Apetit Half-Year Financial Report 1 January–30 June 2018: A weak harvest lowered Grain Trade volumes and Group result – strategic measures lay foundations for future

Apetit Half-Year Financial Report 1 January–30 June 2018: A weak harvest lowered Grain Trade volumes and Group result – strategic measures lay foundations for future

This release is a summary of Apetit’s Half-Year Financial Report for the January-June period of 2018. The complete report is attached to this release as a pdf file and it is also available on the company’s website at apetitgroup.fi/for-investors.

April–June, continuing operations*

  • Net sales from continuing operations were EUR 72.8 (76.8) million
  • Operational EBITDA was EUR 0.1 (0.8) million
  • Operational EBIT was EUR -1.4 (-0.5) million

January–June, continuing operations*

  • Net sales from continuing operations were EUR 132.5 (150.8) million
  • Operational EBITDA was EUR 0.1 (1.2) million
  • Operational EBIT was EUR -2.8 (-1.5) million

Key events during the period

  • Apetit invests EUR 9.7 million in a new patty and ball production line in Säkylä.
  • Apetit invests EUR 3.7 million in the construction of a bioenergy plant in conjunction with the Avena Kantvik Oy rapeseed oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi.
  • Avena Nordic Grain Oy and Viljelijän Berner joined their purchasing and sales organisations in production input and grain trade under a new operating model based on partnership.
  • Apetit Vegepops Porkkana-mango was chosen as the Finnish Food of the Year 2018

*Continuing operations include Food Solutions, Oilseed Products and the Grain Trade.

 

The information has not been audited. The figures in parentheses are the equivalent figures for the same period in 2017, and the comparison period means the corresponding period in the previous year, unless otherwise stated.

 

REVISED (3 August 2018) PROFIT GUIDANCE FOR 2018

The Group’s full-year operational EBIT from continuing operations is expected to fall short of the 2017 level (2017: EUR 1.3 million). Due to the seasonal nature of the Group’s operations, most of the annual profit is accrued in the second half of the year. Sales volumes and the profit outlook for 2018 are burdened by the weak harvest of 2017 and the poor harvest outlook of the current year.

Juha Vanhainen, CEO:

“Apetit has continued with the measures of the strategy announced in March 2018 in its focus areas, which are internationalisation, renewal and efficiency improvement. These measures reinforce Apetit’s position as number one in vegetables and help in building a foundation for the further development of the business.

In June, we announced that we invest nearly EUR 10 million in a new patty and ball production line at our Säkylä plant. The new line will double our production capacity, meet current demand and enable us to produce new products for the Finnish and international markets.

As a part of the project to improve efficiency, Apetit is building a bioenergy plant in conjunction with the Avena Kantvik Oy rapeseed oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi. The bioenergy plant will replace the current energy solution that uses non-renewable fuels and will significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the entire Group.

Apetit participated in the share issue of the food business development company Foodwest which took place in May-June. Apetit’s holding in the company will promote our strategic goals to focus on product development and to renew and lead the way in vegetable-based diets. One result of the work we have done to date is the nomination of Apetit Vegepops Porkkana-mango as the Finnish Food of the Year 2018 in May. We also continued work on a project to develop a rapeseed ingredient in order to develop a new ingredient with high nutritional content for the international food market.

The goals of renewal and continuous development of operations took concrete form when Apetit’s subsidiary Avena Nordic Grain Oy and Viljelijän Berner joined their purchasing and sales organisations in production input and grain trade under a new operating model based on partnership. Business will be conducted under the name Viljelijän Avena Berner and it will offer Finnish farmers a one-stop-shop for production input and grain trade services.

Increasing the share of food sales abroad has proceeded according to plan. At the end of August Apetit will launch a new selection for the Swedish market called Free From which includes five patty and ball products. In Russia we are continuing work on reinforcing our position through local food product chains.

As expected, the aftermath of the weak harvest of 2017 continued in the first half of 2018 and substantially lowered grain trade volumes and consolidated net sales on the comparison period. The shrinking of the Sales Services network had a negative impact on the net sales of Food Solutions.  Oilseed Products’ performance remained stable as volumes slightly grew on the comparison period. The low price of sugar on the global market led to a weaker result for the associated company Sucros.

During the spring Apetit has carried out adjustment measures to improve profitability, including personnel reductions and other cost saving measures. Their combined impact in 2018 will be EUR 1.0 million and the annual total impact will be EUR 1.8 million.

It is likely that the 2018 harvest season will also be significantly worse than average, as was the 2017 season, which will have a negative impact on the Group’s profit-earning capacity in the second half of the year. The Finnish grain harvest is estimated to be the weakest of the 21st century, which will limit trade opportunities especially in exports. The harvest of field vegetables is also likely to be lower than usual.”

 

KEY FIGURES

EUR million

4-6
2018

4-6
2017

Change

1-6
2018

1-6
2017

Change

2017

Continuing operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

72.8

76.8

-5%

132.5

150.8

  -12%

311.8

Operational EBITDA

0.1

0.8

 

0.1

1.2

 

6.8

Operational EBIT

-1.4

-0.5

 

-2.8

-1.5

 

1.3

Operating profit

-2.7

-0.7

 

-4.1

-1.7

 

1.1

Share of profit of associated company Sucros

-0.4

0.2

 

-0.9

-0.5

 

1.0

Profit for the period

-2.8

-0.5

 

-4.5

-2.0

 

2.9

Earnings per share, EUR

-0.45

-0.08

 

-0.72

-0.32

 

0.46

Working capital, at end of period

 

 

 

28.5

25.3

 

30.0

Investment

 

 

 

1.8

2.5

 

5.2

Group
(incl. discontinued operations during comparison period)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share, EUR

-0.45

-0.27

 

-0.72

-0.56

 

-0.10

Equity per share, EUR

 

 

 

16.75

17.58

 

18.10

Return on capital employed (ROCE), %

 

 

 

0.9%

1.9%

 

2.4%

Net cash flow from operating activities

 

 

 

-0.1

23.1

 

20.0

Equity ratio

 

 

 

76.1%

71.1%

 

72.6%

Gearing

 

 

 

-4.7%

-1.5%

 

-9.6%

 

NEWS CONFERENCE AND WEBCAST

A news conference (in Finnish) will be held today at 10:00 a.m. at Apetit’s office, Sörnäistenkatu 1 A, Helsinki. A live webcast of the news conference can be followed via apetitgroup.fi/for-investors. The presentation material and a recording of the webcast will be available after the news conference on the company’s website.

Apetit Plc Half-Year Financial Report 1 January – 30 June 2018

 

Apetit Plc

For further information, please contact:

Juha Vanhainen, CEO, Apetit Plc, tel. +358 10 402 2100

Apetit is number one in vegetables. It is a food industry company firmly rooted in Finnish primary production. We create well-being with vegetables by offering healthy and tasty food solutions that make daily life easier. We also produce high-quality vegetable oils and rapeseed expellers for feeding stuff, and trade grain on the international markets. Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions. Apetit Plc’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. In 2017, the company’s net sales were EUR 312 million and it had approximately 640 employees. Read more at apetitgroup.fi.

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Its focus areas are renewal, internationalisation and efficiency improvement. Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions and be the best-known brand specialising in vegetable-based diets in Finland. According to studies, consumers want to increase their use of vegetables, and the demand for vegetable-based proteins continues to grow strongly. Healthiness, sustainability, organic foods and well-being are also continuing to grow as trends. In addition, consumers appreciate ease of use in their hectic lives. “The trends in eating firmly support Apetit and our chosen strategy. We are continuing the work that we started in the previous strategy period to strengthen our position as the leader in vegetable-based food solutions. Thanks to our hard work, bold strategic choices and continuous renewal, Apetit is now number one in its field,” says Juha Vanhainen, CEO of Apetit. “With the vegetable trend continuing to grow, we have systematically increased our investment in research and development, which is reflected in the significant increase in the number of new products, as well as our determined expansion into new product groups. International food trade has also increased. In the strategy work that we have now completed, we have shifted our focus towards younger target groups, and we will launch new products that meet their needs and wishes.” To increase the use of vegetables among consumers, Apetit has launched the Kasvimaani.fi online service and the Njam mobile app for recipe recommendations. The company has also renewed its Avenakauppa.fi online service for growers. “We have now taken the first steps in digital services and the international food trade. Our goal is for these measures to significantly support the development of Apetit’s business operations over the long term,” says Vanhainen. Apetit’s strategic focus areas for 2018–2020 Apetit is focusing on continuous renewal by increasing product and service development and on stronger internationalisation by increasing international food trade and mapping potential areas of supply in grain trade while strengthening its presence in the Baltics as well as on efficiency improvement in all of its business operations. Apetit’s financial targets for 2020: At least to double operational EBITDA (2017: EUR 6.8 million in continuing operations) Operational return on capital employed (ROCE%) > 8% (2017: 2.4%) The achievement of these strategic targets is based on customary crop development, systematic operational efficiency improvement, innovative and timely product launches and the development of international food trade. The company is open to corporate transactions that are in line with its strategy. Updated dividend policy The aim of the Board of Directors of Apetit Plc is that the company’s shares should provide shareholders with a good return on investment and retain their value. The company will distribute at least 50% of the profit for the financial year in dividends. Strategic focuses of the business areas for 2018–2020: The Food Solutions business seeks to grow profitably and more rapidly than the market in Finland. Its strategic focus areas are: The strong renewal of frozen foods and fresh products and the development of spearhead products for the international markets Supporting and increasing the consumption of vegetables among children and young people A clear improvement in profitability A sustainable value chain as a stronger competitive factor The Oilseed Products business seeks to improve profitability and create higher added value. Its strategic focus areas are: Improving the efficiency of oil milling operations Further developing the cultivation of rapeseed in Finland New innovations and their rapid commercialisation Developing self-sufficiency in vegetable-based proteins in Finland The Grain Trade business seeks to increase its trading volumes in its main areas of supply and to efficiently manage its working capital. Its strategic focus areas are: Increasing its market share in the area of supply consisting of the Baltic countries Creating strong value chain partnerships in Finland Developing the most highly advanced digital services that support logistics and the grain trade Studying potential areas of supply   Apetit Plc Juha Vanhainen     Apetit is number one in vegetables. It is a food industry company firmly rooted in Finnish primary production. We create well-being with vegetables by offering healthy and tasty food solutions that make daily life easier. We also produce high-quality vegetable oils and expeller meal from rapeseed, and trade grain on the international markets. Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions. Apetit Plc’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. In 2017, the company’s net sales were EUR 314 million and it had 557 employees. Read more at apetitgroup.fi.

Apetit Plc’s Financial Statements Bulletin 1 January – 31 December 2017

October–December, continuing operations • Net sales from continuing operations were EUR 87.1 (80.4) million • Operational EBITDA was EUR 2.7 (2.0) million • Operational EBIT was EUR 1.2 (0.6) million • The profit for the period was EUR 2.3 (1.9) million, and earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.38 (0.31) January–December, continuing operations • Net sales from continuing operations were EUR 314.0 (312.0) million • Operational EBITDA was EUR 6.8 (5.8) million • Operational EBIT was EUR 1.3 (0.8) million • Profit for the period came to EUR 2.9 (2.0) million, and earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.46 (0.33) October–December, the Group, including discontinued operations* • Consolidated net sales amounted to EUR 91.6 (100.1) million • Operational EBIT was EUR 1.3 (1.6) million • Profit for the period came to EUR 2.4 (2.4) million, and earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.38 (0.38). January–December, the Group, including discontinued operations* • Consolidated net sales amounted to EUR 368.1 (386.5) million • Operational EBIT was EUR 1.7 (0.9) million • Profit for the period came to EUR -0.6 (1.2) million, and earnings per share amounted to EUR -0.10 (0.19) The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.70 per share be paid. * Discontinued operations: On 29 June 2017, Apetit Plc signed an agreement on selling its seafood business to the Norwegian Insula AS. The transaction was completed on 31 October 2017. In this financial statements bulletin, the transferred business is reported as a discontinued operation. Consolidated net sales and profit for 2017 include the seafood business from January to October. The figures for 2017 and 2016 are audited. The quarterly figures are unaudited. The figures in parentheses are the equivalent figures for the same period in 2016, and the comparison period means the corresponding period in the previous year, unless otherwise stated. Juha Vanhainen, CEO: “In 2017, Apetit established its position as the leading Finnish brand in vegetable-based food solutions. Its improved awareness is supported by the fact that the company introduced new products at a record pace and expanded into new product groups. Sales of existing products also increased. In 2017, the weather remained cool throughout the growing season. The end of the growing season was marked by exceptionally heavy rain, which delayed and hindered the harvesting of grains, oilseeds and root vegetables. The oilseed harvest in Finland was markedly smaller than in the previous year. The challenges of the harvest season also reduced grain trade export volumes significantly. The availability of Finnish field vegetables has been limited to some extent. As a result of this, it has been necessary to replace Finnish field vegetables with more expensive imported vegetables or limit the production of certain products, particularly products containing Finnish carrots. Despite the difficult harvest season, Apetit was able to improve its operational EBIT and net sales in continuing operations. The turnaround in the Food Solutions business was particularly pleasing. It was supported mainly by the increased sales of frozen and fresh products. Exports also increased in comparison with the previous year, with growth in the total exports of Food Solutions. In December, Apetit announced that it would start exporting to Russia and deliver various frozen products to the St Petersburg region. The successful work to improve the efficiency of working capital management continued in 2017. The Group’s working capital tied up in operations decreased by EUR 22.5 million during the financial year. As a result of the more efficient management of working capital and the divestment of the seafood business, the Group was debt-free at the end of the year. Its balance sheet structure creates favourable conditions for investments and potential business arrangements that are in line with its strategy. Apetit’s strategy to specialise and lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions is also supported by the divestment of its fish processing business. The business was sold to Insula AS in Finland, Norway and Sweden. The transaction was completed at the end of October. In 2018, we will continue to invest in sales and product development in line with our strategy. The prevailing food trends support our goals: consumers are increasingly appreciating well-being, good taste and ease of use. High vegetable content, organic products and Finnish origin are also primary considerations when consumers are making purchasing decisions.” KEY FIGURES EUR million 10-12 2017 10-12 2016 Change 1-12 2017 1-12 2016 Change Continuing operations             Net sales 87.1 80.4 8 % 314.0 312.0   1 % Operational EBITDA 2.7 2,0   6.8 5,8   Operational EBIT 1.2 0.6   1.3 0.8   Operating profit 1.2 0.6   1.1 0.8   Share of profit of associated company Sucros 1.4 1.5   1.0 0.7   Profit for the period 2.3 1.9   2.9 2.0   Earnings per share, EUR 0.38 0.31   0.46 0.33   Working capital, at the end of the year       30.0 52,9   Group (including discontinued operations)             Net sales 91.6 100.1 -8 % 368.1 386.5 -5 % Operational EBIT 1.3 1.6   1.7 0.9   Operating profit 1.2 1.2   -2.5 0.6   Profit for the period 2.4 2.4   -0.6 1.2   Earnings per share, EUR 0.38 0.38   -0.10 0.19   Equity per share, EUR       18.10 19.00   Operational return on capital employed (ROCE), %       2.4 % 1.2 %   Net cash flow from operating activities       20.0 21.9   Equity ratio       72.6 % 64.1 %   Gearing       -9.6 % 12.4 %   Investments       5.9 9.7   PROFIT GUIDANCE FOR 2018 The Group’s full-year operational EBIT from continuing operations is expected to improve year-on-year (EUR 1.3 million in 2017). Due to the seasonal nature of the Group’s operations, most of the annual profit is accrued in the second half of the year. Sales volumes and the profit outlook for early 2018 are burdened by the weak harvest of 2017. BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ DIVIDEND PROPOSAL On 31 December 2017, the parent company’s distributable funds totalled EUR 62,596,445.91, of which EUR 838,688.75 is profit for the financial year. The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.70 per share be paid. The Board of Directors will propose that a total of EUR 4,344,305.00 be distributed in dividends and that EUR 58,252,140.91 be left in equity. No significant changes have taken place in the financial standing of the company since the end of the financial year. The company’s liquidity is good, and the Board deems that the company’s solvency will not be jeopardised by the proposed distribution of dividends. No dividend will be paid on shares held by the company. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING The Annual General Meeting will be held in Säkylä on Tuesday 27 March 2018. PUBLISHING OF THE ANNUAL REPORT Apetit Plc’s Annual Report for 2017 – including the Board of Directors’ report, the financial statements for 2017, a corporate responsibility report and a separate statement on Apetit Plc’s corporate governance – will be published in the week beginning 5 March 2018 on the company’s website at www.apetitgroup.fi. INVITATION TO A BRIEFING A briefing (in Finnish) for analysts and media will be held today at 10:00 a.m. in Hotel Scandic Simonkenttä, meeting room Espa (address: Simonkatu 9, Helsinki). In the briefing CEO Juha Vanhainen presents Financial Statements Bulletin. The presentation material will be also published on company web pages after the event.   Apetit Plc Juha Vanhainen   For further information, please contact: Juha Vanhainen, CEO, tel. +358 10 402 00   Apetit is number one in vegetables. It is a food industry company firmly rooted in Finnish primary production. We create well-being with vegetables by offering healthy and tasty food solutions that make daily life easier. We also produce high-quality vegetable oils and expeller meal from rapeseed, and trade grain on the international markets. Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions. Apetit Plc’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. In 2017, the company’s net sales were EUR 314 million and it had 557 employees. Read more at apetitgroup.fi.   Apetit Plc Financial Statements Bulletin 1 January - 31 December 2017 Presentation