FRANCE: Bonduelle sees profit, sales rise

By Katy Askew | 28 February 2013

  • H1 revenue up 11.3%
  • Operating profit up 14.2%
  • Net profit up 40.6%
Bonduelle brands drive H1 sales

Bonduelle brands drive H1 sales

French vegetable processor Bonduelle has booked a jump in first-half sales and profits, on a solid branded performance.

The company said today (28 February) that revenue rose to EUR879.7m (US$1.15bn) in the first six months of the fiscal, an increase of 11.3%. The company said that a "solid" performance from its brands enabled it to return to growth in the Eurozone during the second quarter, moderating first-quarter losses. Outside Europe, the group booked double-digit revenue gains in the half.

Operating profit, excluding one-off items, rose 14.2% to EUR52.2m. Operating margin rose to 5.3% from 5.2% in the comparable period of last year, boosted by pricing and an improved product mix.

Net profit leapt 40.6% to EUR25.9m. Currency exchange bolstered the bottom line adding EUR1.9m to profits compared with a EUR3.4m loss for the first six months of last year.

Bonduelle said it has made good progress integrating the three acquisitions it completed in Russia, Hungary and the US last year.

The company added that it is "confident" of achieving full-year sales growth of 8% in a "mixed" European consumption environment. The group said it is on-track to record a 7% increase in profits, in line with long-term guidance.

Show the press release

 

First Half Year 2012/2013 Financial Results
(1st
July 2012 - 31st December 2012)

Strong turnover and profitability growth in line with the annual objectives

  • Strong reported turnover growth: + 11.3%

  • Solid brand sales in Europe

  • Operating profitability up to 14.2%

  • Strong financial structure post external growth transactions

  • Satisfactory integration of the 2012 acquisitions

Significant Results

(in millions of Euros)

 

1st HY 2012 - 2013

 

1st HY 2011 - 2012

 

Variation

Turnover

 

979.3

 

879.7

 

+11.3%

Operating Result

 

52.2

 

45.8

 

+14.2%

Operating Margin

 

5.3%

 

5.2%

 

+10 bp

Consolidated Net Profit

 

25.9

 

18.4

 

+40.6%

In the first half year of FY 2012/2013, the reported Bonduelle Group's turnover reached EUR 979.3 million (1st of July 2012 - 31st of December 2012), i.e. an 11.3% increase.

Thanks to a strong dynamic second quarter, the Group resumed an internal growth of + 2.2%. It also benefited from some favorable base effects (+ 2.1%) and from the various acquisitions done over the previous FY (+ 7,- %).

The Group's brand activity very strong resilience, its presence in growth areas with strong profitability coupled with its production and administrative cost efficiency strategy, enable the Group to record a 14.2% operating profitability and a 40.6% net result increases.

In addition, the refinancing operations undertaken in the summer 2012 secured the financing of the Group in an ongoing fragile and volatile economic climate.

Turnover

Activity by Geographic Region

Consolidated Revenues
(in EUR millions)

 

1stHY
2012-2013

 

1stHY
2011-2012

 

Current Exchange rate

 

Exchange Rates and LFL basis

Europe Zone

 

629.9

 

631.3

 

- 0.2%

 

- 0.2%

Non-Europe Zone

 

349.4

 

248.4

 

40.7%

 

8.-%

Total

 

979.3

 

879.7

 

11.3%

 

2.2%

Business Operating Segments

Consolidated Revenues
(in EUR millions)

 

1stHY
2012-2013

 

1stHY
2011-2012

 

Current Exchange rate

 

Exchange Rates and LFL basis

Canned

 

518.4

 

489.7

 

5.9%

 

3.5%

Frozen

 

275.8

 

205.1

 

34.5%

 

0.9%

Fresh processed

 

185.1

 

184.9

 

0.1%

 

0.1%

Total

 

979.3

 

879.7

 

11.3%

 

2.2%

Europe Zone

Following a Q1 marked by a negative evolution (- 1.8%) *, Q2 achieved a return to growth of + 1.2% *, resulting into a positive and stable performance over this first half year, on a like for like basis and reported figures * (- 0.2%). Bonduelle and Cassegrain brands strong dynamism observed in Q1 in all of the technologies (canned, frozen, fresh processed) is confirmed in Q2. The sluggish consumption can still be observed, and affects more specifically the private label segment. Half Year performance is the result of the Bonduelle Group's support strategy on branded product innovations and marketing activities.

Non-Europe Zone

The Non-Europe Zone showed over Q2 a strong double digit growth of 13.8% on a like for like basis * and published figures: 47.6%. The robust internal growth was supported by the acquisitions done in the USA and Russia last FY. The Non Europe Zone amounted to 36% of the Group's activities. In Russia and the CIS, business remained buoyant in terms of volume and value over a pretty traditionally dynamic period. The Non-Europe Zone also benefited from a Southern America's solid growth, coupled with a Northern America's resilience and some negotiated price increases following the poor harvests observed in this region. H1 registered an 8% increase on a like for like basis and 40.7% published figures.

Operating Profitability

The current operating result reached EUR 53.8 million, an increase of 16.2%. The current operating margin is up to 23 bp to 5.5%.

In Europe, the current operating margin is up to 60 bp thanks to last FY price reviews and their lasting effect on this FY first quarter, and thanks to the tremendous performance of the branding activities (Bonduelle, Cassegrain).

Outside Europe, the current operating profitability increased by 11.9%, thanks to the North America activity resilience and the strong sale development in Russia and the CIS, which considerably contributed to this result.

After non recurrent items (EUR 1.5 million), the operating margin on operations reached EUR 52.2 million, representing 5.3% of the turnover; it is to say an increase of 14.2%.

Financial Result and Net Result

Financial expenditures reached EUR 14.7 million, compared with EUR 17.- million last financial year. The increase in borrowing expenditure (+ EUR 2.2 million), linked with the acquisition financing, is offset by the exchange rate gain observed during the first six months of this FY (+ EUR 1.9 million compared with a EUR 3.4 million loss for the first 6 months of FY 2011/2012).

After result of companies consolidated by equity method (- EUR 1.7 million) and corporate tax deduction (EUR 10.-million), the Group's net result reached EUR 25.9 million, a growth of + 40.6%.

Financial Situation

The Group's net debt is set at EUR 813.8 million; with a debt ratio (net debt over consolidated total capitalization) at 61.7% compared with 57.4% last FY. This increase essentially reflects the financing of the acquisitions done over 2012 (USA, Russia, and Hungary).

The refinancing operations undertaken over the summer 2012 : -- a Revolving Credit Facility agreement of EUR 300 million and the issue of private bonds for EUR 145 million on the EuroPP (European Private Placement) Market, brought the debt maturity to 5.1 years on the 31st of December 2012, an attractive competitive cost that is on the improve (3.41%) when compared with last FY. Those two operations enabled the Group to diversify and secure the Group's financing sources. In December 2012, Bonduelle received from the NYSE Euronext the award for the best secondary transaction, for its EuroPP, the first for a mid-size, non-rated company.

Half Year Highlights

Satisfactory integration of the 2012 acquisitions

Despite having proceeded to the acquisitions near production time (30th of March in the US and Russia, 31st of May in Hungary), the performances of the acquired production tools are for the first harvest higher than the previous year and very close to the standards set by the Group. The Bonduelle Group is again showing its industrial expertise and know-how as well as its capacity to integrate new acquisitions. The new capacities set up in Russia and Hungary have contributed to the excellent commercial performance of this geographical area.

In the USA, if sales in volume are affected by the Allens' clients supply diversification (prior to the acquisition announcement by the Bonduelle Group), the quality of service now offered to the American customers, allows us to feel confident for the 2013/2014 commercial activities. The selling prices being above objectives and the cost cutting plan ahead of time confirm the performance objectives of this acquisition.

These late and recent acquisitions, as previously mentioned, will not have any significant impact on this FY profitability.

Kolkhoze Majak Disposal Project

Following the acquisition of the Cecab's agro-industrial activities in Russia and of Kelet in Hungary, the Bonduelle Group's agro-industrial set-up project has been postponed. In order to fully maximize the use of capital, the Group is considering selling the kolkhoze, with an industrial land buy option and with a view to eventually come back to this project at a later date. The disposal should take place before the end of March and should not have any significant impact on the Group's results.

The Group's New Managerial Organization

At its Annual General Meeting held on 6th of December 2012, the Bonduelle Group announced its new managerial structure.

For the Bonduelle Group, FY 2011/2012 was marked by a solid internal growth, a significant return to profitability, and three promising acquisitions, demonstrating both its resilience in a difficult economic climate, and its growth ambitions while its international developments gather pace.

An important phase into the Group's development that required changes to its organisational structure to adapt to the new dimensions of its activity and to its development projects.

The Group is now organised around two geographic regions - Europe Zone and Non-Europe Zone - each with their own distinct characteristics and approaches, and 4 business units:

  • In Europe Zone, Bonduelle Europe Long Life (canned and frozen operating segments) and Bonduelle Fresh Europe (fresh and delicatessen operating segments) in the retail and catering sectors, for branded and private labels,

  • In Non-Europe Zone, Bonduelle Americas regrouping canned and frozen food activities in North and South America and Bonduelle Development regrouping the Group's activities and development in the rest of the world, particularly in Eastern Europe.

The four General Managers of the above Business Units plus the HR and Finance Directors have joined Christophe Bonduelle, the Group's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, to form the Group's Executive Board.

Sustainable development: Use of the GRI Frame of Reference

As part of its consistent and credible approach in terms of Social and Environmental Responsibility, the Bonduelle Group now complies with the internationally recognised GRI frame of reference (Global Reporting Initiative) for its 2012 non-financial reporting. Bonduelle is one of the very rare companies outside of the CAC 40 (French major listed companies index) to have implemented such an approach. Following its first assessment, the Bonduelle Group was awarded a B+ application level, thus placing it amongst the best French companies also using this frame of reference.

The GRI is an independent international organization founded in 1997, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), whose head office is in Amsterdam. Its purpose is to develop globally applicable directives with the aim of structuring and standardizing company (and organization) management reports in terms of sustainable development. Its objective is to implement a reliable and coherent framework used to monitor and compare corporate social responsibility policy performances on an international scale.

Outlook

Following a first half financial year in line with the Group's expectations in terms of activities and profitability, a rather mixed European consumption environment coupled with some marketing investments for the second half of the year, the Bonduelle Group remains confident in achieving an overall growth of 8% for sales and between EUR 106 to EUR 108 million for current operating profitability, hence a 7% increase in line with the objectives announced in October 2012.

 

Original source: Bonduelle

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