Ebro posted a net profit of €72.5 million in the first half of 2014, up 2.1% year on year, while the net profit from continuing operations rose 5.8% to €75.5 million.
Net turnover rose to €986,568 million, a year-on-year growth of 1.3%.
The EBITDA stood at €131 million, similar to that recorded in the first half of 2013 and the EBIT, or net operating profit, totalled €102.3 million.
The company recorded a final debt of €430 million, up 33% on 30 June 2013, including the cost of acquiring 52% of the Italian company Pastificio Lucio Garofalo.
With this healthy balance sheet the company has ample margin to make the heavy investments it needs to carry out its organic and inorganic growth strategy. In this regard, we have been working over the past six months on expanding our convenience platform in USA and Canada while delving further into healthy food; we have continued broadening our brand base in different African and South American countries; and we have entered in the premium pasta segment through the acquisition of 52% of Garofalo, an Italian pasta firm from Gragnano which completes our pasta portfolio with a top pasta. In other words, we have further developed the lines through which we can achieve sustainable long-term growth.
The performance of our brands has been satisfactory, bolstered by the success of our new products. However, from an industrial viewpoint the division has been hit once again by the severe drought still endured in Texas, denting the division profits.
Against this backdrop, this division has achieved a net turnover of €549.7 million and an EBITDA of €69 million.
This division has met with varying degrees of success on the different markets in which it operates.
In Europe, with stable commodity prices, the performance of our subsidiary Panzani has been very positive, with an excellent development of the dry and fresh pasta business lines.
However, in the United States the profits of our subsidiary New World Pasta (NWP) have been dented by:
1. A very cold winter, causing logistics problems, a rise in raw material prices and industrial problems since we have been forced to either produce at less suitable plants or outsource production to third parties.
2. Very strong promotion campaigns by our main rivals, forcing us to spend more time and effort on promotion, to the detriment of advertising.
In this context, the division turnover was €460.3 million and its EBITDA was €66 million.
The division will have to face some major challenges in the second half of the year, such as the uncertainty deriving from the hike in durum wheat prices, rising by more than 20% in July, and the intense work required to incorporate the recent acquisitions Olivieri and Garofalo, which will start to bear fruit during 2015.
About Ebro Foods
Ebro (www.ebrofoods.es) is the leading Group in the Spanish food sector in terms of turnover, profit, market capitalisation and international presence. Ebro is world leader in the rice sector and the second group in the international pasta sector. It has leading brands in each of these sectors, including: Panzani®, Ronzoni®, Skinner®, Healthy Harvest®, American Beauty®, San Giorgio®, Catelli®, Lancia®, No Yolks®, Wacky Mac®, Olivieri®, Garofalo®, Santa Lucia® and Russo de Cicciano® in pastas and sauces; and Mahatma®, Success®, Carolina®, Minute Rice®, Lustucru Selection®, Taureau Ailé®, Oryza®, Bosto®, Reis-Fit®, Riceland®, Danrice®, Risella®, Abu Bint®, Blue Ribbon®, Adolphus®, Comet®, Lassie®, Saludaes®, SOS®, Brillante®, La Cigala®, Sundari® and La Fallera® in the rice sector.