13 March 2019 - 07:03
Key parameters of results 2018
- Total Feed volume: up 4.9% to 10.0mT, on acquisitions (2.8%) and organic growth (2.1%);
- Compound feed volume: up 4.2% to 7.0mT, mainly due to acquisitions;
- Gross profit: up 5.6% to €443.4 million, of which 2.3% from acquisitions (predominantly in H2) and 3.6% like-for-like growth (stronger in H1);
- Underlying EBITDA: down 1.3% to €100.1 million (down 1.0% at constant currencies) despite positive contributions from acquisitions;
- Underlying earnings per share: flat versus prior year;
- Dividend proposal: €0.283 per ordinary share and a special dividend of €0.017 per share. Total dividend therefore €0.30 per ordinary share, equal to 2017;
- Working capital: increase by €7.1 million, due to acquisitions (+€30.4 million) and like-for-like improvement (-€23.3 million).
- Total cost saving €10 million (in 2021 vs 2018) over total group excl. Poland, through optimisation factory footprint and other efficiency projects, including reduction FTE’s (125-150, approx. 5-6%) and incorporating existing UK supply chain optimisation plans;
- Strong decline 2019 first-half underlying EBITDA expected compared to first half 2018, due to current purchasing positions in combination with the focus on sustaining market share;
- Proposal for share buy-back programme of €30 million (start after Q1/19 trading update, for 18 months).
Yoram Knoop, CEO ForFarmers, about the 2018 results: “2018 was a year of two sides for us. In terms of strategy we made progress by, amongst others, acquiring four companies. Consequently, we are now operational in five countries and have more sales opportunities in the expanding poultry sector. Our portfolio segmentation across the various species is more in balance: volumes are more equally divided over the ruminant, swine and poultry sector. In 2018 we sold over 10 million tonnes of feed, the first European Total Feed company to do so. Our Total Feed approach enabled us in attracting new customers and achieving further growth among existing customers amid tough market conditions.
Besides these positive developments we were, however, also confronted in the autumn of 2018 by the effects of the extraordinary warm and dry summer months, namely higher inbound logistics costs (low river levels) and more volatility in raw material prices, which we could not fully pass on to customers specifically in the Netherlands and Poland and which impacted our results.
Taking into consideration the 2018 results and mindful of the current market circumstances, we consider it wise to reduce the organisation’s cost base over the next two years by implementing extra group-wide efficiency plans. This will involve reducing the number of mills and our headcount as a result of further standardisation and optimisation of our processes. At the same time we will continue to invest in our supply chain and in the introduction of innovative (digital) concepts for our customers.
Despite the fact that due to a temporary unfavourable purchase position we expect our 2019 first half year results to show a strong decline compared to the 2018 first half year results, we have confidence in the outlook thereafter.”