Zurich / CH. (aag) Swiss Aryzta AG announced its third quarter trading update for the period ended 30 April 2014. Commenting on the results, Aryzta AG Chief Executive Officer Owen Killian said: «Underlying revenue in the Food Business increased by 3,7 percent in the quarter compared with the same period last year. Overall Food revenue increased by 14,9 percent despite adverse currency movements. The acquisitions announced on March 10 with H1 were completed in the period and contributed to the improved revenue growth. Consolidation opportunities to extend market share and customer relevance in what is a fragmented sector continue to exist. Financial discipline and strong cash generation remain key strategies underpinning future growth and diversification. Guidance remains unchanged with double-digit growth in underlying fully diluted EPS expected for FY 2014».
Total Food revenue grew by 14,9 percent in the quarter to 859,8 million EUR. Underlying revenue growth was 3,7 percent in the period, while acquisitions provided 15,4 percent growth and currency movements negatively impacted growth in the quarter by (4,2) percent.
Food Europe revenue grew by 17,6 percent in the third quarter to 387,5 million EUR. Underlying revenue growth was 4,1 percent. Acquisitions added 12,9 percent, while currency added 0,6 percent. The improved underlying growth in Europe reflects additional capacity and the improved mix between smaller independent customers (Aryzta Food Solutions) and large customers (Aryzta Bakeries).
Food North America revenue grew by 16,1 percent in the quarter to 419,1 million EUR. Underlying revenue growth was 2,7 percent, an improvement from Q2. Acquisitions provided 20,1 percent growth, while currency movements negatively impacted by (6,7) percent in the period. The recovery in underlying growth in North America is in line with expectations and reflects improved volumes under the customer centric strategy.
Food Rest of World revenue declined by (8,1) percent in the third quarter to 53,2 million EUR, as solid underlying revenue growth of 7,4 percent was offset by unfavourable currency movements of (15,5) percent. While Food Rest of World underlying growth benefited from additional capacity, the business continues to be adversely impacted by a shortage of capacity.
Aryzta continues to maintain a strong balance sheet. As of 31 January 2014, the consolidated Net Debt of the Food Group, excluding Origin´s non-recourse debt, amounted to 840,3 million EUR (including overdrafts and finance leases and net of cash and related capitalised upfront borrowing costs). The Food Group interest cover was 10,43 times (excluding hybrid interest). The weighted average maturity of the Food Group gross term debt was 4,51 years. The weighted average interest cost of Food Group debt financing facilities (including overdrafts) was 4,43 percent.
Origin, Aryzta´s 68,1 percent subsidiary and separately listed company, reported revenue growth of 19,8 percent to 512,8 million EUR during the quarter. Origin has separate funding structures, which are financed without recourse to Aryzta. As at 31 January 2014, Origin´s net debt amounted to 163,6 million EUR. Origin´s Net Debt: Ebitda ratio was 1,97 times (31 July 2013: 0,38 times). Origin Enterprises PLC released its third quarter trading update on 28 May 2014. Details of this announcement are available at originenterprises.com.
Guidance remains unchanged with double-digit growth in underlying fully diluted EPS expected for the Financial Year 2014.