can be seen in this light; it is important that
we managed to reverse the previous trend."

The Milk Derivatives business area
Poor weather conditions and the low milk price reduced milk supplies across
the whole of Europe in the first half of year. This situation was reversed
in the second half of the year thanks to rising milk prices and improved

HOCHDORF Swiss Milk Ltd. once more increased product sales on the previous
year in its most important business area - milk powders for the chocolate
industry. This helped the company to maintain its strong position on the
market, proving itself as a reliable partner for the foodstuffs-processing
industry, even in a difficult year for milk. "Despite the milk quantity
situation, it was still always possible to supply our customers with the
correct quantities on time," explained the Group's CEO Thomas Eisenring.

The milk plant in Medeikiai was fully integrated into HOCHDORF Swiss Milk
Ltd. in 2013. The plant processed approximately the same quantity of milk
as in 2012 (+2.6%) and was able to benefit from the high milk prices on the
international market. However considerably higher milk prices had to be
paid to the producers in return. The company was renamed HOCHDORF Baltic
Milk UAB as of 1 March 2014. The name change is in the context of the
complete takeover by the HOCHDORF Group.

The Baby Care business area
In the Baby Care area, HOCHDORF Nutricare Ltd. managed to surpass the
ambitious growth target of 20-30%, achieving 33.8% growth. This growth was
mainly due to the markets in Asia - China and Vietnam in particular - as
well as markets in the Middle East and North Africa. The considerable
increase led in turn to significantly improved plant capacity utilisation
for infant formula production and we were also able to increase the added
value. HOCHDORF Nutricare Ltd. became a fully-owned subsidiary of HOCHDORF
Holding Ltd. as of 1.1.2014.

The Cereals & Ingredients business area
Michel Burla assumed responsibility for the Cereals & Ingredients business
area on 1 February 2013. He implemented an initial streamlining of the
segment and focussed attention on the market for VIOGERM(R) wheat germ
products and dessert products. In Switzerland, HOCHDORF Nutrifood Ltd.
maintained its strong position on the market. It also extended its sales
structures with two new partners from abroad.

Outlook for 2014
"In the current year we want to optimise capacity utilisation for all
existing plants, as we have managed to achieve in the first three months of
the year," explained CEO Thomas Eisenring. In the area of Milk Derivatives
the Group will invest in the high-value production of lactose and milk
protein - a further business area that creates added value. The aim is to
produce own whey proteins and lactose for infant formula by 2015.

Growth in the area of Baby Care continues apace: "In the area of Baby Care
we estimate growth at between 18% and 22%, based on current order levels,"
said CEO Thomas Eisenring. As in the previous year, growth is expected to
be generated from the markets in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
"We are planning our next capacity extension to maintain the growth in
infant formula," said Dr Eisenring. According to the CEO, the capacity
extension is more likely to be implemented in the EU than in Switzerland.

In the Cereals & Ingredients area, business will to continue to expand in
Europe with healthy wheat germ products and fine desserts. The number of
customer projects will be significantly increased in collaboration with
distribution partners. The Group will also continue to streamline the range
of products and is currently involved in discussions in preparation for
entering the children's food market. In principle, the VIOGERM(R) wheat
germ products are well suited to this business expansion.

At Group level we expect gross turnover growth of around 10%. An increase
in the nominal EBIT value is also anticipated. "In order to realise planned
investments - such as in the area of infant formula - the Board of
Directors is requesting that the AGM approves a capital increase of a
nominal CHF 4.5 million, i.e. 450,000 registered shares at a nominal value
of CHF 10.0," explained Hans-Rudolf Schurter, Chairman of the Board of

The Board of Directors is convinced of the HOCHDORF Group's continuing
success and is therefore proposing a dividend from capital reserves of CHF
3.2 per share at the AGM of Friday 9 May 2014. The dividend increase from
CHF 3.0 to CHF 3.2 per share means that a dividend return of 3.0% was
achieved for the 31.12.13 closing date.

HOCHDORF Group key figures 2013

CHF 1,000                                          2013      2012    Change
Gross sales revenues                            376,145   346,614     +8.5%
Profits before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA)                        18,099    14,318    +26.4%
as % of production revenue                          4.9       4.2
Profit before interest and tax (EBIT)            10,298     2,759   +273.2%
as % of production revenue                          2.8       0.8
Net profit                                        6,063   -35,326      n.a.
as % of production revenue                          1.6     -10.4
Staffing levels at 31.12.                           362       381     -5.0%
Processed milk, cream and whey amounts in kg
(millions)                                        454.6     442.4     +2.8%
Quantities produced (including cream) in
tonnes                                           89,631    87,518     +2.4%
Quantities sold in tonnes                        91,699    90,196     +1.7%

                                               31.12.20  31.12.20
                                                     13        12
Balance sheet total                             243,485   239,851     +1.5%
of which equity capital                         103,774    99,764     +4.0%
as a % of the balance sheet total                  42.6      41.6

Share details                                      2013      2012
Profit per share (in CHF)                          6.95    -39.45      n.a.
Dividends (in CHF)                                 3.2*       3.0     +6.7%
Exchange rate at 31.12. (in CHF)                 104.00     88.25   +17.85%
Stock exchange capitalisation (in million CHF)     93.6      79.4   +17.85%
Price/earnings ratio                               15.0      n.a.      n.a.

* Subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting of 9 May 2014.

For the complete Annual Report in English, go to:


Information and Explaination of the Issuer to this News:

The HOCHDORF Group, based in Hochdorf, achieved a consolidated gross sales
revenue of CHF 376.1 million in 2013. It is one of the leading foodstuffs
companies in Switzerland, employing 362 staff as of 31.12.13 (338 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 over 70
countries. The shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich (ISIN

Additional features:
Document: http://n.equitystory.com/c/fncls.ssp?u=EQBVTYDIXD
Document title: HOCHDORF Annual results 2013

10.04.2014 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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