5% organic growth in Q2 elevates year-to-date organic growth to 3%
Organic revenue growth of 5% in Q2, corresponding to 4% EUR growth, with an improving momentum in all areas as expected: Food Cultures & Enzymes 5%, Health & Nutrition 8% and Natural Colors 1%, lifting the group organic revenue growth in the first six months of 2019/20 to 3%. In Q2 EBIT before special items increased by 6% to EUR 83 million, and EBIT margin before special items increased to 28.2%. The full-year outlook is unchanged.
CEO Mauricio Graber says: “We are pleased that all three business areas improved the growth momentum in Q2, as expected. Food Cultures & Enzymes delivered solid organic growth as we continue to deliver advanced technology that can help our customers innovate, improve food quality, reduce waste and drive down costs. Especially innovative dairy enzymes, like CHY-MAX® Supreme and NOLA® Fit are doing very well, and bioprotection grew approximately 15% in Q2. In Health & Nutrition, Animal Health continued to perform strongly driven by BOVAMINE® Dairy probiotics; and Human Health also delivered solid growth. Natural Colors showed positive growth, despite continued negative raw material price impacts and challenging market conditions, as growth and profitability of FRUITMAX® was strong.
"Our Q2 EBIT margin before special items was up by 0.4%-point, and as we continue to see scalability benefits in production, we have also managed costs carefully while sustaining investments in growth opportunities and innovation across our three business areas. Growth in free cash flow before acquisitions and special items in Q2 was 18%. Our cash position is very strong, and we have more than two year’s free cash flow worth of committed, undrawn credit facilities. Our policy of paying out 40-60% of net profits as ordinary dividends is unchanged.
"The second quarter was in line with our expectations. The COVID-19 outbreak in China did not have a material impact on our business in Q2, however, it is clear that we will see both favorable and unfavorable impacts in the second half of the year, as the virus has spread globally. Chr. Hansen is part of the global food supply chain and has strong offerings for the food, health and nutrition industries. Customers are securing safety inventories to ensure supply continuity to consumers that are buying more at grocery retail as they comply with stay at home government directives. The health and safety of our employees and continuity of service to our customers are our primary concerns, but so far we have managed to have all our production sites running at normal operations and have also continued to deliver on customer commitments. Based on the business performance in the first part of the year, we maintain our guidance for the full year, although subject to greater macroeconomic uncertainty due to COVID-19. We also postpone the CMD to focus on business continuity and operations.”
OUTLOOK FOR 2019/20
The full-year outlook is maintained, but assumes no significant supply disruption from COVID-19.
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.