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Chr. Hansen off to a solid start to the year: 10% organic growth in Q1

Press release   •   Jan 12, 2018 07:04 UTC

Chr. Hansen reports strong organic revenue growth of 10% in the first three months of 2017/18

Bioprotection continues to show impressive momentum

Chr. Hansen reports strong organic revenue growth of 10% in the first three months of 2017/18: Food Cultures & Enzymes 12%, Health & Nutrition 10% and Natural Colors 4%. EBIT before special items decreased by 1% to EUR 65 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin before special items of 25.4%. The overall outlook for 2017/18 is unchanged.

Read the full report here

Q1 2017/18 results

EUR million Q1
Revenue 254.5 241.7 5%
EBIT before special items 64.7 65.5 (1)%
Profit for the period 46.5 47.0 (1)%
Free cash flow before acquisitions, divestments and special items (18.9) (19.1) 1%
Organic growth, % 10% 11%
Gross margin, % 52.5% 53.4%
EBIT margin before special items, % 25.4% 27.1%
ROIC excl. goodwill, % 30.9% 34.3%

CEO Cees de Jong says: “We have had a solid start to the year, with Food Cultures & Enzymes’ organic growth better than expected. Sales of bioprotective solutions continue to show impressive momentum, and this is still without any significant impact from the second-generation FreshQ® products that we launched at the beginning of this financial year. We have also introduced ProKids®, an innovative product concept for a children’s drinking yogurt containing our LGG® probiotic strain. As expected, organic sales growth in Natural Colors was below our long-term ambition.

"Our EBIT margin before special items in Q1 was lower than last year, mainly due to the sale of a property in Argentina in Q1 2016/17, adverse currency impacts and costs related to starting up our new production capacity in Copenhagen. The new capacity is producing ahead of schedule, and we expect to see improving margins from this toward the end of the financial year.

"We are encouraged by the solid start to the year, and we maintain our overall guidance for the full year. We increase our expectations to organic growth for Food Cultures & Enzymes to be even stronger and above the long term 7-8% growth target that we have for this business. At the same time, we lower our expectations to organic growth in Health & Nutrition for the full year to be below our long term guidance for this business due to the challenging market conditions in North America.”

Outlook for 2017/18

12 January 2018 25 October 2017
Organic revenue growth 8-10% 8-10%
EBIT margin before special items Around 28.9% Around 28.9%
Free cash flow before special items, acquisitions and divestments Around EUR 188 million

Around EUR 188 million 

The guidance for EBIT margin before special items and for free cash flow before acquisitions, divestments and special items assumes constant currencies from the time of this announcement and for the remainder of the financial year.

Chr. Hansen is a leading, global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. We develop and produce cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors for a rich variety of foods, confectionery, beverages, dietary supplements and even animal feed and plant protection. Our product innovation is based on more than 30,000 microbial strains – we like to refer to them as ‘good bacteria’. Our solutions enable food manufacturers to produce more with less – while also reducing the use of chemicals and other synthetic additives – which make our products highly relevant in today’s world. We have been delivering value to our partners – and, ultimately, end consumers worldwide – for over 140 years. We are proud that more than one billion people consume products containing our natural ingredients every day. Revenue in the 2016/17 financial year was EUR 1,063 million. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen.

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