Madrid, 29 July 2008. The Ebro Puleva Group chalked up a net profit of 78.6 million euro in the first half of 2008, 60% more than in the same period of 2007. The net turnover rose 13% year on year to 1,446 million euro.
The EBITDA for the period totalled 146 million euro, following an increase in advertising investment and the impact of the exchange rates. After adjusting the effect of both these factors, the EBITDA would have been 2 million euro up on last year.
The combined effect of the outlay for the acquisition of Exxentia, the buy-back of treasury shares, currently representing 2.9%, financing of the strategic supplies policy and the traditional seasonal factor in the evolution of this item gave the company a Net Debt of 1,249 million euro.
The strength of Meal Solutions
On a difficult scenario for the world food market, the Ebro Puleva Group has achieved a satisfactory evolution thanks to the strength of its Meal Solutions business, which has grown in volume, maintained its market shares and generated a 23% year-on-year growth in EBITDA. These results and the lowering of prices of our principal raw materials (milk, rice and durum wheat) bode extraordinarily well for the Group¿s development in the second half of the year.
On a scenario marked by a 200% hike in the price of the raw material, the development of the rice business has been outstanding, with growth in both sales and margins. The EBITDA grew 43% to 61 million euro and turnover was up 16.3% to 445.5 million euro.
The performance of the US subsidiary was extraordinary, boosted among other things by the success of the microwave line, which multiplied its sales fourfold to almost twenty million units. Riviana thus contributed 151 million euro to the total turnover of the division and 24 million euro to its EBITDA.
The pasta division maintains its positive performance, strengthening its leadership on the Canadian and French markets and hanging on to its share on the US market.
New World Pasta contributes 126 million euro to the division turnover, taking it to 465 million euro.
The EBITDA of the dairy division was down by 6.7 million euro, dented by the hauliers¿ strike, the restructuring costs in Lactimilk and the variations in the price of the raw material.
Our dedication to baby and infant nutrition continues to bring in excellent results, reflected in the nine-point growth in market share achieved by Puleva Peques®, which has now cornered 44.8% of the market.
The division turnover was up 6.3% to 263 million euro.
The most significant event during the period was the conclusion of the restructuring process deriving from the CMO Sugar Reform.
At the AGM in June, the company¿s shareholders approved the studying of a possible spin-off of the sugar business. The process is under way and we will be able to give further information during the second half of the year.
Against this backdrop, the division recorded a turnover of 295.8 million euro and an EBITDA of 27.7 million euro.