ForFarmers first quarter 2020 Trading Update  

1 May 2020 - 06:57

Highlights first quarter 2020:
•    Volume Total Feed: down (-5.3%); like-for-like decline in all clusters; 
•    Volume compound feed: down (-3.8%); like-for-like decline in clusters Netherlands/Belgium and the United Kingdom, virtually stable volume in cluster Germany/Poland; 
•    Gross profit: up (4.4%); Q1 2019 included an unfavourable purchasing position; 
•    Underlying EBITDA: up (44.1%); compared to a weaker first quarter in 2019; increase due to higher gross profit and lower operating costs as a result of realised efficiency measures among others.

Yoram Knoop, CEO of ForFarmers, states: 'Since mid-March we are being confronted by a new reality. We immediately took measures to safeguard the health of our employees and to enable the continuation of the production and distribution of feed to our customers. In addition, our sector has been identified a vital business sector in order not to endanger the food supply. Up to now we have seen no material impact of the COVID-19 measures on our core processes.

In the first quarter of 2020 a substantial increase in underlying EBITDA was realised. This, despite the fact that in some countries volumes declined again due to the pressure on the agricultural sector to decrease the environmental impact. There was no impact of an unfavourable purchasing position in the first quarter of 2020. In addition, despite the volume decrease, there was a better product mix including more specialties and fewer costs due to implemented cost saving measures.

Looking forward we see changing market circumstances due to COVID-19, with challenges arising for our customers, the ultimate impact of which on ForFarmers is still uncertain. We expect to realise a better underlying EBITDA in the first half-year 2020 compared to the first half of 2019, but in light of the increased uncertainties due to COVID-19, we refrain from expressing any further expectations.

We continue to focus on the health of our employees and on supporting our more than 26,000 customers through the delivery of quality feed and advice. Above all, I am especially proud of the effort and dedication of our employees towards our customers. For this I would like to thank them personally and on behalf of all the members of the Executive Committee'.