· The net turnover rose 18% to 2,368 million euro.
· EBITDA at 272 million euro, equivalent to 277 million euro at constant exchange rates.
· EBIT of 202 million euro, or 208 million euro at constant exchange rates.
· The launching of new products pushed advertising investment up to 86 million euro, 5.8% more than in 2007.
· The consolidated results of 2008 show the real strength of the Group, which has grown at around 20% on a scenario of severe business and financial recession worldwide.
Madrid, 26 February 2009. The Ebro Puleva Group reported a turnover of 2,368 million euro in 2008, up 18.8% on 2007, and chalked up a net profit of 130.6 million euro, representing a year-on-year growth of 44%.
Operating figures also recorded a satisfactory growth. The EBITDA, or gross operating income, grew by 19.8% to 272 million euro, which would be around 277 million euro at constant exchange rates, up 22% year on year. The EBIT, or net operating income, totalled 202 million euro, 27% up on 2007, which would be 208 million euro at constant exchange rates, 31% more than last year. In accordance with prevailing accounting standards, these results do not include the contribution by the sugar business. If that contribution were included, the EBITDA would be 320 million euro and the EBIT 222 million euro.
Pursuing our strategy of building value around our brands, investment in advertising was raised by 5 million euro, 6% more than in 2007.
Sound business model
The consolidated results for 2008 reflect our sound, solvent business model, which grew at around 20% in times of shrinking consumption worldwide. Our brands have maintained their market shares, leaders in their different segments and the countries in which they operate.
The debt-free balance sheet that the company will present after conclusion of the sale of the sugar division, its adequate diversification on geographical markets and in businesses (present in 22 countries worldwide through 19 subsidiaries) and a product portfolio (with over 60 brands) which, apart from operating in staple food sectors, is perfectly in line with the new consumer habits, give Ebro Puleva significant competitive edge on which to base its future growth.
With an adequate management of raw material supplies, growth of rice consumption and the successful launching of new convenience foods, the rice division closes another outstanding year, with growth in both sales and profit margins. Its EBITDA rose 31.5% to 126.5 million euro while turnover was up 20% to 891 million euro.
The stabilisation of raw material prices, the full incorporation of Birkel and an effective innovation and marketing strategy underpin the results of the pasta division, which has generated an EBITDA of ¿106m, 20% more than in 2007, raising the division turnover to 994 million euro, a year-on-year growth of 30%.
Thanks to its commitment to yield rather than volume, the value added of the Puleva brand and the remarkable performance of the infant food range (Max, Peques and Batidos) the dairy division has closed the year with satisfactory results, in spite of the cost of restructuring Lactimilk and the boom of private label brands brought about by the recession in consumption. This division posted an EBITDA of 50 million euro and a turnover of 506 million euro.