Madrid, 26 April 2023. We have closed a very satisfactory first quarter, in which one of our main achievements was to have improved on the extraordinary profit posted in the first three months of 2022, the best first quarter in recent years thanks to hoarding triggered by the Ukraine war and the transport strike in Spain.
Cost inflation will continue to be the overall trend in 2023, for which we anticipate an increase of €225 million over 2022, including price hikes in agricultural raw materials and auxiliary materials, energy, logistics and wages, which have risen by 6.05% in Spain.
Nevertheless, we continue to invest heavily in our microwave product plants to increase their production capacity, which we expect to complete during the last quarter of this year in Europe and by the end of 2024 in North America.
Against this backdrop, all our financial metrics improved during the period. Net turnover was up 11.6% year on year to €810.15 million, boosted largely by the excellent performance of our Rice Division.
Our adjusted EBITDA was 10.7% higher than in the same period of 2022, rising to €96.3 million.
Net Profit grew by 5.5% to €43.8 million, after investing €23.3 million in advertising, 24.4% more than in the first quarter of 2022, a clear indication of our commitment to bolstering and positioning our brands. We should point out the adverse effect of exchange rates and increased financial costs (by €2.3 million) on this profit.
Our net debt stands at €743.9 million, €18.5 million less than at year-end 2022. This figure includes CAPEX investments of €31 million and an increase of €51 million in working capital over year-end 2022, owing to the higher prices of stocks.
Commodity prices continued to hike, especially in the Basmati (+80%) and Japonica (+60%) varieties. On the other hand, the lower costs of maritime logistics from Asia partly made up for the inflation in raw materials.
As regards the evolution of our business, our brands remain strong, maintaining their market shares despite the growing shares of private label brands, and our investment in InHarvest is giving us the results we expected.
The division posted a turnover of €642.7 million and an adjusted EBITDA of €81.2 million.
Although the price of durum wheat came down during the quarter, those of other raw materials, such as eggs, potatoes and milk, remained high.
As for our business, in the dry pasta category Garofalo is still achieving double-digit growth in its principal markets, while in fresh pasta our French business has started to recover the volumes it lost in the last quarter of 2022, growing 16% year on year thanks to the good performance of gnocchi.
The division posted a turnover of €168.6 million and an adjusted EBITDA of €18.4 million.
Ebro Foods (www.ebrofoods.es) is the leading Group in the Spanish food sector in terms of turnover, profit, market capitalisation and international presence. Ebro is world leader in the rice sector and is strongly positioned in the global categories of premium and fresh pasta, market leader in the countries in which it operates. The Group has a broad portfolio of leading brands in its core businesses, including: Olivieri®, Bertagni®, Garofalo®, Lustucru Selection®, Santa Lucia®, Russo de Cicciano® and Roland Monterrat® in premium and fresh pasta and sauces; Mahatma®, Success®, Carolina®, Minute Rice®, RiceSelect®, InHarvest®, Tilda®, Taureau Ailé®, Oryza®, Bosto®, Reis-Fit®, Riceland®, Danrice®, Risella®, Abu Bint®, Blue Ribbon®, Adolphus®, Comet®, Lassie®, Saludaes®, SOS®, Brillante®, La Cigala®, Sundari® and La Fallera® in the rice sector; Santa Rita® in high value-added ingredients; and Geovita® in the area of pulses, quick-cooking grains and other healthy ingredients.