“2016/17 was another good year for Chr. Hansen. We delivered successfully on our operational and strategic priorities, achieving strong financial results while continuing to build long-term growth opportunities. Organic growth reached 10%, and the EBIT margin before special items ended at 28.9%, up from 28.2% the year before. Finally, free cash flow before special items and acquisitions was EUR 188 million, an improvement of 7%, despite considerable investments in both new capacity and future growth opportunities in line with our Nature’s no. 1 strategy,” says CEO Cees de Jong.
Food Cultures & Enzymes and Health & Nutrition both delivered strong growth, performing slightly above the long-term ambitions for these businesses, while Natural Colors grew in line with ambitions. This meant we reached the high end of our revenue expectations. Profitability improved in all areas, and the significant profitability improvement in Natural Colors is particularly encouraging.
Good progress in our strategic lighthouses
Our lighthouses progressed well during the year. Revenue in bioprotection grew around 30%, and a range of second-generation products has just been launched to fuel future momentum in this category.
In plant health, we received registration for two new products ahead of schedule, and we believe both products offer great prospects. In the human microbiome, we expanded our strain library with lead candidates targeting gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic health.
Shortly after the end of our financial year, we completed the large capacity expansion for dairy cultures in Copenhagen, and this complex project has been executed fully according to plan.
The key focus for Chr. Hansen continues to be strong organic growth through innovation and, with good progress in many of our strategic initiatives, the building blocks for achieving our ambitious financial targets are in place.
2016/17 IN BRIEF
Revenue of EUR 1,063 million, compared to EUR 949 million in 2015/16, corresponding to organic growth of 10%.
- Food Cultures & Enzymes: 9% organic growth
- Health & Nutrition: 14% organic growth
- Natural Colors: 10% organic growth
EBIT before special items increased by 15% to EUR 307 million, compared to EUR 268 million in 2015/16. The EBIT margin before special items was 28.9%, compared to 28.2% in 2015/16.
Profit for the year increased by 22% to EUR 224 million, compared to EUR 184 million in 2015/16.
Free cash flow before special items and acquisitions of EUR 188 million, compared to EUR 175 million in 2015/16.
Q4 2016/17 IN BRIEF
Revenue of EUR 283 million, compared to EUR 256 million in Q4 2015/16, corresponding to organic growth of 12%.
- Food Cultures & Enzymes: 10% organic growth
- Health & Nutrition: 21% organic growth
- Natural Colors: 11% organic growth
OUTLOOK FOR 2017/18
Organic revenue growth: 8-10%
EBIT margin before special items: Around the 28.9% achieved in 2016/17
Free cash flow before special items, acquisitions and divestments: Around the EUR 188 million achieved in 2016/17
Read the full annual report 2016/17 here.
Chr. Hansen is a global, differentiated bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. At Chr. Hansen we are uniquely positioned to drive positive change through microbial solutions. We have worked for over 145 years to enable sustainable agriculture, better food and healthier living for more people around the world. Our microbial and fermentation technology platforms, including our broad and relevant collection of around 40,000 microbial strains, have game-changing potential. Matching customer needs and global trends we continue to unlock the power of good bacteria to respond to global challenges such as food waste, global health and the overuse of antibiotics and pesticides. As one of the world’s most sustainable companies, we touch the lives of more than 1 billion people every day. Driven by our legacy of innovation and curiosity to pioneer science, our purpose – To grow a better world. Naturally. – is at the heart of everything we do.