Stockholm / SE. (lg) Lantmännen’s result for the full year of 2017, after net financial items and adjusted for items affecting comparability, amounts to 1 552 million SEK – a result on a par with last year’s previous record result of 1 548 million SEK. Due to the strong result, the Board of Directors has proposed the highest dividend in Lantmännen’s history for its members – a total dividend of 566 million SEK.
«2017 has been another good year for Lantmännen, and it feels very good to be able to propose a historically high dividend for our members. The Group as a whole is developing positively, and the majority of our businesses are maintaining or strengthening positions in their respective markets. At the same time, certain operations are facing challenges in the form of tougher conditions and fiercer competition, which means that we need to strengthen our focus on improvements and increased efficiency», says Per Olof Nyman, Lantmännen’s CEO and Group President.
All figures below refer to operating profit for the full year of 2017, and are adjusted for items affecting comparability. Last year’s results shown in brackets.
The Agriculture Sector is developing positively, and has increased its result to 340 million SEK (318). This year’s late and large harvest was trying both for Lantmännen’s infrastructure and for individual farmers. In order to face the larger harvest volumes, a number of strategic investments are being made to strengthen the future infrastructure. During the year, the Finnish agriculture company K-maatalous was acquired, and has now changed its name to Lantmännen Agro Oy.
The Machinery Sector’s result amounts to 381 million SEK (316). The sales development has been strong both in Lantmännen Maskin and Swecon. Intensive work is being done in Lantmännen Maskin, due to an increased focus on the Swedish market and the updated supplier deal with AGCO. From 2018, Lantmännen Maskin will be integrated into the Agriculture Sector, in order to further strengthen the customer offer in the agribusiness operations. Swecon has developed very well during the year, and delivers on record levels both in terms of sales and results.
The result in the Energy Sector amounts to 282 million SEK (304). Lantmännen Agroetanol has increased its result, among other things due to continued successful ethanol exports to for example Germany. Other businesses in the Energy Sector have also developed well during 2017, and in December, Lantmännen Aspen acquired the alkylate petrol producer Marline in France, which strengthens the company’s position in the French market.
The Food Sector’s result amounts to 708 million SEK (849). Lantmännen Cerealia’s result has been negatively impacted primarily by fierce competition in large parts of the market, and by costs for ongoing improvement projects. Comprehensive work is being done to improve cost and production efficiency in the entire business. Lantmännen Unibake continues its stable development, with particularly strong development in Russia and in the fresh bread business in Finland and the Baltics.
The result in Lantmännen Real Estate, excluding property sales, amounts to 204 million SEK (188). In August, Lantmännen together with the real estate company Hemsö created a joint venture in municipal properties. In December, ‘Lantmännen’s House’ in Kalmar was inaugurated – a new facility where all of Lantmännen’s operations in the region are gathered. Also in December, Lantmännen Agrovärme acquired the district heating company Byavärme in Vinslöv, Sweden.
Lantmännen’s total result has been affected by the following items affecting comparability: insurance reimbursement for Lantmännen Unibake’s bakery in Londerzeel, Belgium (+96 million SEK); capital gains in Lantmännen Real Estate (+78 million SEK); a reservation concerning Lantmännen Agroetanol (-140 million SEK); structural costs in Lantmännen Cerealia (-34 million SEK) – and in the last third of the year structural costs in Lantmännen Unibake (-31 million SEK). In total, items affecting comparability for the full year amount to -31 million SEK (-91 the previous year).
The Board of Directors has decided on a 2.5 percent refund and final price adjustment for trade with Lantmännen Lantbruk in Sweden (2.5 the previous year). The Board has also decided on a 0.5 percent (0.5) refund on members’ purchases from the Machinery Sector’s Swedish operations. In total, refunds and final price adjustment are estimated at 244 million SEK (231). In addition, the Board has proposed that the Annual General Meeting decide on a contribution dividend and contribution issue of 322 million SEK in total (277).
«The strong result means that the Board can propose a total dividend of 566 million SEK for our owners, which is the highest dividend ever. Lantmännen has had a very positive development over the last few years, which is proof that we are a company with the right strategy, strong competence, and good customer relations. In 2018, we will be taking further steps to become even better in all these areas, in order to continue being the best business partner for Swedish farmers», says Per Olof Nyman.