Chr. Hansen reports solid organic growth of 9% in the first nine months of 2017/18

Chr. Hansen reports solid organic growth of 9% in the first nine months of 2017/18
Press ReleaseJun 28. 2018 06:01 GMT

CEO Mauricio Graber: “We are pleased to report that we maintained the sales momentum in Q3"

Chr. Hansen reports solid organic revenue growth of 9% in the first nine months of 2017/18 (3% reported growth due to adverse currency impacts): Food Cultures & Enzymes 12%, Health & Nutrition 8% and Natural Colors 5%. EBIT before special items increased by 1% to EUR 219.9 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin before special items of 27.5%. In Q3, organic growth was 9%, and EBIT before special items increased by 3% to EUR 84.0 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin before special items of 29.7%.The outlook for 2017/18 is unchanged.

EUR million

Q3 2017/18 Q3 2016/17 Growth YTD 2017/18 YTD 2016/17 Growth
Revenue 282.7 278.4 2% 800.9 779.5 3%
EBIT before special items 84.0 81.6 3% 219.9 217.2 1%
Profit for the period 60.5 57.9 4% 158.1 155.8 1%
Free cash flow before acquisitions and special items 64.4 68.4 (6)% 75.4 98.3 (23)%
Organic growth, % 9% 10% 9% 10%
Gross margin, % 55.6% 54.2% 53.9% 53.8%
EBIT margin before special items, % 29.7% 29.3% 27.5% 27.9%
ROIC excl. goodwill, % 37.7% 39.2% 34.2% 37.4%

Pleased to report continued sales momentum
CEO Mauricio Graber says: “We are pleased to report that we maintained the sales momentum in Q3, led by broad-based growth in Food Cultures & Enzymes. In Health & Nutrition, the human health business in North America is improving, and growth in emerging markets remains strong. Animal health again delivered strong growth in EMEA, APAC and LATAM, where we are strengthening our presence. Growth in Natural Colors improved, driven primarily by APAC and EMEA.

Our strategic lighthouse projects – bioprotection, plant health, and human microbiome – all progressed well in the third quarter. Sales of bioprotective solutions grew approximately 25% in Q3, which was in line with expectations, bringing YTD organic sales growth to approximately 35%.

Plant health showed very strong sales growth, driven by the recently launched biological nematicides, Quartzo® and Presence®. We also extended the collaboration with FMC, our partner in plant health, and we look forward to launching our strong pipeline of new products in the years ahead.

In the human microbiome, we announced two significant scientific developments in Q3: A partnership with Prota Therapeutics to test our LGG® strain in a Phase III clinical trial to potentially develop a treatment for peanut allergy; and an exciting result from a Chr. Hansen-led clinical trial that demonstrated how ingesting a carefully selected probiotic strain can reduce certain side effects associated with the regular consumption of acetylicsalicylic acid – the active ingredient in aspirin.”

Given the performance and cash-flow generation in the first nine months, an extraordinary dividend totaling EUR 105 million (DKK 5.94 per share) will be paid out on July 3, 2018.

Outlook for 2017/18

The outlook for 2017/18 is unchanged from the announcement of April 11, 2018.

June 28, 2018 April 11, 2018
Organic revenue growth 8-10% 8-10%
EBIT margin before special items around 28.9% around 28.9%
Free cash flow before acquisitions, divestments and special items around EUR 188 million around 188 million

Chr. Hansen is a leading, global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. We develop and produce cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors for a rich variety of foods, confectionery, beverages, dietary supplements and even animal feed and plant protection. Our product innovation is based on more than 30,000 microbial strains – we like to refer to them as ‘good bacteria’. Our solutions enable food manufacturers to produce more with less – while also reducing the use of chemicals and other synthetic additives – which make our products highly relevant in today’s world. Sustainability is an integral part of Chr. Hansen’s vision to improve food and health. In 2019 Chr. Hansen was ranked as the world’s most sustainable company by Corporate Knights thanks to our strong sustainability efforts and our many collaborative partnerships with our customers. We have been delivering value to our partners – and, ultimately, end consumers worldwide – for over 140 years. We are proud that more than one billion people consume products containing our natural ingredients every day. Revenue in the 2017/18 financial year was EUR 1,097 million. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen.