· Net turnover rose 10.8% to 2,165 million euro.
· EBITDA was 216.3 million euro and EBIT 148.9 million euro.
· With the launching of new products, investment in advertising has been raised 2.7% year on year to 66.7 million euro.
· The contribution of the Meal Solutions businesses grew by more than 20% in the first nine months.
· For the full year, Ebro Puleva expects turnover to rise more than 10% and a growth of more than 50% in Net Profit, to over 136 million euro.
· At year end, the contribution by the Meal Solutions segment to the consolidated results of the Group is likely to have increased by 23%, which would be 25.9% at constant exchange rates.
· The company has not felt the adverse effects of the local crisis owing to the Group¿s extensive international presence and an adequate business diversification.
Madrid, 29 October 2008. The Ebro Puleva Group posted a turnover of 2.165 million euro in the first nine months of 2008, 10.8% more than in the same period of 2007. Its net profit was 92.7 million euro, up 60% year on year.
The EBITDA, or gross operating profit, rose to 216.3 million euro, which at constant exchange rates would be almost 225 million euro, 4.7% up on 9M07. The EBIT totalled 148.9 million euro.
Investment in advertising was stepped up by 2.7% to 66.7 million euro, owing to the Group¿s strong commitment to its brands and the support provided for the launching of new products.
The evolution of the rice business has been excellent, with growth in both sales and margins, thanks to the expedient diversification policy begun in 2006 and the successful launching of new products on our markets. The division EBITDA grew 37.8% to 89.5 million euro, while turnover rose 16.4% to 670 million euro.
The results of the pasta division were boosted by the stabilisation of raw material prices and an adequate commercial strategy, generating an EBITDA of 67.2 million euro, up 7.62% on the first nine months of 2007, and a turnover of 713 million euro, up 32.4% year on year.
The decision to maintain profit margins rather than volume and the excellent performance of the infant food range (Max, Peques and milk drinks) have bolstered this division, which has achieved satisfactory results in a year marked by the restructuring of Lactimilk and the hauliers¿ strike. The division achieved an EBITDA of 33.2 million euro and posted a turnover of 383.5 million euro.
In a scenario marked by a reduction of beet sowing in application of the CMO Sugar, this division posted a 9M turnover of 434.6 million euro and an EBITDA of 35.4 million euro.
The process approved at the AGM in June to study our strategic position in sugar is advancing according to schedule.
The benefits of an expedient Strategic Plan
The consolidated results of this nine-month period reflect the strength of Ebro Puleva¿s core businesses and its Meal Solutions segment, which is growing at rates of 20% despite the global shrinking of consumption. The market shares of our brands have remained intact and they are leaders in the different segments and countries in which they operate.
Moreover, the company has not felt the adverse effects of the local crisis owing to the Group¿s extensive international presence and an adequate business diversification.
In the light of these achievements, there are excellent prospects for the future growth of our Group.
Projections for 2008
Ebro Puleva expects to reach a turnover of 2,974 million euro in 2008, which would be a year-on-year growth of 10.8%. The EBITDA is forecast at 321 million euro, up 4.7% on 2007, which at constant exchange rates would be 328 million euro, up 7%. Net Profit will foreseeably rise by more than 50% to over 136 million euro in 2008 and the Meal Solutions business, at constant exchange rates, will grow by 25.9%.