Ebro posted a net profit of €51.6 million during the first three months of 2017, up 19.1% year on year, boosted by the positive evolution of its core businesses and the extraordinary income generated on the sale of land in Houston.
With a year-on-year growth of 3.4%, its net turnover rose to €634.2 million.
The EBITDA, or gross operating profit, stood at €94 million, 13.5% more than in Q1 2016, while EBIT grew by 14% to €74.4 million.
Net debt is at €396.3 million, 4.3% less than in the Q1 2016 and €47 million less than at year-end. This includes the €7.5 million received on the property divestment in Houston and the outlay of €14.4 million to purchase the organic food company Vegetalia.
Within a favourable commodity setting, except for basmati rice, the development of the division has been satisfactory, underpinned by the good business performance in both Europe and North America, with growth in the categories of greater value added, aromatic rice and Ready to Serve dishes.
The “Brillante cups” concept has been extended in Spain to a new category combining health and convenience, including different varieties of quinoa and pulse-grain mixtures under the umbrella of Brillante Benefit. Both this line and the new SOS Vidasania line have been very successful.
The division recorded a turnover of €339.7 million and EBITDA of €59.4 million.
Although the quality of harvests was poorer in both Europe and North America, commodity prices did not rise.
In France, business development was positive and the principal fresh pasta listings have maintained their double-digit growth.
Garofalo continues cementing its position in the markets that recognise super premium quality.
And in North America we have kept up our heavy investment in advertising to highlight the qualities of our brands, focusing on healthy food categories, especially Gluten Free.
The division posted a turnover of €307.1 million and EBITDA of €36.8 million.
A successful quarter
The Group has made a very positive start to the year. Its clear determination to meet consumer needs and interests through promotions, price and innovation is a boon for business development, especially in the rice sector.
Moreover, the astute positioning of all our major European and North American brands in the segments of organic and healthy food is opening up a new growth channel for the Group, putting us in the vanguard of new trends in eating habits. The incorporation of Vegetalia last January in the company’s Organic division was important in this aspect.
The results achieved during the quarter prove that the main pillar for growth of our yield lies in the strength and soundness of our businesses and brands.