· The Ebitda grew 19.1% to 127.5 million euro and the Ebit rose 11.4% to reach 94.1 million euro
· The operating result stood at 88 million euro and net profit reached 48 million euro
Madrid, 28 July 2005. The Ebro Puleva Group¿s net turnover reached 1,068 million euro in the first six months of 2005, a rise of 26.3% compared with the same period of the previous year. Operating parameters also underwent significant growth in the first six months of 2005. Specifically, the Ebitda, or Gross Operating Result, rose 19.1% to 127.5 million euro. The Ebit, or Net Operating Result, rose 11.4% to 94.1 million euro. The consolidated results of Ebro Puleva show that the incorporation of Riviana (6 months) and Panzani (2 months) contributed decisively to the big increase in volume of activity during the first six months of the financial year (+26.3%).
The operating result stood at 88 million euro, a fall of 23.8% compared with the previous year due to the delay in property disinvestment, which last year were concentrated in the first six months and this year closed in July. This effect is transferred to the Attributed Results for the period, which fell 29.1%. In any event, the Ebro Puleva Group plans to recover and improve this factor by the close of the coming quarter by having closed operations totalling a capital gain of over 60 million euro. Had this capital gain been recorded in the first six months, the Operating Result would have reached ¿ 148 million, which would mean a 28.1% rise compared with the same period of the previous year.
Disinvestment actions on non-operational assets have been especially relevant in past months this year. To date, Ebro Puleva has agreed sales in excess of 116 million euro, which will be charged on different dates, but, in any event, before the end of 2005.
Results by business line
The results of the Sugar Division continue to be marked by the instability of the European sugar sector. Both the announcements of reform of the CMO Sugar and excess stock from Eastern countries have caused a 9.5% drop in sales during these six months. Besides this, although the Southern Campaign has just started and expectations are marked by the effects of the drought and high temperatures that we have been suffering, the gauging carried out in the Northern Campaign is very encouraging, creating optimistic expectations for production in the second part of the year.
The Rice Division continues to show excellent performance, with a 60.9% rise in turnover and an Ebitda of 79.3%. The strong position of our brands, outstanding leaders in the United States, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Hungary and Finland, has enabled us to continue showing healthy growth and a high return.
The Dairy Division has had a very active quarter. Ordinary Activity Results have been very satisfactory, with a 6.6% rise in sales and a 14.3% improvement to the Ebitda.
The agreement to close dairy activity at the Jerez factory and its subsequent transformation into a ready-cooked rice dishes plant, and the agreement for the sale of the Arteixo plant and the Leyma brand (an action which will be completed in August), will leave the dairy unit in an optimum competitive position.
The incorporation of Panzani into our Group (1 May 2005) met expectations, even in a very difficult consumer environment. In May and June, turnover for the Pasta Division rose to 104.5 million euro and an Ebitda of 9.4 million euro.
Ebro Puleva (www.ebropuleva.com) is the leading Group in the Spanish food sector in terms of turnover, profit, market capitalisation and international presence. Ebro Puleva is the world leader in the rice sector, the leading sugar group in Spain, the leading company in sales of dairy products in Spain and the second European group in the pasta sector. It has leading brands in each of these sectors, including: Puleva®, Ram® and El Castillo® in the dairy sector; Azucarera® and Sucran® in the sugar sector; Brillante®, Nomen®, La Cigala®, La Fallera®, Oryza®, Bosto®, Reis-Fit®, Riceland®, Danrice®, Risella®, Mahatma®, Sucess®, Carolina®, Lustucru® and Taureau Ailé® in the rice sector; Pozuelo®, Kern® and Ducal® in biscuits, sauces and fruit juices in Central America; and Panzani® in pasta.
Note about the Drafting: The financial information included in this note by the Ebro Puleva Group is structured in accordance with International Accounting Standards (IAS).