Ebro chalked up a net profit of €67.2 million in the first half of 2012, representing a year-on-year growth of 19.1%.
Net turnover, benefiting from the incorporation of the new businesses, rose 20.6% year on year to €1,012.8 million.
The company also achieved considerable growth in its operating profits. The EBITDA, or gross operating profit, grew by 14.7% to €134.3 million, while the EBIT, or net operating profit, rose to €106.3 million, up 14.2% on that recorded in the first six months of 2011.
The company’s final debt was €360 million, almost €30 million less than the debt recognised at year-end 2011. This healthy balance sheet puts the company in a comfortable position within the difficult financial situation prevailing in the country, and we are ready to undertake new projects for organic or inorganic growth.
In a scenario of declining consumption, the company has once again posted a positive performance in its consolidated results, thanks to the successful integration of the businesses acquired in 2011, a relatively stable commodity market, the Memphis rice plant becoming fully operational, the satisfactory evolution of our businesses in Europe, the excellent acceptance of our latest launchings and our balanced geographical diversification. In this regard, 54.5% of Ebro’s EBITDA is generated in North America, 43% in Europe, 5.5% of which corresponds to Spain, and 2.5% in the rest of the world.
Development of the rice business can be considered satisfactory, bolstered on the good performance of our brands on both sides of the Atlantic and the incorporation of the SOS rice businesses, which contributed €13 million to the total EBITDA of the division.
The market share of the latest products launched in the US frozen foods segment is growing and in Spain the acceptance of Brillante Sabroz has been excellent among consumers.
The division turnover is €552.2 million, with an EBITDA of €76.6 million.
The performance of this division has varied among the different markets.
In Europe, the performance of our subsidiary Panzani has been very positive, with a satisfactory progression in its dry pasta, sauces and couscous businesses and a more conservative performance in the fresh pasta segment.
But in the United States the profits of our subsidiary New World Pasta (NWP) have been dented by three factors: the slump on the pasta market (with a decline of the order of 6%), the price war waged by many of our rivals (which have not raised their retail prices despite the hike in wheat prices in the second half of 2011) and the use of raw material stocks purchased when the durum wheat prices were peaking.
Against this backdrop, the division posted a turnover of €484 million and an EBITDA of €63 million.