“2023 has been a challenging, yet very fruitful year for our Company”.

The Chairman began his speech by pin-pointing the tough outset of the year, with an estimated over cost of €225 million, due to the swelling inflationary costs derailed, throughout the previous years owed to the pandemic and the outbreak of the Ukraine war. Over the course of the year, this situation eased gradually. The Group dealt with this fluctuation very diligently, owed to the good work of the sales, marketing, and supply chain teams, in short, thanks to all the Groups’ professionals.

The most prominent hallmarks, of 2023, denoted throughout his keynote, were;

  1. The considerable amount of CAPEX devoted within 2023: €142 million, for the development of our organic growth strategy, which, together with our strong R&D+I, will provide the Group with a world-class, efficient, and highly competitive industrial structure.
  2. The on-going progress regarding the simplification, optimization, and synergy generation within our operating structure in our UK, Benelux, as Canadian subsidiaries.
  3. The strength of our Supply Chain, granting the Group a significant competitive advantage regarding our competitors.
  4. The outstanding success of the Rice Division, with a magnificent performance across all subsidiaries, notably Riviana’s performance in the US, which, at year-end ‘23, equalled the extraordinary volume of year ‘22, with a market share of 22.5%. Additionally, 2023 was also a spectacular year in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where the brands Abu Bint® and Tilda® are growing at a good pace.
  5. The return to profitability in the Pasta Division, with volume growths exceeding 8% in France, the consolidation of gnocchi as the main reference market of fresh pasta (50% of the total), Bertagni’s good performance, improving its sales, along with the growth of Garofalo in the USA and Spain, where it is already the second largest brand.
  6. The significant pressures posed by retailers and consumers, both of whom have placed controlling inflation in their shopping baskets at the core of their objectives.
  7. The historical EBITDA-A achieved during the year, €387 million, a figure higher than that obtained in 2019, prior to the divestment of the dry pasta businesses (€342.7 million).
  8. And a dividend increase for 2024 of 15.8%, compared to 2023, reaching €0.66 per share.

Antonio Hernández continued his speech by referring to the favourable results obtained in the first quarter of 2024, while appealing to the prudence given the difficult market environment, while remaining optimistic given the Group’s significant strengths. He emphasised a modern and competitive industrial park, the strong brands that have proven their strength and attractiveness to consumers, together with a successful R&D Policy.
The Chairman concluded his speech by addressing a few words to the Group’s shareholders and professionals: “I would like to thank you all for your commitment to Ebro and also to all the Company’s personnel, who have given the best of themselves to obtain these magnificent results”.