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13.05.2019 – 07:30

AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA: significant EBIT decrease in 2018|19 financial year

  Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide
  distribution. The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement.

Outlook: Significant EBIT growth expected in 2019|20 

Financial Figures/Balance Sheet

Vienna - -Revenue: EUR 2,443.0 million (-4.8%; prior year: EUR 2,566.3 million)

-Operating profit (EBIT): EUR 66.6 million (-65.1%; prior year: EUR 190.6

-Earnings per share: EUR 0.41* (-81.7%; prior year: EUR 2.24*)

-Equity ratio: 59.0% (prior year: 61.7%)

-Dividend proposal for 2018|19 of EUR 1,001 per share (prior-year dividend: EUR
1.125* per share)

-Outlook for 2019|20: expecting significant EBIT growth and a moderate rise in

In the 2018|19 financial year, AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG achieved consolidated
revenue of EUR 2,443.0 million, a slight decrease from the prior year. Operating
profit (EBIT), at EUR 66.6 million, decreased by 65.1% from one year earlier.
The significant earnings decline was especially due to persistent extremely low
sugar prices, but also to low isoglucose and ethanol prices in the Starch
segment. In the Fruit segment, AGRANA recorded stable revenue and an increase in
EBIT, with the fruit juice concentrate business generating the earnings growth
thanks to an improved situation in margins and sales volume.

AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann Marihart says: "The past financial year,
which was negatively impacted above all by losses in the Sugar segment and by
volatile but low overall ethanol prices, certainly does not give us cause for
satisfaction. However, for the new financial year now under way, we expect
renewed significantly better overall earnings, driven particularly by EBIT
growth in the Fruit segment. Amid the difficult situation in the sugar market,
our strategy of diversification once again proves its worth, enabling us to
balance out the effects of fluctuating business conditions across the different
operating segments. Our optimism is also reflected in our investments in growth
projects in the Fruit segment and specialisation projects in the Starch segment.
The biggest project of the new financial year is the expansion of the wheat
starch plant in Pischelsdorf, Austria; the enlarged facility is scheduled for
commissioning at the end of 2019."

AGRANA Group results
EUR million, except %

                         FY 2018|19 FY 2017|18
Revenue                  2,443.0    2,566.3
EBITDA**                 147.7      254.2
Operating profit (EBIT)  66.6       190.6
EBIT margin              2.7%       7.4%
Profit for the period    30.4       142.6
Earnings per share       0.41       2.24***
Investment****           183.8      140.9
Number of employees***** 9,230      8,678

Net financial items in 2018|19 amounted to a net expense of EUR 15.4 million
(prior year: net expense of EUR 14.5 million). The prior year's optimisation of
the credit and interest rate structure led to a further improvement of EUR 2.3
million in net interest expense. Profit before tax decreased from the prior
year's EUR 176.2 million to EUR 51.2 million. After an income tax expense of EUR
20.9 million based on a tax rate of 40.7% (prior year: 19.0%), the Group's
profit for the period was EUR 30.4 million (prior year: EUR 142.6 million).

With total assets of EUR 2,389.4 million, which were EUR 33.0 million higher
than one year earlier, the equity ratio of 59.0% was 2.7 percentage points below
the prior-year level. Net debt as of 28 February 2019 amounted to EUR 322.2
million, up EUR 89.7 million from the 2017|18 year-end level. The gearing ratio
was thus 22.9% at the balance sheet date (28 February 2018: 16.0%). Consistent
with AGRANA's transparent dividend policy, under which distributions are based
on the Group's profit and cash flow as well as its debt situation and the need
to maintain a sound balance sheet structure, the Management Board will propose
to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to pay a dividend of EUR 1.00* per
share for the 2018|19 financial year (prior-year dividend: EUR 1.125* per

FRUIT segment

                        FY 2018|19 FY 2017|18
Revenue                 1,179.1    1,161.4
Operating profit (EBIT) 77.3       75.6
EBIT margin             6.6%       6.5%

Fruit segment revenue rose by 1.5% to EUR 1,179.1 million. EBIT, at EUR 77.3
million, was up 2.1% from one year earlier. While revenue in the fruit
preparations business, despite higher sales volumes, showed a decrease as a
result of negative currency translation effects, revenue of the fruit juice
concentrate activities rose thanks to the high apple juice concentrate prices
for product from the 2017 crop and good sales volumes from the 2018 campaign.
The EBIT increase in the Fruit segment was thus driven by the improved margin
and sales volume situation in the fruit juice concentrate business and the high
capacity utilisation of the concentrate plants in the 2018 processing season.

STARCH segment

                        FY 2018|19 FY 2017|18
Revenue                 762.7      752.3
Operating profit (EBIT) 51.2       80.2
EBIT margin             6.7%       10.7%

Revenue in the Starch segment was EUR 762.7 million, up slightly by 1.4% from
the year before. Growth in native and modified starches and in specialties made
up for volume- and price-induced revenue reductions in saccharification products
and price-driven decreases in bioethanol revenue. The poorer performance in the
ethanol and saccharification products business led to an EBIT decline of 36.2%
to EUR 51.2 million.

SUGAR segment

                        FY 2018|19 FY 2017|18
Revenue                 501.2      652.6
Operating profit (EBIT) (61.9)     34.8
EBIT margin             (12.3%)    5.3%

The Sugar segment had revenue of EUR 501.2 million, a reduction of 23.2% from
the prior year due to the very low sugar selling prices. In terms of volume,
sales with resellers and industrial customers grew in the domestic markets.
Meanwhile, export volumes and sales to the non-food industry decreased. EBIT
fell markedly to a deficit of EUR 61.9 million. This negative performance
resulted from the year-on-year decline in sales prices as well as from adverse
effects of the drought-related poorer harvest in Austria.


Thanks to its sound balance sheet and the diversified business model built on
the Fruit, Starch and Sugar segments, AGRANA considers itself well positioned
for the future. "From today's perspective, we expect a significant increase in
operating profit (EBIT) in the Sugar segment for the 2019|20 financial year
despite the continuing major challenges. For Group revenue we are projecting a
moderate increase," comments CEO Marihart. In 2019|20 the total investment in
the three business segments - about EUR 143 million - will significantly exceed
the budgeted depreciation of approximately EUR 108 million.


AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous
industrial intermediate products. About 9,200 employees at 58 production sites
worldwide generate annual Group revenue of approximately EUR 2.4 billion.
Established in 1988, the company is the world market leader in fruit
preparations and the leading producer of fruit juice concentrates in Europe. As
well, its Starch segment is a major manufacturer of custom starch products and
bioethanol. AGRANA today is also the leading sugar producer in Central and
Eastern Europe.

This announcement is available in German and English at [https://].


* Refecting the four-for-one stock split performed in July 2018, i.e., based on
the new number of shares outstanding at 28 February 2019 of 62,488,976.

** EBITDA represents operating profit before exceptional items, results of
equity-accounted joint ventures, and operating depreciation and amortisation.

*** Based on the number of shares outstanding at 28 February 2019 of 62,488,976.

**** Investment represents purchases of property, plant and equipment and
intangibles; Excluding goodwill

***** Average number of full-time equivalents in the financial year.

Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

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

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

end of announcement                         euro adhoc

issuer:       AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
              F.-W.-Raiffeisen-Platz  1
              A-1020 Wien
phone:        +43-1-21137-0
FAX:          +43-1-21137-12926
ISIN:         AT000AGRANA3
indexes:      WBI
stockmarkets: Berlin, Stuttgart, Wien, Frankfurt
language:     English

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