Raisio / FI. (rg) Finland’s Raisio Group is now an international brand house focusing on healthy food, the Group said in its Bulletin for the financial year 2018. Highlights:
January-December 2018, continuing operations
- The Group’s net sales totalled EUR 228.2 (234.6) million. Comparable Ebit was EUR 25.6 (35.9) million, accounting for 11.2 (15.3) percent of net sales. Ebit was EUR 16.6 (54.1) million, accounting for 7.3 (23.0) percent of net sales. Ebit for the comparison year includes sales profits of EUR 28.0 million for the Southall factory property.
- The Healthy Food Division’s net sales totalled EUR 201.1 (201.4) million. Comparable Ebit was EUR 29.8 (39.3) million, accounting for 14.8 (19.5) percent of net sales. Ebit was EUR 30.8 (38.4) million, accounting for 15.3 (19.0) percent of net sales.
- The Raisioaqua Division’s net sales totalled EUR 25.9 (31.8) million. Ebit totalled EUR -0.8 (2.4) million.
- The Board of Directors’ dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting is EUR 0.16 per share, of which EUR 0.04 as an extra dividend.
October-December 2018, continuing operations
- The Group’s net sales totalled EUR 55.6 (53.7) million. Comparable Ebit was EUR 5.0 (6.7) million, accounting for 9.0 (12.5) percent of net sales. Ebit totalled EUR -2.1 (-2.4) million.
- The Healthy Food Division’s net sales totalled EUR 53.3 (50.6) million. Comparable Ebit was EUR 7.4 (9.5) million, accounting for 13.8 (18.7) percent of net sales. Ebit was EUR 8.5 (8.5) million, accounting for 16.0 (16.9) percent of net sales.
- The Raisioaqua Division’s net sales totalled EUR 2.0 (2.7) million. Ebit totalled EUR -1.1 (-0.7) million.
Chief Executive’s Review
«The year 2018 was a period of strong renewal and construction of the new for Raisio. The company now has a clear focus: healthy food. Our goal is to be an innovative and increasingly international brand house.
«We have now built a solid foundation for our next steps. Our purpose and values defined together with the staff create the basis for all our work and guide the decision-making. In line with its strategy, Raisio will focus on securing the growth and profitability of its core operations in 2019.
«In 2018, several separate events affected Raisio’s sales and profitability. The most significant impacts on Ebit were the Ebit decrease of EUR 2.5 million on the comparison year due to the Russian fish feed import ban, planned growth of marketing costs and challenges faced in the Russian and Polish consumer product markets. Ebit for Russia and Poland declined by EUR 2 million on the comparison year. Raisio has identified the problem areas in these markets, carried out corrective measures and managed to turn the direction of the businesses. Furthermore, exceptionally poor harvest in Finland together with a grain price increase of up to 60 per cent decreased profitability. Raisio promptly reacted to the situation with price changes.
«For Raisioaqua, the second half of 2018 was exceptional as the Russian authorities closed the border in August. After the border was reopened in December, Raisioaqua continued to finalise the 2019 fish feed contracts with its Russian customers, whose confidence in Raisioaqua remains very high.
«Raisio’s most significant novelty was launched in the autumn: Elovena Muru Oat Mince, a plant-based protein product for versatile cooking. Elovena Muru has been very well received by consumers. The product has shown its ability to grow the whole category and to compete for the market leadership.
«Our Benecol product range expanded into new categories. We increased our marketing investment to boost the sales of novelties and to gain new Benecol consumers. In our key Benecol product markets, we have started long-term work to increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge on cholesterol and on safe and effective Benecol products proven to lower cholesterol.
«Raisio’s balance sheet has further strengthened, which enables the company to implement its long-term growth strategy.»
In 2019, Raisio expects its net sales for continuing operations to grow (2018: EUR 228.2 million) and comparable Ebit to be over 10 per cent of net sales. Raisio will continue its investments in the brands, R+D and the company’s own production in its most important product categories.