Ebro posted a net profit of €32.2 million in the first quarter of 2012, on a par with that posted in 1Q 2011, but obtained in a scenario of weaker consumption and more acute economic recession.
The company’s EBITDA, or gross operating profit, totalled €64.9 million, up 2.4% year on year, boosted by the good performance of its international rice division.
The net turnover, pushed up by the incorporation of SOS, ARI and No Yolks, grew by 25% to €530.9 million.
In a scenario of weaker consumption in the US retail channel and bearing in mind that the lowering of durum wheat prices has not yet been reflected in the accounts, Ebro’s consolidated earnings reveal its sound business model, based on the search for yield, geographical diversification, convenience and differentiation achieved through R+D. As commodity prices stabilise and with the large number of new products to be launched throughout the year, the margins on the company’s profit and loss account will be larger during 2012.
The rice business has developed satisfactorily, bolstered by the good performance of its brands, stability on the commodity markets and the rapid integration of the SOS rice business in Herba and ARI in Riviana.
The division turnover was €284 million, up 41%, and its EBITDA rose to €35.7 million, up 30% year on year.
Planned launchings include Brillante Sabroz in Spain in the second half of the year and Minute Steamers in the frozen foods segment in the USA.
Stable durum wheat prices seem to be returning to this division. Although the benefits of these lower prices have not yet been observed in the division’s yield, because the company is still working with its stocks from the end of last year, the effect will be reflected in the accounts in forthcoming months.
The latest launchings of vegetable and quick-cooking pastas are taking very favourable positions on the US market and Panzani’s venture into the potato segment through its latest launching, Noisettes a Poêler, has been very successful.
The division has posted a turnover of €263.4 million and an EBITDA of €32 million.