· The consolidated earnings posted for the first half of 2010, with significant growth in yield and net profit, confirm the company¿s positive trend, with cumulative growth of 50% in EBITDA since the first half of 2007
· The Group raised its investment in advertising to 45 million euro, up 9% year on year, to support the launching of new products
· With a 15.6% year-on-year growth, the Group¿s 1H10 EBITDA was 131.8 million euro
· Debt was cut by 7.6%, bringing it down to 537 million euro.
Madrid, 28 July 2010. Ebro posted a net profit in continuing operations of 55.4 million euro during the first half of 2010, up 30.5% on the same period of 2009.
Net turnover was down 6% year on year to 848.8 million euro, dragged down by the falling prices of raw materials, which have been passed on in retail prices.
In keeping with the strategy of building value around our brands, investment in advertising was raised 9% year on year to 45 million euro.
Major growth was also recorded in the Group¿s operating figures. EBITDA, or gross operating profit, grew 15.6% to 131.8 million euro. EBIT, or net operating profit, totalled 104 million euro, up 19% on that recorded for the first six months of 2009.
The growth trend begun eleven quarters ago continues
Thanks to our constant commitment to innovation, rewarded with the successful launching of new products, the synergies achieved between the rice and pasta businesses, optimisation of resources and costs, a stable raw materials scenario and the balanced geographical diversification of the company, we have managed to maintain the upward trend we began eleven quarters ago, with a cumulative growth of over 50% in EBITDA since the first half of 2007. After shedding the dairy business, 51% of the Ebro EBITDA is generated in North America, 48% in Europe, 7% of which corresponds to Spain, and 1% in the rest of the world. By business areas, 41% is from the rice business and the remaining 59% from the pasta division.
The final debt of the company for the period was 537 million euro, 7.6% less than in the first half of 2009, even without recording any income from the sale of the dairy business. The optimum balance sheet that Ebro will have on completing the sale of that division, with practically no debt, puts the company in an excellent position to embark in the near future on a new stage of inorganic growth.
This division has achieved satisfactory results during the period, bolstered by the strength of its brands, with a 6% growth in the volume of sales in USA and a 28% growth in market share in France, while at the same time consolidating the division¿s microwave products, which have cornered 20% of this segment in the USA in just three years.
The division turnover was 404 million euro and EBITDA rose 1% to 58.6 million euro.
The constant renewal of our product with high value added products, the remarkable growth of our sales and market shares in France and the success of our latest launchings in both Europe and USA and Canada took the division EBITDA up 27.5% to 78.6 million euro. The lowering of raw material prices affected our turnover, which slid 3.6% year on year to 447 million euro.