· The consolidated first quarter earnings, with significant increases in yield and net profit, are proof of the healthy position of the Group, which continues growing at rates of over 20%, confirming the extraordinary trend commenced by the company at the end of 2007.
· Our EBITDA has grown for the ninth quarter in succession.
· EBITDA was 67 million euro, up 22% year on year.
· EBIT totalled 53.6 million euro, a 29% year-on-year growth.
· Debt was cut by 53% to 546 million.
· The launching of new products takes investment in advertising up to 24 million euro, 9% more than in the same period of last year.
Madrid, 28 April 2009. The Ebro Puleva Group posted a net profit of 40 million euro for the first three months of 2010, 24% more than in the first quarter of 2009.
The net turnover was 428 million euro, 8% down year on year as a result especially of the lowering of raw material prices, which was passed on in the form of lower retail prices.
In line with our strategy of building value around brands, our investment in advertising was stepped up by 9% year on year to 24 million euro.
Major growth was also visible in our operating figures. EBITDA, or gross operating profit, was up 22% to 67 million euro and EBIT, or net operating profit, stood at 53.6 million euro, 29% more than that recorded in the first quarter of 2009.
Meal Solutions: a sound, effective model
The consolidated first quarter results reveal once again the soundness and stability of our Meal Solutions model, which not only continues increasing its yield, now at over 20%, but has also equalled the earnings obtained in the same period of 2009 when we were still consolidating the dairy business, which is proof of the excellent performance of the rice and pasta divisions.
Even though we have not yet received the price of the dairy business, pending clearance by the European antitrust authorities, the company¿s final debt is just 546 million euro, down 53% on that recorded in the first three months of 2009.
The optimum balance sheet that the Group will have once the sale of the dairy division is completed, practically debt-free, will put us in an excellent position to begin shortly a new growth phase.
In a quarter marked by the start-up of the Memphis plant, which is already producing 100% of the Minute® brand, the division has completed a highly satisfactory period, thanks to the outstanding performance of its brands, especially those of our North American subsidiary, which has increased its market share to 21.8%.
The division has posted a turnover of ¿198 million and EBITDA of 28.5 million euro.
Boosted by the generation of synergies, the reduction of costs of production, logistics savings and the unyielding growth of high value-added products, the division EBITDA has grown by 46% to 42 million euro. The lower raw material prices have affected turnover, which is down 4% year on year at 231 million euro.