- The Group’s consolidated Q3 earnings confirm the extraordinary performance of our business in 2023.
- Thanks to our geographical diversification strategy, more than 94% of our adjusted EBITDA is obtained in international markets and only 5.4% in Spain.
- Our year-end forecasts contemplate an adjusted EBITDA of €372-378 million, far outstripping that posted in 2019 before shredding our dry pasta businessed (€342.7 million).
- We have reduced our debt by €174.4 million to €588 million, which is €452 million less than in Q3 2019, even though we have paid out more than €737 million in dividends to our shareholders since then.
- Four years after our latest strategic move, our Group is sounder, stronger, more profitable and has increased its value.
The earnings posted in the first nine months of the year confirm the Group’s positive evolution throughout 2023. The Group’s excellent performance during the year can be put down to numerous factors, including the coming on stream of our latest investments, an upturn in the yield of our pasta businesses in all markets, especially in the fresh pasta segment, our increased investment in advertising to maintain the loyalty of consumers who continue to opt for our brand differentiation, our geographical diversification and the easing of inflation in areas such as logistics, energy and certain rice varieties.
Against this backdrop, all our financial metrics continued growing steadily throughout the period.
We posted a net turnover of €2,306.8 million, 5.7% more than in the third quarter of 2022, boosted mainly by the outstanding performance of the Rice Division.
The Adjusted EBITDA rose 16.1% year on year to €284.3 million, one of the best EBITDA we have ever achieved, exceeding even those recorded before we sold off our Dry Pasta Divisions in North America and France.
Net Profit grew by 60.9% to €140.1 million, comparatively outstripping the other results because the Q3 accounts of 2022 included the extraordinary loss of €20 million sustained on the sale of the Roland Monterrat business. It also includes a €1.8 million gain on the sale of the Woodland plant.
Our Net Debt stands at €588.2 million, €174.4 million less than at year-end 2022. This includes the annual dividend payments and €102.5 million in CAPEX investments.
Core business results
With regard to raw materials, the extreme heat waves suffered in Europe adversely affected the rice crop. In contrast, the rain in California and Italy favoured a good harvest of Japonica rice. As for Basmati, India has announced export restrictions, with minimum prices both there and in Pakistan that are ramping up price tensions in the market. We have managed to circumvent the impact of this situation thanks to our extensive stock.
As regards the evolution of business, our brands remain strong, maintaining and even increasing their market shares in some of our principal countries. We highlight the good performance of our microwave products, more than 40% growth in the Middle East through the brands Tilda and Abu Bint, and the consolidation of our businesses in Africa, with the leadership of Cigala in Morocco and our strong entry into other countries such as Ghana and Libya.
The division posted a turnover of €1,828.9 million and an adjusted EBITDA of €232.3 million.
Regarding raw materials, after several fluctuations during the year the price of durum wheat has now stabilised at around €400 per tonne.
As far as business development is concerned, we highlight the increased sales of fresh pasta, the good performance of Bertagni, which has increased its listings and is gaining strength among distributors, and the growth of Garofalo in the USA and Canada.
The division posted a turnover of €482.4 million and an adjusted EBITDA of €62.4 million.
An increasingly strong, sound and diversified Group
Year-end forecasts confirm once again the wisdom of the diversification strategy, investments, divestments and business focus of the Ebro Group. Barely four years after deciding and pulling out of the dry pasta businesses in France and North America, the Group is on course to post an adjusted EBITDA of €372-378 million, far outstripping that posted in 2019 (€342.7 million) when those businesses were still part of our Group. This is even more noteworthy considering that we have reduced our debt by €452 million from the level recorded in Q3 2019, having made major investments in CAPEX and paying out more than €737 million in dividends to our shareholders.