AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA improves operating profit in third quarter of 2015|16 and confirms full-year forecast, with EBIT up slightly from prior year

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9-month report

Group revenue of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG was steady in the first nine months of
the 2015|16 financial year at EUR 1,908.0 million (Q1-Q3 prior year: EUR 1,914.4
million). While profit for the period, at EUR 108.8 million in the first three
quarters, was still off 12.5% year-on-year, EBIT in the third quarter was
already up 7.2% from one year earlier.
As AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann Marihart explains, "the first nine
months of the financial year continued to be characterised by difficult
conditions in the sugar market. Although selling prices did not fall further,
they remained low, weighing on revenue and earnings. Nonetheless, we were
already able to bring the Sugar segment's EBIT back into positive territory from
the second quarter, and for the full year as well Sugar EBIT should be at least
neutral or slightly above, as a result of higher sales volumes.
In the Starch segment we achieved a strong improvement in profitability from the
prior-year period thanks especially to higher ethanol prices. Our third segment,
Fruit, is also showing a solid overall business performance, driven by a
positive trend in the fruit preparations division and despite lower results in
the fruit juice concentrate division.
These results once again prove the effectiveness of our strategy of
diversification into three pillars for balancing out the effects of fluctuating
business conditions across the segments."
Net financial items of the AGRANA Group in the first three quarters of 2015|16
amounted to a net expense of EUR 16.3 million (Q1-Q3 prior year: net expense of
EUR 12.7 million); the year-on-year difference resulted primarily from net
currency translation losses (Q1-Q3 prior year: net translation gains). After an
income tax expense of EUR 21.6 million, corresponding to a tax rate of
approximately 23.4% (Q1-Q3 prior year: 27.3%), profit for the period was
EUR 70.8 million (Q1-Q3 prior year: EUR 81.2 million). Earnings per share
attributable to AGRANA shareholders were EUR 4.97 (Q1-Q3 prior year: EUR 5.39).
Net debt as of 30 November 2015 was EUR 449.0 million (28 February 2015:
EUR 330.3 million). Total assets saw a minor increase to EUR 2.44 billion
compared with 28 February 2015, and the equity ratio was steady at 49.7%. The
gearing ratio rose to 37.0% as of the quarterly balance sheet date (28 February
2015: 27.7%).
AGRANA consolidated financial results for first three quarters of 2015|16
(1 March to 30 November 2015)*
EUR million, except %

                                                    Q1-3 2015|16 Q1-3 2014|15
Revenue                                             1,908.0      1,914.4
EBITDA**                                            154.1        168.2
Operating profit before exceptional items***        90.8         108.0
Share of results of equity-accounted joint ventures 19.7         20.1
Exceptional items                                   (1.7)        (3.7)
Operating profit (EBIT)                             108.8        124.4
EBIT margin                                         5.7%         6.5%
Net financial items                                 (16.3)       (12.7)
Income tax                                          (21.6)       (30.5)
Profit for the period                               70.8         81.2
Investment****                                      78.8         62.5

                                                    Q3 2015|16 Q3 2014|15
Revenue                                             644.5      629.2
EBITDA**                                            61.0       55.0
Operating profit before exceptional items***        32.8       29.8
Share of results of equity-accounted joint ventures 7.7        7.2
Exceptional items                                   (0.4)      0.4
Operating profit (EBIT)                             40.1       37.4
EBIT margin                                         6.2%       5.9%
Net financial items                                 (5.1)      (4.6)
Income tax                                          (8.0)      (11.8)
Profit for the period                               26.9       21.0
Investment****                                      38.0       23.9


*All prior-year data have been restated under IAS 8
**EBITDA represents operating profit before exceptional items, results of
equity-accounted joint ventures, and operating depreciation and amortisation
***Operating profit before exceptional items and results of equity-accounted
joint ventures
****Investment represents purchases of property, plant and equipment and
intangible assets, excluding goodwill
Sugar segment
EUR million, except %

                        Q1-3 2015|16 Q1-3 2014|15
Revenue                 540.5        563.4
Operating profit (EBIT) 10.4         29.0
EBIT margin             1.9%         5.2%

                        Q3 2015|16 Q3 2014|15
Revenue                 195.5      185.3
Operating profit (EBIT) 4.0        0.9
EBIT margin             2.1%       0.5%


Sugar segment revenue in the first three quarters of 2015|16 declined slightly,
easing by 4.1% year-on-year to EUR 540.5 million. Lower sugar selling prices
were partly offset by higher sales volumes of quota sugar, especially to
industrial customers. As expected amid the pressure on sugar prices, the
segment's EBIT of EUR 10.4 million came in significantly below the year-ago
result. However, EBIT improved in the third quarter, reflecting primarily the
year-on-year reduction in raw sugar costs and the higher sales quantities.
Starch segment
EUR million, except %

                        Q1-3 2015|16 Q1-3 2014|15
Revenue                 544.0        535.4
Operating profit (EBIT) 52.9         45.6
EBIT margin             9.7%         8.5%

                        Q3 2015|16 Q3 2014|15
Revenue                 191.3      184.2
Operating profit (EBIT) 21.8       20.4
EBIT margin             11.4%      11.1%


Revenue in the Starch segment in the first nine months of 2015|16 was EUR 544.0
million, or 1.6% above the value for the prior-year comparative period. Among
other areas, the revenue growth was achieved in the bioethanol business, which
benefited from higher selling prices, and in wet starch derivatives, thanks to
higher sales volumes. EBIT of EUR 52.9 million significantly surpassed the year-
earlier amount, by 16.0%. This operating profit growth was driven above all by
the improved prices of ethanol; also, average raw material costs for the Starch
segment as a whole eased slightly year-on-year.
Fruit segment
EUR million, except %

                        Q1-3 2015|16 Q1-3 2014|15
Revenue                 823.5        815.6
Operating profit (EBIT) 45.5         49.8
EBIT margin             5.5%         6.1%

                        Q3 2015|16 Q3 2014|15
Revenue                 257.7      259.7
Operating profit (EBIT) 14.3       16.1
EBIT margin             5.6%       6.2%


Fruit segment revenue in the first three quarters of 2015|16 was EUR 823.5
million, in line with the good year-earlier period. In the fruit preparations
business the revenue growth of almost 9% resulted from increased sales volumes
and prices. The fruit juice concentrate business, on the other hand, was
impacted by the low apple juice concentrate prices from the 2014 harvest and
registered a revenue decrease of about 20% year-on-year. This also made itself
felt in EBIT for the segment as a whole, which declined by 8.6% from one year
earlier to EUR 45.5 million despite a significant improvement in fruit
preparations EBIT.
AGRANA continues to expect Group revenue to remain steady in the 2015|16
financial year. For operating profit (EBIT) the Group is projecting slight
growth year-on-year in view of a combination of increased price expectations for
bioethanol, lower raw material prices and an at least neutral earnings result in
the Sugar segment. In the 2015|16 financial year the AGRANA Group's total
investment will be about EUR 112 million, thus exceeding depreciation of just
under EUR 90 million.

AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous
industrial intermediate products. About 9,000 employees at more than 50
production sites worldwide generate annual Group sales of around EUR 2.5
billion. Established in 1988, the company today is the leading sugar producer in
Central and Eastern Europe, and its Starch segment is both a major European
manufacturer of specialty products and the largest producer of bioethanol in
Austria. AGRANA is also the world market leader in fruit preparations and
Europe's largest maker of fruit juice concentrates.
This announcement is available in German and English at

Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

Mag.(FH) Hannes Haider
Investor Relations
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12905

Mag.(FH) Markus Simak
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

company:     AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
             F.-W.-Raiffeisen-Platz  1
             A-1020 Wien
phone:       +43-1-21137-0
FAX:         +43-1-21137-12926
sector:      Food
ISIN:        AT0000603709
indexes:     WBI, ATX Prime
stockmarkets: Präsenzhandel: Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, official market: Wien 
language:   English



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