AAK: achieved high operating profit in Q4/2014

Malmo / SE. (aak) Swedish AAK Group (former AarhusKarlshamn AB) announced its results for the fourth quarter 2014. «Based on AAK´s customer value propositions for health and reduced costs, our customer product co-development and solutions approach, we continue to remain prudently optimistic about the future», says Arne Frank, CEO and President, AAK Group. «The main drivers are the continued positive underlying development in Food Ingredients and the continued improvement in Chocolate + Confectionery Fats». Overview:

  • The company again announces a high and solid operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, of 343 million SEK (328) was achieved, an improvement of five percent.
  • Volumes increased by nine percent. Organic volume growth was one percent.
  • Food Ingredients improved to 220 million SEK (218), all in all a stable quarter, however, with a very mixed picture. The currency translation impact was positive 16 million SEK.
  • Dairy solutions reported high single-digits growth.
  • Infant Nutrition product range «Akonino» continued to grow nicely.
  • «InFat» business through Advanced Lipids AB, a joint venture of AAK and Enzymotec, continued to struggle in the important Chinese market.
  • The new direct tax in Mexico continued to negatively impact the Bakery segment.
  • Commodity products showed exceptional volume growth in the quarter.
  • Chocolate + Confectionery Fats improved by eleven percent and reached 128 million SEK (115).
  • The business area developed very well with double-digit growth for CBE.
  • Significantly worsening conditions in Ukraine and Russia impacted the results though.
  • Technical Products + Feed improved its operating profit by four percent and reached 25 million SEK (24).
  • AAK has sold its biolubricants business Binol to Quaker Chemical. Binol´s annual net sales were approximately 100 million SEK with an Ebit margin of 15 percent.
  • Earnings per share increased by 30 percent, to 7.12 SEK (5.49). The significant increase was impacted by tax exemption on the gain arising from the disposal of Binol.
  • Continued strong ROCE (Return on Capital Employed) at 16.0 percent (rolling twelve months).
  • Proposed dividend of 6.75 SEK (6.00), an increase by 0.75 SEK or 12.5 percent.