Kennzahlen 5
Lucerne, 28 February 2019

Emmi delivers very solid, broad-based results

Emmi increased its sales by 2.8 % (2.3 % in organic terms) to CHF 3,457 million in 2018. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 5.3 % to CHF 217 million. Adjusted net profit amounted to CHF 175 million, 8.6 % higher than in the previous year. Sales were thus at the upper end of Emmi’s forecasts, and earnings were slightly higher. As a result of the higher profit, a proposal will be made to the General Meeting for a gross dividend of CHF 9.00 per registered share (previous year: CHF 7.00 + CHF 3.00 special dividend). Emmi expects comparable organic growth and higher EBIT in 2019. The medium-term forecasts have been adjusted slightly upwards in terms of net profit margin.

Emmi generated net sales of CHF 3,457.4 million in financial year 2018 (2017: CHF 3,364.3 million), corresponding to a year-on-year increase of 2.8 %. In organic terms (adjusted for currency and acquisition effects), Group sales grew by 2.3 %. This figure is within the target range of 1.5 % to 3.0 %. Emmi thus achieved its highest organic growth since 2014.

Based on the good sales performance in all three major business divisions, earnings generated slightly exceeded the Group’s expectations. The business division Europe and recent acquisitions made an important contribution to this result. EBIT increased by 5.3 % from CHF 205.8 million to CHF 216.7 million, resulting in an EBIT margin of 6.3 % (2017: 6.1 %). Adjusted net profit was CHF 175.5 million, compared with CHF 161.6 million in the previous year, resulting in an adjusted net profit margin of 5.1 % (2017: 4.8 %).

GB_18_Overview_EN

*Adjusted for non-recurring effects. These accounted for CHF 57.8 million of net profit in the reporting period and resulted from the sale of the minority stake in The Icelandic Milk and Skyr Corporation “siggi’s”. There were no significant non-recurring effects in the previous year.

Acquisition effects relating to sales are accounted for by the following factors:

+ Acquisition of Italian Fresh Foods (Italy, 1 March 2017)

+ Increased stake in Mexideli (Mexico, 8 October 2017)

- Disposal of shares in Venchiaredo (Italy, 31 July 2017)

- Disposal of part of the trading goods business (Switzerland, 1 January 2018)

Urs Riedener, CEO Emmi Group, comments: “We once again found ourselves in a challenging environment in 2018. Emmi can therefore be proud of its solid performance and high stability. The broad-based product portfolio in terms of regions and segments and attractive brand concepts are important success factors. Thanks to them, we are able to absorb economic and political uncertainties and the resulting difficulties in planning.”

Sales performance

The following table provides an overview of sales performance by business division. Please find more detailed information on Emmi’s sales performance in 2018 in the media release dated 30 January 2019 or the Annual Report 2018.

GB_18_Division_EN

Profit performance

Gross profit increased by 4.3 % to CHF 1,252.9 million in the year under review (previous year: CHF 1,200.9 million). This increase is primarily due to the good organic growth in the business divisions Americas and Europe as well as an overall favourable development of exchange rates and acquisition effects. The gross profit margin also rose from 35.7 % to 36.2 %, which is attributable to the increasing importance of high-quality concepts within the product portfolio. The successful implementation of further rationalisation and productivity measures also helped to offset the negative effects of the persistently high price pressure.

Operating expenses rose by 4.6 % to CHF 905.4 million in 2018 (previous year: CHF 865.9 million). Approximately half of these are personnel expenses (CHF 458.5 million versus CHF 443.2 million in the previous year) and the other half other operating expenses (CHF 446.9 million versus CHF 422.6 million in the previous year). The most significant cost increase in operating expenses resulted primarily from higher logistics expenses (e.g. due to higher transport costs in the US). The increase in operating expenses of 4.6 % was slightly disproportionate to the growth in sales (2.8 %), meaning that part of the margin gain at gross profit level was lost. In total, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 3.6 % higher than in the previous year at CHF 352.8 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 5.3 % (from CHF 205.8 million to CHF 216.7 million), resulting in an EBIT margin of 6.3 % (previous year: 6.1 %).

Net profit grew by a substantial 44.4 % year-on-year from CHF 161.6 million to CHF 233.3 million. The main driver behind this development was the gain from the sale of the minority stake in The Icelandic Milk and Skyr Corporation (“siggi’s”), which amounted to CHF 57.8 million after taxes. Excluding this non-recurring effect, Emmi’s adjusted net profit of CHF 175.5 million was up 8.6 % in financial year 2018 (previous year: CHF 161.6 million). The adjusted net profit margin amounted to 5.1 % (previous year: 4.8 %).

Appropriation of profits

The Board of Directors of Emmi AG proposes that the General Meeting approve the distribution of a dividend of CHF 9.00 (2017: CHF 7.00 + CHF 3.00 special dividend) gross per registered share for financial year 2018 on 5,349,810 shares entitled to dividends. As shareholders already participated in the non-recurring gain from the sale of the minority stake in “siggi’s” with the special dividend distributed in April 2018, this special effect will no longer be taken into account in the forthcoming profit distribution.

The General Meeting of Emmi AG will take place in Lucerne on Thursday, 11 April 2019.

Outlook

The global economy lost momentum in the second half of 2018. In addition, political issues such as the trade dispute between the US and China or Brexit will lead to greater uncertainty in 2019. The European Central Bank expects a more moderate GDP growth of 1.7 % for the EU in 2019, down from 1.9 % in 2018. In Switzerland, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has also revised its forecasts downwards, but still anticipates moderate growth of 1.5 %. This is also expected to be achieved through rising consumption.

Conditions in Switzerland remain challenging for Emmi. The competitive environment will continue to be tough, and some of the predicted increase in retail sales will be attributable to further growth in imports. Sales in the business division Switzerland will therefore remain under pressure, especially as the positive effect of a higher milk price is likely to be eliminated in 2019. Emmi’s goal is to achieve stable to slightly higher organic sales in Switzerland through strong brand concepts.

Strong brands and added-value concepts are also an important success factor in the business division Europe. While it is currently very difficult to assess the impact of Brexit on Europe as a whole, Emmi anticipates organic growth in the business division Europe. The Italian dessert companies and goat’s milk products from the Netherlands are likely to play a key role here. The abandonment of sales that will become unprofitable due to price pressure, on the other hand, will have a dampening effect. Emmi is also hoping for a positive impact from exports of speciality cheeses and Emmi Caffè Latte from Switzerland.

In the business division Americas, Emmi expects further significant growth in demand in Tunisia (milk, fresh products), the US (cheese, goat’s milk specialities) and Chile (milk, fresh products) in 2019. Foreign currency effects in countries such as Chile, Mexico and Tunisia will remain an issue, however.

With regard to raw material prices, Emmi expects milk to remain largely stable in its most important markets. The price level for the most important non-dairy raw materials (e.g. coffee and fruit) should be stable to slightly higher. Emmi expects higher prices above all in the energy and transport sectors and in packaging.

Overall, thanks to Emmi’s robust and well-diversified business model, organic sales growth in line with medium-term forecasts (2 % to 3 %) should also be feasible in 2019. To support earnings, Emmi will continue to pursue its efficiency programme. Emmi will continue along its strategic path in 2019.

2019 forecasts

  • Sales Group:                                                      2 % to 3 %
  • Sales Switzerland:                                              0 % to 0.5 %
  • Sales business division Americas:                     4 % to 6 %
  • Sales business division Europe:                        1 % to 3 %
  • EBIT:                                                                  CHF 215 million to CHF 220 million
  • Net profit margin:                                                4.7 % to 5.2 %

Medium-term forecasts

  • Sales Group:                                                      2 % to 3 %
  • Sales Switzerland:                                              0 % to 1 %
  • Sales business division Americas:                     4 % to 6 %
  • Sales business division Europe:                        1 % to 3 %
  • Net profit margin:                                                4.7 % to 5.2 %
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About Emmi

Emmi is a major Swiss milk processor. The company dates back to 1907, when it was founded by 62 dairy farming cooperatives around Lucerne. Over the past 20 years, Emmi has grown into an international, listed group. It has for many years pursued a successful strategy based on three pillars: strengthening its Swiss domestic market, growth abroad and cost management. Throughout its corporate history, Emmi’s keen awareness of its responsibility to society, animal welfare and the environment has been fundamental to its mission.

 

In Switzerland, Emmi manufactures a comprehensive range of dairy products for its own brands and private label products for customers, including leading exports such as Emmi Caffè Latte and Kaltbach. In other countries, its products – mainly speciality products – are manufactured locally. Alongside cow’s milk, it also processes goat’s and sheep’s milk.

 

In Switzerland, the Emmi Group has 25 production sites. Abroad, Emmi and its subsidiaries have a presence in 14 countries, seven of which have production facilities. Emmi exports products from Switzerland to around 60 countries. Its business activities focus on the Swiss domestic market as well as western Europe and the American continent. Half of its CHF 3.5 billion in sales – over 10 % of which stems from organic products – is generated in Switzerland, the other half abroad. It has over 6,000 employees who are also spread equally between Switzerland and other countries.

Contacts

Analysts:

Esther Gerster, Head of Group Communications & IR | T +41 58 227 50 69 | esther.gerster@emmi.com

Media:

Sibylle Umiker, Head of Media Relations | T +41 58 227 50 66 | media@emmi.com

 

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