The consolidated result deteriorated compared to the same period in the previous year by around 88 percent from EUR 44.8 million to EUR 5.4 million, as the company announced on Thursday morning. Sales, on the other hand, improved by 26.4 percent to EUR 2.74 billion.
The operating result rose by 77 percent to EUR 121.6 million. However, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell by a good third from EUR 76 million to EUR 50.2 million. The EBIT margin fell from 3.5 to 1.8 percent. The equity ratio fell from 48.5 to 42.7 percent. On the other hand, the number of employees increased slightly – from 8,815 to 8,858 full-time equivalents employed on average in the reporting period.
In a company announcement, Agrana CEO Markus Mühleisen emphasized the turnaround in the sugar segment in the current financial year. In addition to an improved sales price environment in this segment, “the efficiency measures taken in recent years and rigid cost management are bearing fruit”. He also referred to the “high bioethanol prices in the first half of the year and good business with wheat gluten”. “Once again, our diversified, sustainable business model is proving to be a stability factor in turbulent times,” said the CEO.
With a view to the full fiscal year 2022/23, the management expects “a very significant increase in operating profit (EBIT)” – specifically an “increase of at least 50 percent”. A “significant increase of 10 to 50 percent” is assumed for the operating result and group sales.
In the 2022/23 financial year, the total investment volume in the three segments Fruit, Starch and Sugar should be around EUR 111 million above the previous year’s value, but below the planned depreciation of around EUR 120 million.
CO2-neutral production by 2040
“A significant proportion of our investments will be used in the future for further measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” stressed Mühleisen. Agrana wants to produce CO2-neutrally by 2040 and “by 2050 at the latest also reduce its emissions in the upstream and downstream value chain, from primary agricultural production to the transport of the products to our customers, to net zero,” said the CEO.
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