· The consolidated 2009 results, with significant growth in yield and net profit, confirm the healthy financial situation of the Group and the extraordinary progression of the company since the fourth quarter of 2008
· EBITDA rose to 308 million euro, up 13.5% year on year and improving on the figure recorded in 2007, when the sugar business was still consolidated
· Net turnover rose to 2,198 million euro
· The Group¿s debt was cut by 47% to 556.8 million
· Investment in advertising was increased by 8% year on year to 93 million euro to support the launching of new products
Madrid, 26 February 2010. The Ebro Puleva Group chalked up a net profit of 176.5 million euro in 2009, representing a 35% year-on-year growth.
Operating income also grew steadily. The EBITDA, or gross operating profit, grew by 13.5% to 308 million euro, while the EBIT, or net operating profit, rose to 240 million euro, up 19% year on year.
The Group recorded a net turnover of 2,198 million euro, 7% down year on year, owing especially to the slide in raw material prices, which led to lower retail prices of our products.
With the funds generated from operations and the proceeds from the sale of the sugar business, the company reduced its year-end debt to 557 million euro, 47% less than that recorded in 2008, after distributing 144.7 million euro among our shareholders in the form of dividends.
In keeping with our strategy of building value around our brands, investment in advertising was increased by 8% year on year to 93 million euro.
A sound business model and extraordinary prospects for the future
The consolidated results of the year, with significant growth in yield and net profit, confirms the extraordinary development of the company over 2009, demonstrating the true strength of the Ebro Puleva business model.
In addition to improving on the earnings posted in 2007, when the sugar business was still consolidated, the company has cut its debt by 47%, bringing the net debt/EBITDA ratio down to 1.8x and leverage to 44%, an extraordinary financial position to embark on new growth channels.
In a year marked by the absence of trading operations, the division has completed a highly satisfactory year thanks to the excellent performance of its brands, with sales revenues of 836 million euro and EBITDA of 118.6 million euro, after stepping up investment in advertising by 4 million euro.
Through the generation of synergies, reduction of costs of production, logistics savings and the success of the high value-added products, the division increased its EBITDA by 29% to 137 million euro. The lower raw material prices slightly dented sales revenues, which slid 6% year on year to 928 million euro.
In a year of unfaltering double-digit growth of the infant nutrition segment and the constant launching of new high value added products, the division has completed an outstanding 2009 with EBITDA of 67 million euro, up 33.8% year on year, and a turnover of 444 million euro.