NATUREX : Sharp operational growth over 9 months 2011

Organic growth in sales of +12.7% in constant currencies Operating margin at 12.0% of revenue Net income at ¤13.7 million, up 26.5%. New round of acquisitions

Press release

Avignon, 30 November 2011 - Naturex, world leader in specialty plant-based ingredients, presents its consolidated results for the first 9 months of financial year 2011:

In ¤M
9 months
9 months
Revenue 191.2 170.6 +12.1% 226.3
Gross margin 111.0 92.9 +19.4% 132.1
% gross margin 58.0% 54.5%   58.4%
Current operating income 22.8 21.7 +5.3% 27.3
% current operating margin 12.0% 12.7%   12.1%
Other operating expenses (0.3) -   -
Other operating income - -   -
Operating income 22.6 21.7 +4.1% 27.3
Cost of net financial debt (3.3) (3.9)   (5.6)
Other financial income and expenses 0.3 (1.3)   (0.7)
Income before tax 19.6 16.5 +18.7% 21.1
Tax expense (5.9) (5.6)   (6.2)
Net income, Group share 13.7 10.8 +26.5% 14.8
% net profitability 7.1% 6.3%   6.5%

Sharp organic growth in sales

Over the first nine months of financial year 2011, NATUREX generated revenue of ¤191.2 million, up 12.1% compared to the first nine months of the previous period, and 12.7% in constant currencies.

The two main activities, Food & Beverage and Nutrition & Health, contributed substantially to this growth; from a geographical standpoint, the mature markets in Western Europe and North America confirmed their solidity, while the emerging markets showed excellent dynamism.

Solid operational indicators

Over the period, NATUREX benefited from still highly-favourable operating leverage, demonstrating not only good management in terms of its cost structure, but also strong resistance with regards to its development model in a particularly degraded macroeconomic context.

The gross margin enjoyed significant growth of 19.4% compared to the nine months of the previous period, standing at ¤111.0 million, showing the changes in the product mix toward increasingly technical solutions with high value added.
Over the 3rd quarter of 2011, the substantial appreciation of the Swiss Franc had an impact on the gross margin in terms of value as well as in terms of the rate compared to the two first quarters of 2011. Indeed, the production sites in Switzerland, specialised in producing fruit and vegetable powders and apple and citrus pectin, source their raw materials in part locally. Current operating income, up 5.3%, stands at ¤22.8 million compared to ¤21.7 million over the nine months of the previous period.
This takes into account an increase in operating expenses tied to the organic growth in the activity and in particular the development costs for the sales offices created at the beginning of the period (Korea, Mexico, Canada) in order to strengthen the Group's sales structure and which have not yet made a full contribution to the results.
Over the 3rd quarter of 2011, the sharp increase in the Swiss Franc compared to the other currencies particularly affected payroll costs and other production costs of the two industrial sites located in Switzerland.
The current operating margin over the nine months of the period 2011 as such represented 12.0% of revenue.
Consolidated operating income over the nine months of the period 2011 stands at ¤22.6 million and includes 261 thousand euros in operating expenses tied to acquisition research costs committed over the 3rd quarter of 2011 within the framework of the Group's development strategy. Net income, Group share is up 26.5%, at ¤13.7 million, after taking ¤5.9 million in tax expense into account; over the nine months of the period 2010, it was ¤10.8 million, after tax expense of ¤5.6 million.
Net profitability as such represents 7.1% of the revenue compared to 6.3% one year before.

A new phase in external growth involving a change in scope

The success of the capital increase through the exercise of shares with warrants, launched on 4 October 2011 and fully completed, allowed NATUREX to raise nearly 49 million euros. As announced, this significant operation is intended to finance future external growth projects, i.e. five or six targets identified, of which two or three could be realised by the end of the financial period 2011.

The acquisition of BURGUNDY a few weeks ago, a French company specialising in the production and marketing of plant extracts for the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, is the first realisation in this new phase of external growth. This company will be fully consolidated into the Group's scope for the 4th quarter of the financial period 2011.

Within the context of the increasing scope, the profitability forecasts for 2011 cannot be confirmed. Indeed, BURGUNDY's existing operating losses as well as the acquisition and restructuring costs committed within the framework of its integration will naturally affect NATUREX's operating profitability over the last quarter of the financial period 2011.

"This operating performance once again confirms the quality and the solidity of NATUREX's economic model in a volatile environment, and confirms our ambitious development strategy revolving around sustained organic growth and external growth providing synergies", says Jacques Dikansky, President and CEO of Naturex."We are confident in our ability to quickly integrate our latest acquisition, continue our investments and generate sustainable and profitable growth, creating value."

3rd quarter results 2011
In ¤M
Q3 2011 Q3 2010 Variation
Revenue 63.2 58.5 +8.1%
Gross margin 35.5 27.7 +28.2%
% gross margin 56.2% 47.4%  
Current operating income 6.9 7.4 -6.9%
% current operating margin 10.9% 12.6%  
Other operating expenses (0.3) -  
Other operating income - -  
Operating income 6.6 7.4 -10.4%
Cost of net financial debt (0.5) (1.2)  
Other financial income and expenses (0.7) (1.0)  
Income before tax 5.4 5.2 +4.7%
Tax expense (1.5) (2.0)  
Net income, Group share 3.9 3.2 +22.8%
% net profitability 6.2% 5.5%  
Next publications
- 2011 annual sales 24 January 2012
- 2011 annual results 28 March 2012
Forthcoming events
- SFAF meeting (analysts) 2 April 2012
- Midcap Event Bruxelles 29 and 30 March 2012
- Smallcap Event Paris 12 and 13 April 2012

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Naturex has been listed since October 1996 on NYSE Euronext Paris, Compartment B (MidCaps)

Number of shares comprising the capital:7,705,580 6,318,272 ordinary shares (ISIN FR0000054694) 1,387,308 preferred shares (ISIN FR0010833251) Naturex is a component of the CAC Small and Gaïa indexes.
Naturex is eligible for "long only" Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

TICKER: NRX - Reuters : NATU.PA - Bloomberg : NRX:FP

About Naturex

NATUREX is the global leader in specialty plant-based natural ingredients.

The Group is organised around three strategic markets (food & beverage, nutrition & health and personal care) and produces and markets specialty plant-based ingredients for the food, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

NATUREX's head office is based in Avignon. The company employs more than 1,000 people with high-performance manufacturing operations across 13 sites in Europe (France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Switzerland), as well as in Morocco, the United States, Brazil and Australia. It also has a global presence through a dedicated network of sales offices in 18 countries (France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Russia, U.A.E., Thailand, Singapore, Japan, China, Korea, Australia, the United States, Canada, Brazil and Mexico).

NATUREX's development is supported by positive underlying trends linked to a fast-growing demand for natural products and its capacity to provide manufacturers customised solutions to meet the requirements of their end consumers. The Group's strength lies in its positioning with specific products which constitute niche markets, supported by strong sourcing capacity and sustained research & development.

Jacques Dikansky
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tel.: +33 (0)4 90 23 96 89

Carole Alexandre
Investor Relations
Tel.: +33 (0)4 90 23 78 28
Thierry Lambert
Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
Tel.: +33 (0)4 90 23 96 89

Anne Catherine Bonjour
Actus Finance Press Relations
Tel.: +33 (0)1 53 67 36 93
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