Ebro posted a net profit of €169.7 million in 2016, a year-on-year growth of 17.2%.
The net turnover, checked by the slight fall in the price of raw materials, has remained more or less on a par with last year, at €2,459.2 million.
Its EBITDA, after raising investment in advertising by 15.4%, stood at €344.1 million, up 9.3% on 2015; and its EBIT rose 8.5% to €267.3 million.
The net debt edged up 4% year on year to €443.2 million at 31 December 2016. This figure, which includes the numerous investments in the company’s organic growth during 2016 and the acquisitions of Celnat and Harinas Santa Rita. This gives a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29, a very comfortable financial position to continue growing.
The rice division achieved very satisfactory results, underpinned by the commodity price stability and the good performance of its subsidiaries, which launched over 82 new products, especially in the healthy foods segment.
We highlight the expansion in Spain of the “Brillante cups”, a new category that combines health and convenience, comprising several different varieties of quinoa and grain-pulse mixtures.
The division posted a turnover of €1,283.8 million and EBITDA of €196.2 million.
Although the quality of harvests dropped in both Europe and North America, raw material prices were not excessively unstable.
In Europe, against a backdrop of tough competition and barely any growth, Panzani managed to increase its market shares in both volume and value, boosted by the success of its dry pasta with fresh-pasta quality, the principal innovations in the fresh pasta segment and major organic growth.
Meanwhile, Garofalo closed a highly satisfactory year, consolidating its benchmark position in premium pasta.
Sales are starting to rise in the North American market, thanks to the stabilisation of the market, the work done in the Health&Wellness category and heavy investment in advertising to highlight the quality properties and proximity of its brands.
The division posted a turnover of €1,236.2 million and EBITDA of €157 million.
A very satisfactory year
The Group has closed a very positive year, marked by intense organic and inorganic growth, expansion and optimisation of its industrial capacity and intense work in the areas of innovation, commercial and marketing. The following stand out as the most important actions during the year:
• Opening of a new organic foods division, headed by Alimentation Santé.
• Acquisition of the French company Celnat in the area of organic food, and 52% of the Spanish special flours company Santa Rita.
• Positioning in the health segment of all our major brands in Europe and North America through the launching of products based on ancient grains (quinoa, chia, bulgur, etc.), super greens (vegetables), gluten free and organic cereals, with the aim of meeting our consumers’ demands for healthy food.
• Increase of our market share in the most important countries in which we operate.
• Expansion of our business in India, Thailand and France (specifically in Vitrolles).
• Purchase of a plant in Berkley (UK) and organisation of EbroFrost UK to develop our frozen foods business in that country.
• Divestment in the Puerto Rico rice business.