Ebro posted a net profit of €127.3 million in the first nine months of 2016, up 25.3% on the same period of 2015.
Net turnover grew 1.7% year on year to €1,820.3 million.
Despite increasing our investment in advertising by 12.3%, we posted an EBITDA of €250.3 million, 16.7% more than in the same period of 2015, while our EBIT rose 17.5% year on year to €193.9 million.
The net debt was reduced by €28 million year on year to €420.2 million. At year-end, the company had a net debt of €395 million, 7.3% less than in 2015. This reduction is remarkable considering the numerous investments made in 2016 to boost the company’s organic and inorganic growth.
The progress of this division was highly satisfactory in the first nine months of the year, underpinned by the commodity price stability and the excellent business performance, with double-digit growth in the Ready to Serve (RTS), aromatic and instant categories.
We also highlight the outstanding success of products launched in the healthy food segment, with a broad range of quinoas and pulse-grain combinations in the group’s most important companies.
The division recorded a turnover of €958.5 million and EBITDA of €146 million.
Commodity prices for this division rose in September (from 200 €/t to 250 €/t), due to the lower quality of the harvests in both Europe and North America.
In France, the strong growth of the brand business can be put down to the success of the dry pasta business, with a record market share in September of 42.1%, the success of the principal innovations in the fresh pasta segment, with double-digit growth, and thriving business in the organic segment.
Garofalo continues to reap major success, with strong development outperforming its principal rivals in both Spain and France.
Meanwhile, the North American business is starting to see an upturn in sales, thanks to the stabilisation of the market and the work done in the Health&Wellness category.
The division recorded a turnover of €907.3 million and EBITDA of €112 million.
Ebro expects to reach a turnover of €2,471 million by the end of 2016, just 0.4% up on the full-year turnover in 2015, owing to the lower commodity prices. Its EBITDA is forecast at €340.7 million, up 8.3% year on year, while a net profit of €167.6 million is predicted, 15.7% more than in 2015.
A very complete year
The consolidated results of the nine-month period and the year-end forecast testify to the Group’s agility in adapting its business model to the constant changes and challenges of the scenario and its skill in interpreting the markets and consumer needs. This is confirmed by the success of the new concepts, formats and products launched during 2016 and the increased market share achieved in the most important countries in which we operate.
The Group has also been very active in organic and inorganic growth, purchasing the French company Celnat, buying a plant in Berkley (UK) and setting up the company EbroFrost UK, acquiring 52% of the specialty flour company Santa Rita, increasing its stake in Riso Scotti, setting up business in Cambodia where we founded Herba Cambodia Ltd. and expanding our business in India, Thailand and France (in Vitrolles).
All in all, 2016 is proving to be a very complete business year for our company.