NATUREX : First phase successfully completed in the Group’s transformation to a sustainable and profitable business model

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2015 first half consolidated results:
First phase successfully completed in the Group's transformation
to a sustainable and profitable business model

  • Organic growth back on track
  • An improved balance sheet: free cash flow generation1 of €33.1 million
  • Destocking impacts operating profitability

Press release

Avignon, 16 September 2015 - Naturex, the global leader in speciality plant-based natural ingredients, announces its consolidated results for the 2015 first half:

€ millions
IFRS
H1
2015
H1
2014
Change
(%)
FY
2014
Revenue 202.6 158.3 28.0% 327.3
Gross margin 113.2 98.9 14.5% 194.1
Gross margin (%) 55.9% 62.5%   59.3%
Operating grants 1.0 1.0 6.9% 2.7
Other operating income 2.4 1.5 58.2% 3.9
Staff costs (46.7) (37.0) 26.3% (77.3)
External charges (43.6) (38.3) 13.8% (83.2)
Taxes other than on income (1.4) (1.2) 20.9% (2.6)
Other current operating income and expenses (0.1) (0.7) -92.3% (0.8)
Recurring EBITDA2 24.9 24.2 2.8% 36.8
Recurring EBITDA margin (%)3 12.3% 15.3%   11.2%
Amortisation, depreciation and impairment (12.2) (9.8) 24.3% (22.0)
Current operating income 12.6 14.4 -11.9% 14.8
Current operating margin (%) 6.2% 9.1%   4.5%
Other non-current operating expenses (1.7) (1.1) 53.4% (7.1)
Other non-current operating income - - - -
Net operating income 10.9 13.2 -17.5% 7.7
Share of net income (loss) of equity-accounted investees (2.8) 0.1 - (0.9)
Operating income after equity-accounted investees 8.2 13.3 -38.8% 6.8
Operating margin (%) 4.0% 8.4%   2.1%
Net borrowing costs (3.8) (3.9) -4.0% (8.3)
Other financial income and expenses 0.3 1.1 -76.7% (0.6)
Profit before tax 4.6 10.5 -55.8% (2.0)
Income tax expense (1.7) (3.0) -42.0% (2.1)
Net income attributable to the Group 2.9 7.5 -61.3% (4.1)
Net margin (%) 1.4% 4.7%   -1.2%

Organic growth back on track

Naturex implemented its plan in the 2015 first half for regaining commercial momentum by applying a targeted customer approach and stronger offering of products and innovative concepts within strategic market categories. This renewed dynamic contributed to a return to organic growth (+4.5%) with sales stabilising for the historical group structure by the 2015 first quarter, after four consecutive quarters of decline and followed by a strong acceleration in the second quarter (+9.0%)

The Group also benefited from a particularly favourable currency effect resulting from the strong contribution of US dollar sales and a consolidation scope effect linked to sales by Vegetable Juices Inc4.

On that basis, consolidated revenue for the 2015 first half rose to €202.65 million, with strong growth of 28.0%, compared to last year's same period.

An improved balance sheet: free cash flow generation of €33.1 million

With the Group's key financial ratios in 2014 significantly impacted by exceptional factors in the fourth quarter, through its Conquest, Cash & People plan, Naturex focused efforts on applying cost efficiency measures and operational and financial discipline necessary for regaining a sound and solid footing in the 2015 first half.

For the plan's "Cash" component, specifically adapted management practices were implemented, accompanied by a strong commitment by all teams. These efforts resulted in a very positive impact at the level of inventories, trade receivables management and cash generation.

Inventories now represent 41% of revenue, whereas the DSO (days sales outstanding) decreased on average by 15 days over a one-year period. This contributed to free cash flow generation of €33.1 million compared to €6.3 million at 30 June 2014. Net financial debt also decreased by €22.1 million, further reducing financial leverage and providing the Group with greater flexibility. For the first half, net financial debt thus came to €138.3 million, down from €160.3 million at 31 December 2014. Net gearing (net financial debt/equity) represented 36.3% of consolidated equity compared to 45.6% at 31 December 2014.

Destocking impacts operating profitability

At the same time, Naturex continued to focus on its key operating indicators which have not yet benefited fully from the effects of strong organic growth, reflecting the strategy of reducing production volume while actively destocking to reduce inventory levels.

The gross margin amounted to €113.2 million, up by €14.3 million or 14.5% from the 2014 first half, in line with sales growth for the first six months and acceleration in the 2015 second quarter. Conversely, as a percentage of sales the gross margin declined significantly to 55.9% (-6.6 points compared to the 2014 first half), reflecting mainly the effect of destocking (-4.7 points).

Staff costs rose 26.3% to €46.7 million from €37 million in the 2014 first half and representing 23% as a percentage of sales compared to 22.7% for last year's same period. This increase includes in large part the €3.7 million contribution of Vegetable Juices Inc. as well as a €2.8 million currency effect resulting from the rise of selected currencies in the period (USD, CHF, GBP).

Excluding these effects, staff costs rose by €3.2 million, representing an increase of 8.7% for the historical Group structure.

External charges, representing 21.5% of revenue compared to 24.2% one year earlier, amounted to €43.6 million. This 13.8% increase was primarily attributable to Vegetable Juices Inc. (€2.8 million) and a translation effect in the period (€3.0 million). Excluding the effects, external expenses declined by 1.3% (€0.5 million) confirming the positive effects of cost control measures implemented, and despite a €2.2 million increase between the first and second quarters linked to the strong increase in organic sales growth.

Recurring EBITDA amounted to €24.9 million, up 2.8%, with a recurring EBITDA margin at 12.3% compared to 15.3% in the 2014 first half.

Amortisation, depreciation and impairment amounted to €12.2 million compared to €9.8 million in the 2014 first half and related to investments in 2014.

Current operating income amounted to €12.6 million, compared to €14.4 million in the 2014 first half, with a current operating margin at 6.2%.

Other non-current operating expenses amounted to €1.7 million compared to €1.1 million in the 2014 first half. These concern primarily costs incurred from reorganising manufacturing operations devoted to the Group's pharmaceutical activities within a single production site in Reyssouze, France. The implementation of this industrial plan resulted, on the one hand, in the closure of the Palafolls plant in Spain and, on the other hand, the Milan site's specialisation in nutraceutical applications.

Consolidated operating profit after income from equity-accounted investees totalled €10.9 million compared to €13.2 million one year earlier. This includes a €2.8 million loss from the equity-accounted joint-venture with Aker BioMarine linked to charges for the Houston site qualification process in a start-up phase in the second half of 2014 and production facilities maintenance during a difficult environment for the omega-3 market. For information, in the 2015 first half, krill extraction was carried out within the Naturex's Toll Manufacturing division.

Net borrowing costs amounted to €3.8 million (1.9% of revenue) compared to €3.9 million (2.5% of revenue) in the 2014 first half. Readers are reminded that the Group refinanced the structured loan in June 2014 to take advantage of longer maturities and financing lines that were better adapted to the Group's structure.

Other financial income and expenses included income of €0.3 million compared to €01.1 million in the 2014 first half, resulting from a positive currency effect.

Finally, after a tax expense of €1.7 million, net income attributable to Group shareholders amounted to €2.9 million, compared to net attributable income of €7.5 million in the 2014 first half and a €4.1 million net attributable loss for the full 2014 year.

 "Operational and financial discipline measures taken over the first six months through the Conquest, Cash & People plan represent a first step in our Group's transition to a model for sustainable, lasting and profitable growth over the medium-term. As previously indicated, our priority in the second half will be improving operating profitability. By pursuing solid and dynamic growth, we will be able to activate the operational drivers necessary for achieving this objective." commented Olivier Rigaud, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Naturex.

"In terms of governance, after reinforcing the Management Committee in the first half by the addition of the Human Resources Director and the Chief Legal Officer, our Senior Management team will be completed in early November by the arrival of a new Chief Financial Officer."

 

You can receive all financial information of Naturex free of charge by signing up at: www.naturex.fr

  • Availability of the 2015 interim financial report
    The 2015 interim financial report including in particular the management report, information on share capital, corporate governance, the main risks, as well as the outlook, the interim consolidated financial statements and notes thereto and the Auditors' report was filed with the AMF on 16 September 2015 (after the close of trading). It is available in electronic form from the website of Naturex while hard copy version of this document may be obtained from the Company at no charge.
  • SFAF analysts meeting of 17 September 2015
    Naturex will present its 2015 interim consolidated results at the analysts meeting (SFAF - French Society of Financial Analysts) of 17 September 2015 (admissions as from 9:30 a.m. and the meeting commencing at 10:00 a.m. at Palais Brongniart (28 Place de la Bourse, 75002 Paris).
  • Financial schedule
    2015 third-quarter sales 04 November 2015
    Q3 2015 consolidated results 30 November 2015
  • Upcoming events
    Actionaria tradeshow (Paris) 20-21 November 2015

 

Naturex has been listed since October 1996 on Euronext in Paris, Segment B

  Total number of shares comprising the share capital: 9,221,113 (September 2015)
ISIN FR0000054694

Naturex is a component of the CACT, Enternext CAC PEA-PME 150, CAC Small & Mid, CAC Small, Gaïa Index.
Naturex is eligible for the "long only" Deferred Settlement Service (SRD) and French equity plans (PEA and PEA-PME).
Naturex established a Sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program in the United States. Under this facility, Naturex's ADRs are traded over-the-counter in the United States under the symbol NTUXY.

TICKER: NRX - Reuters: NATU.PA - Bloomberg: NRX:FP - DR SYMBOL: NTUXY

 

About Naturex

Naturex is the global leader in speciality plant-based natural ingredients. The Group is organised around three strategic markets (Food & Beverage, Nutrition & Health and Personal Care) and produces and markets speciality plant-based ingredients for the food, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Naturex's head office is based in Avignon. The company employs 1,700 people with 8 sourcing offices located throughout the world and high-performance manufacturing operations across 15 sites in Europe, Morocco, the United States, Brazil, Australia and India. It also has a global commercial presence through a dedicated network of sales offices in more than 20 countries.

 

  • Contacts
Carole Alexandre
Investor Relations
Tel.: +33 (0)4 90 23 78 28
c.alexandre@naturex.com
Anne Catherine Bonjour
Actus Finance Press Relations
Tel.: +33 (0)1 53 67 36 93
acbonjour@actus.fr

 

1 Free cash flow: Free cash flow = Net cash flows from operating activities + net cash flows from investing activities excluding acquisitions and equity investments.
2 Recurring EBITDA: Current operating income + allowances for amortisation and depreciation
3 (Recurring EBITDA / revenue) x 100
4 Vegetable Juices Inc. was consolidated by the Group as from June 2014. The consolidation scope effect concerns only sales from January to May 2015 as starting from June 2015 sales of this entity were included within the historical Group structure of consolidated operations.
5 Pursuant to the audit performed in connection with the review of the 2015 half-year accounts, revenue of €203.2 million published on July 29, 2015 was modified to €202.6 million.


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