AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

EANS-News: AGRANA results for first half of 2014|15 (ended 31 August 2014)

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Subtitle: Pressure on prices in Sugar and Fruit leaves revenue and EBIT lower

6-month report

In the first half of the 2014|15 financial year, AGRANA, the global sugar,
starch and fruit products manufacturer, registered a significant revenue
reduction of 17.9% to EUR 1,285.2 million. Operating profit (EBIT) was EUR 87.0
million, a decrease of 16.5% from the first six months of 2013|14. "While the
Starch segment was able to raise its EBIT, the Sugar and Fruit segments as
expected lost ground as a result of lower revenue," explains AGRANA Chief
Executive Officer Johann Marihart. Non-recurring expenses of EUR 4.6 million for
streamlining the location structure of fruit preparations production sites in
Austria weighed on profitability in the Fruit segment.
On a positive note, AGRANA was able to cut energy costs Group-wide by
approximately 8% compared to the year-earlier reporting period, despite higher
processing volumes. In view of the difficult market environment, AGRANA will
continue to put strong emphasis on structural optimisation and rigorous cost

AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG financial results*
EUR million, except %

                                     H1 2014|15 H1 2013|14 Q2 2014|15 Q2 2013|14
Revenue                              1,285.2    1,565.6    638.0      765.5
EBITDA**                             113.2      125.6      49.7       57.3
Operating profit before exceptional
items                                78.2       90.6       31.7       38.9
Share of results of equity-accountes
joint ventures                       12.9       13.6       6.5        5.8
Operating profit (EBIT)***           87.0       104.2      34.1       44.6
EBIT margin                          6.8%       6.7%       5.3%       5.8%
Net financial items                  (7.1)      (15.2)     (4.4)      (7.6)
Profit for the period                60.9       69.2       21.7       29.3
Investment****                       38.6       55.7       23.7       34.2


*All prior-year data have been restated for the adoption of IFRS 11
(equity method accounting has replaced proportionate consolidation).
**Operating profit before exceptional items, results of equity-accounted joint
ventures, depreciation and amortisation.
***Operating profit (EBIT) is after exceptional items and results of equity-
accounted joint ventures.
****Investment represents purchases of property, plant and equipment and
intangible assets, excluding goodwill.
Net financial items in the first half of 2014|15 amounted to a net finance
expense of EUR 7.1 million (H1 2013|14: net expense of EUR 15.2 million); this
significant year-on-year improvement resulted primarily from currency
translation gains. After an income tax expense of EUR 18.9 million,
corresponding to a tax rate of 23.7% (H1 2013|14: 22.3%), profit for the period
was EUR 60.9 million (H1 2013|14: EUR 69.2 million). Earnings per share
attributable to AGRANA shareholders came to EUR 4.08 (H1 2013|14: EUR 4.59).
Net debt at 31 August 2014 was EUR 287.4 million, down significantly - by
EUR 99.4 million - from the 2013|14 year-end level. Total assets eased slightly
compared with 28 February 2014, to EUR 2.3 billion, and the equity ratio rose
from 49.9% to 52.1%. The debt-to-equity gearing ratio of 24.1% at the interim
balance sheet date was thus substantially improved from 28 February 2014, when
it had stood at 32.4%.

Sugar Segment - EUR million, except %

                        H1 2014|15 H1 2013|14 Q2 2014|15 Q2 2013|14
Revenue                 378.1      572.9      193.0      279.4
Operating profit (EBIT) 28.1       38.1       11.1       17.1
EBIT margin             7.4%       6.7%       5.8%       6.1%


Sugar segment revenue in the first half of 2014|15 declined by a significant
34.0% year-on-year to EUR 378.1 million. As expected, EBIT too, at EUR 28.1
million, was down from the year-ago value, by 26.3%. The reasons were a
continued reduction in sales prices and, to a lesser extent, a decrease in
quantities sold into the sugar-using industry and to resellers. Revenues from
by-products rose slightly.
Starch Segment - EUR million, except %

                        H1 2014|15 H1 2013|14 Q2 2014|15 Q2 2013|14
Revenue                 351.2      365.1      173.9      184.2
Operating profit (EBIT) 25.2       22.7       10.7       8.2
EBIT margin             7.2%       6.2%       6.2%       4.5%


The Starch segment's revenue in the first half of 2014|15 was EUR 351.2 million,
3.8% less than in the same period one year earlier. The decline resulted mainly
from lower selling prices, which were only partly offset by higher quantities
sold. At EUR 25.2 million, EBIT was up 11.0% year-on-year and profitability (the
EBIT margin) expanded by one percentage point to 7.2%. Both in starch and
bioethanol, lower selling prices were more than made up for by reduced raw
material prices.
Fruit Segment - EUR million, except %

                        H1 2014|15 H1 2013|14 Q2 2014|15 Q2 2013|14
Revenue                 555.9      627.6      271.1      302.0
Operating profit (EBIT) 33.7       43.4       12.3       19.3
EBIT margin             6.1%       6.9%       4.5%       6.4%


Fruit segment revenue in the first half of 2014|15 eased by 11.4% year-on-year
to EUR 555.9 million. On the fruit preparations side, sales volume was held at
the year-earlier level. However, foreign currency effects from the stronger euro
led to a revenue decline of just under 5%. The revenue reduction of about 25% in
the fruit juice concentrate business resulted from lower sales quantities and
selling prices. Segment EBIT in the first half (including the exceptional items
expense of EUR 4.6 million) was EUR 33.7 million, or 22.4% less than one year

For the 2014|15 financial year as a whole, AGRANA expects a significant decrease
in Group revenue (2013|14: EUR 2,841.7 million), driven by much lower average
prices. For operating profit (EBIT), the Group is projecting a significant
reduction (2013|14: EUR 167.0 million) as a result of the price declines that
are manifesting notably for sugar and ethanol. Investment for the year, at
approximately EUR 96 million, will be in line with depreciation.
AGRANA turns agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and many
industrial intermediate products. About 8,800 employees at more than 50
production sites worldwide generate annual revenue of around three billion
euros. Established in 1988, the company today is the leading sugar producer in
Central and Eastern Europe and its Starch segment is a major European
manufacturer of specialty products and bioethanol. AGRANA is also the world
market leader in fruit preparations and Europe's largest producer of fruit juice
This Press Release is also available on the AGRANA website at

Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG

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

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

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

company:     AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
             F.-W.-Raiffeisen-Platz  1
             A-1020 Wien
phone:       +43-1-21137-0
FAX:         +43-1-21137-12045
sector:      Food
ISIN:        AT0000603709
indexes:     WBI, ATX Prime
stockmarkets: Präsenzhandel: Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, official market: Wien 
language:   English

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