AGRANA profit jumps in first quarter of 2017|18

Published: July 13, 2017; 07:30 · (FriedlNews)

AGRANA, the global sugar, starch and fruit products manufacturer, kicked off the 2017|18 financial year with a strong rise in EBIT. The Group's revenue increased slightly to EUR 684.2 million in the first quarter ended 31 May 2017, up 2.8% from the first three months of the prior year. EBIT, at EUR 69.8 million, was up by a compelling 48.5% from the year-earlier quarter.

Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europewide distribution. The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement.

- EBIT surge of 48.5%
- Outlook for full 2017|18 financial year: Expecting significant increase in
EBIT and moderate growth in revenue

Quarterly Report/Financial Figures 1st Quarter

Wien - AGRANA, the global sugar, starch and fruit products manufacturer, kicked
off the 2017|18 financial year with a strong rise in EBIT. The Group's revenue
increased slightly to EUR 684.2 million in the first quarter ended 31 May 2017,
up 2.8% from the first three months of the prior year. EBIT, at EUR 69.8
million, was up by a compelling 48.5% from the year-earlier quarter. The growth
in the Group's EBIT was driven especially by the very positive ethanol price
trend in the Starch segment, but also by better earnings in the Sugar segment.
In the Fruit segment as well, EBIT exceeded the year-ago level.

"The good start to this financial year, which surpassed our already optimistic
initial expectations for the first quarter, recently allowed us to raise our
guidance for the full year. We are also pleased that all three business
segments are contributing to this good performance," AGRANA Chief Executive
Officer Johann Marihart sums up the financial year to date.

AGRANA Group financial results

EUR million, except %

Q1 2017|18 Q1 2016|17
Revenue 684.2 665.5
EBITDA* 77.6 58.1
Operating profit (EBIT) 69.8 47.0
EBIT margin 10.2% 7.1%
Net financial items (4.8) (7.5)
Income tax (14.1) (8.7)
Profit for the period 50.9 30.8
Investment** 21.5 18.6

*EBITDA represents operating profit before exceptional items, results of
equity- accounted joint ventures, depreciation and amortisation. **Investment
represents purchases of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets,
excluding goodwill.

Net financial items in the first quarter of 2017|18 amounted to a net expense
of EUR 4.8 million (Q1 prior year: net expense of EUR 7.5 million); the
improvement, which came despite a deterioration in currency impacts, resulted
from the base effect of a prior-year impairment charge on a current finance
receivable in Ukraine in the Fruit segment. After an income tax expense of EUR
14.1 million, corresponding to a tax rate of approximately 21.7% (Q1 prior
year: 22.0%), profit for the period was EUR 50.9 million (Q1 prior year: EUR
30.8 million). Earnings per share attributable to AGRANA shareholders increased
to EUR 3.16 (Q1 prior year***: EUR 2.07). Total assets eased moderately from
the 2016|17 year-end balance sheet date to EUR 2.35 billion (28 February 2017:
EUR 2.48 billion) and the equity ratio was up by 5 percentage points to 61.9%
(28 February 2017: 56.9%). Net debt as of 31 May 2017 stood at EUR 262.6
million, up by EUR 22.7 million from the 2016|17 year-end level. The gearing
ratio rose accordingly to 18.0% as of the quarterly balance sheet date (28
February 2017: 17.0%).

*** In the prior year, earnings per share were still calculated on the basis of
the 14,202,040 shares outstanding at that time (number of shares outstanding at
31 May 2017: 15,622,244).

Sugar segment

Q1 2017|18 Q1 2016|17
Revenue 178.4 178.4
Operating profit (EBIT) 18.1 10.0
EBIT margin 10.2% 5.6%

The Sugar segment's revenue in the first financial quarter was in line with one
year earlier. While a positive effect came from a year-on-year rise in sugar
prices, sugar sales quantities were down. The accompanying higher contribution
margins were the key reason for the significant increase in EBIT.

Starch segment

Q1 2017|18 Q1 2016|17
Revenue 194.8 179.4
Operating profit (EBIT) 26.6 13.8
EBIT margin 13.7% 7.7%

Starch segment revenue rose by 8.6% in the first quarter. The growth compared
with the year-ago quarter resulted mainly from higher bioethanol prices and an
increase in sales volumes of starches. EBIT of EUR 26.6 million represented a
near-doubling from one year earlier, driven primarily by the high bioethanol
quotations.

Fruit segment

Q1 2017|18 Q1 2016|17
Revenue 311.0 307.7
Operating profit (EBIT) 25.1 23.2
EBIT margin 8.1% 7.5%

Fruit segment revenue rose slightly by 1.1% from the first quarter of the prior
year. In the fruit preparations business, stable sales volumes and favourable
currency effects (notably in Eastern Europe, the USA, Brazil and South Korea)
were responsible for the revenue growth. In the fruit juice concentrate
operations, revenue decreased from the year-earlier quarter, as a result of
lower raw material prices and the associated reduction in concentrate prices
for product from the 2016 crop compared to 2015. EBIT of the Fruit segment
overall grew by 8.2% from the prior year's comparative period. Both the fruit
juice concentrate business (partly through volume and margin growth in beverage
bases) and the fruit preparations business contributed to the earnings
improvement.

Outlook AGRANA currently expects Group revenue to increase moderately for the
2017|18 financial year, with significant growth in operating profit (EBIT).
Total investment by the Group in the year, at about EUR 140 million, will
significantly exceed depreciation of approximately EUR 96 million.

About AGRANA AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods
and numerous industrial intermediate products. About 8,600 employees at 55
production sites worldwide generate annual Group revenue of around EUR 2.6
billion. Established in 1988, the company today is the leading sugar producer
in Central and Eastern Europe and its Starch segment is a major European
manufacturer of custom starch products and bioethanol. AGRANA is also the world
market leader in fruit preparations and the largest manufacturer of fruit juice
concentrates in Europe.

This announcement is available in German and English at www.agrana.com [http://
www.agrana.com/].

Further inquiry note:
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG
Mag.(FH) Hannes Haider
Investor Relations
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12905
e-mail:hannes.haider@agrana.com
Mag.(FH) Markus Simak
PR Manager
Tel.: +43-1-211 37-12084
e-mail: markus.simak@agrana.com

end of announcement euro adhoc
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Attachments with Announcement:

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http://resources.euroadhoc.com/documents/2118/5/10028852/1/PA_Q1_2017_18_E_end.pdf

issuer: AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG F.-W.-Raiffeisen-Platz 1 A-1020 Wien
phone: +43-1-21137-0
FAX: +43-1-21137-12926
mail: info.ab@agrana.com
WWW: www.agrana.com
ISIN: AT0000603709
indexes: WBI
stockmarkets: Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Berlin, Wien
language: English

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