Raisio PLC: targets growth and launches new plant-based products

Raisio / FI. (rg) The Board of Directors of Finland’s Raisio Group has approved company’s updated strategy and targets for its Good Food Plan responsibility programme for the years 2022 to 2025. Raisio’s main goal during the new strategy period is to grow based on the new capabilities, increased capacity and new product categories enabled by the investments in recent years. The company’s purpose and values remain unchanged. Raisio aims to be an innovative, profitably growing and increasingly international house of brands, which produces healthy and sustainably produced food products and ingredients for domestic and foreign consumers as well as industrial clients.

Three focus areas enable growth

Raisio’s updated strategy is built on three focus areas:

«Benecol» and plant stanol ester solutions: Raisio continues to invest in growing the international «Benecol» brand. Plant stanol ester in «Benecol» products has been shown to lower cholesterol and the health claim has been approved by the EU commission. Furthermore, Raisio invests also in a research program to study other potential health beneficial properties of plant stanol ester.

Value added oats and ingredients: Raisio continues to expand internationally in the B2B as well as the consumer market based on the company’s strong expertise in oats.

Plant-based products: Consumer choices are increasingly directed towards healthy and sustainably produced, plant-based food. Raisio wants to strengthen its position in this promising and fast-growing market in Finland as well as internationally.

In addition to the selected growth areas, Raisio has many established businesses that continue as an essential part of the company’s operations. The most significant of these is Raisioaqua, whose «Baltic Blend» fish feeds promote the recovery of the Baltic Sea and circular economy.

Updated financial targets for the strategy period 2022-2025

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the combined net sales from the three aforementioned focus areas is 7 percent during the strategy period, and the CAGR for the entire Raisio Group is 5 percent. The three focus areas form a total of two thirds of the entire Raisio Group’s net sales and their combined net sales in 2020 was EUR 157 million, while the Group’s net sales stood at EUR 234 million.

Raisio targets a comparable Ebit of over 10 per cent of the Group’s net sales in 2025. The commissioning and commercialisation stage of the new production facility and growth investments in Verso Food, acquired in spring 2021, put pressure on Raisio’s profitability during the first years of the strategy period.

The aforementioned targets have been defined for Raisio’s current company structure and do not include potential business acquisitions.

Raisio to launch significant new plant-based products

As an example of its strategy implementation, Raisio is significantly strengthening its plant-based product offering by launching the oat-based «Benecol» OAT product family as well as oat drinks, cooking products and healthy snacks under the iconic «Elovena» brand. The new products will be available to consumers in August-September 2021.

The raw material for all products to be launched is Finnish gluten-free oat, and they will be produced in the production facility commissioned in June 2021 in the Raisio industrial area, which produces liquid and spoonable plant-based consumer products.

«During the last three years, we have invested nearly 65 million euros in increasing our production capabilities and expanding our product portfolio. Now it is time to take the next strategic step and focus on growth. We aim to increase the Group’s net sales by an average of 5 per cent per year during 2022-2025. Our growth drivers are «Benecol» and plant stanol ester solutions, value-added oat products and ingredients and new plant-based products. We will offer a taste of our plant-based novelties in the autumn as the new «Benecol» OAT and «Elovena» products become available to consumers,» says Pekka Kuusniemi, CEO of Raisio. «The Raisio of the future is a growing company with strong value-based leadership, and its long-term success is enabled by skilled and committed personnel,» Kuusniemi says.

Dividend policy remains unchanged during the strategy period

Raisio’s goal is to reward its shareholders also during the years of building growth. The company’s dividend policy remains unchanged, and Raisio aims to continue to pay an annual dividend of 50-100 percent of earnings per share (EPS). In addition, the company aims to return value to shareholders through, among other things, annual cancellations of its own shares and payment of extra dividends as enabled by cash reserves.

Decisions concerning dividends and distribution of profit are based on proposals of the Board of Directors in each year and subject to the approval of the respective AGM. They also depend on the company’s capital structure, financial position, general economic and business conditions as well as outlook.