Solides Ergebnis in schwierigem Umfeld

28.08.2012 13:56

Half-year Results 2012

Hochdorf, 28 August 2012 - The HOCHDORF Group processed 247.6 million kg of milk and whey in the first six months of the year. Gross sales revenue stands at CHF 184.3 million compared to the previous year’s value of CHF 179.9 Mio. (+2.5% compared to the previous year; not including the gross sales revenue for HOCHDORF Nutribake Ltd.: +6.8%). Operational results improved under difficult circumstances, such as rap-idly decreasing world market prices for milk powder. The EBIT result was even better, with CHF 3.2 million representing an improvement of +34%. Net profit at concern level stands at CHF 0.9 million. The export share rose to 35.2% (previous year 30.3%), due in part to sustained growth in China in the area of infant formula. The group is in the final stages of negotiation with large Chinese and South American partners to con-clude further supply agreements.

The HOCHDORF Group again processed very substantial liquid quantities in the first six months of the year, with 247.6 million kg of milk and whey (-3.3% compared to the previous year). The significantly higher quantity of whey processed almost compensated for the re-duced quantity for milk (+29.4% compared to the previous year).

A positive development
Despite reduced milk quantities, significant growth in the area of infant formula led to a 1% increase in the overall quantity produced to 50,541 tonnes (previous year 50,058 tonnes). The volume of products sold also increased from 48,772 to 49,256 tonnes (+1.0%). These sales meant that HOCHDORF achieved a gross sales revenue of CHF 184.3 million (+2.5% compared to previous year). However, the previous year’s gross sales revenue still includes the CHF 7.3 million from HOCHDORF Nutribake Ltd., which was sold on 1 April 2011. If this turnover is not included then growth stands at +6.8%.

Efficiency measures are also beginning to take effect. In comparison to last year, the group managed to increase its EBITDA by +5.9% to CHF 9.2 million and its EBIT by +34.0% to CHF 3.2 million. If the values for HOCHDORF Nutribake Ltd. are excluded, then the EBITDA increased by +12.4% and the EBIT by +64.5%. However, the ordinary result of CHF 1.1 mil-lion is significantly lower than the previous year’s result (CHF 15.2 million), which was signifi-cantly influenced by the sale of HOCHDORF Nutribake Ltd.. The group achieved a company result at concern level of CHF 0.9 million (previous year CHF 14.9 million). The result suf-fered from exchange rate turbulence, problems in fine-tuning the complex milk quantity seg-mentation and losses from reduced export subsidies.

The “earned capital” cash flow was increased to CHF 9.1 million (previous year 5.0 million or +80.8%). The percentage increase (in % of the net sales revenue) was from 2.8% to 4.9%.

Significant growth in infant formula
This operational result was achieved in economically challenging circumstances. Despite the continuing economic crisis, the infant formula area achieved a growth of +52.7% and so generated approximately 20% of the group’s gross sales revenue. A year ago the infant formula division’s contribution was only 13.5%.

The milk derivatives area achieved its result in circumstances dictated by rapidly decreasing international milk powder prices. Three out of four litres of milk produced in Switzerland are already subject to the pressures of the international market. Due to contractual commitments, it was not possible to absorb the dramatic collapse in prices by reducing milk prices.

The Cereals & Ingredients area is feeling the reticence of the industry’s suppliers in developing new products. It was also possible to replace some expensive product ingredients with cheaper alternatives. However, it was still possible to launch new products with VIOGERM® wheat germ because of the continuing trend towards natural and healthy foods.

Takeover of Femtorp GmbH, Germany
The HOCHDORF Group has taken over the company Femtorp GmbH in Germany (Siegburg) effective from 1 August 2012. The takeover is to be seen in the light of the increasing internationalisation of the HOCHDORF Group. Femtorp GmbH previously worked with the HOCHDORF Group, mainly in the area of desserts, over a number of years, and achieved a turnover of approximately 570,000 euro for the last business year. The plan is to continue to expand the company as a purchasing, sales and logistics platform, as well as providing protection from the euro turbulence by setting up HOCHDORF Germany GmbH in the EU area. It was agreed not to disclose the acquisition price.

Outlook
HOCHDORF is expecting growth in turnover for 2012 of between 4% and 8%, as announced in the annual results media conference. This high growth target remains achievable. The economic and political risks remain high. The latent danger of a collapse of the single currency would also affect the group’s prospects. For this reason, no profit outlook is being published for the end of the year. The share price has not developed satisfactorily in the first half of the year in difficult times for the stock exchange. However, since 30.6. (CHF 67.00) the share price has increased by +9.7%. (price at close of trading on 27.8.12: CHF 73.50). In the spirit of our BEST PARTNER philosophy, the Board of Directors, management and employees are all committed to a prosperous future for the HOCHDORF Group.

 

Key figures for the HOCHDORF Group as of 30.6.2012 (consolidated and unchecked)

 

CHF (thousands)1.1.12 – 30.06.121.1.11 – 30.06.11Change
Processed milk, cream and whey quanti-ties in millions of kg247.6256.1-3.3%
Quantities produced (including cream) in tonnes50'54150'058+1.0%
Quantities sold tonnes49'25648'772+1.0%

Gross sales revenues

184'339

179'870
(172'588)*

+2.5%
(+6.8)*

Export share35.2%30.3%
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA)9'2488'733
(8'227)*
+5.9%
(+12.4%)*
as % of production revenue4.9%4.6%
(4.5%)*
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)3'2062'392
(1'949)*
+34.0%
(+64.5%)*
as % of production revenue1.7%1.3%
(1.1%)*
Ordinary results1'05815'191-93.0%
Concern results86914'860
(-1'524)**
-94.2%
Staffing levels at 30.06.370354
+4.5%
Gross sales revenue per employee498508-1.9%

 

* Results excluding the values for HOCHDORF Nutribake Ltd., sold on 1.4.2011.
** Results excluding the sale price for HOCHDORF Nutribake Ltd. sold on 1.4.2011.

 

30.06.201331.12.2012
Balance sheet total283'849282'487+0.5%

of which equity capital

134'880137'338-1.8%
as a % of the balance sheet total47.548.6
Details of shares30.06.201230.06.2011
Share price (in CHF)67.00100.00-33.0%
Stock exchange capitalisation (in million CHF)60.390.0-33.0%

 

Contact:

Dr. 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

The HOCHDORF Group, based in Hochdorf, achieved a consolidated gross sales revenue of CHF 346.6 million in 2011. It is one of the leading foodstuff companies in Switzerland, employing 361 staff as of 31.12.11 (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 retail sector and its products are sold in 80 countries. The shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ISIN CH0024666528).