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Wessanen Q4/ FY 2018 results: Moderate growth and improved profitability

Amsterdam, 12 February 2019 7:00 CET

Q4 2018 highlights

· Autonomous growth of own brands 5.9%, driven by strong promotional plans in France Grocery
· Revenue growth of 5.2% includes a decline of private label and distribution business
· EBITE of €14.8 million, up 47% versus prior year

Full year 2018 highlights

· Autonomous growth of own brands 2.1%
· Revenue growth of 0.6% to €628.4 million
· EBITE of €57.7 million, up 8% versus prior year
· EBITE as % of Revenue up 60 bps versus last year to 9.2%

CEO statement

Christophe Barnouin (CEO) commented: "In 2018 the market for healthy and sustainable food continued to be very dynamic as many consumers are considering to make changes to their food habits. The market attracted more players leading to intensified competition. This put some of our growth plans under pressure resulting in an overall moderate level of growth, stronger in Q4 as a result of our corrective action plans.  For the full year  profitability was up as a result of better gross margins, lower share based payments and reduced A&P.

We continue to pursue our vision of building a different kind of food company, connected to nature in all we do. Of our total revenue, 77.5% is from organic and 96% from vegetarian products. We have completed the    B Corp certification of two more companies (Abafoods Italy and Germany) so that 70% of our business is now covered by the certification. We are on track to become the first multinational food business to be certified by 2020. The acquisition of Abbot Kinney's added a new, strategic and fast growing unit to our Dairy Alternatives category that we have integrated at high speed.

2018 was a year that brought with it some new challenges and not all our plans worked out. But it also confirmed again that as a business we are focused on the most promising segment of the food market and that we can respond to challenges resiliently and effectively while staying true to our purpose.

Looking ahead to 2019, we expect that the organic market will remain very dynamic. The Grocery channel will continue to take share from HFS. Conventional players, private label and smaller brands will continue to push into organic, putting pressure on established players in terms of growth, margin and brand support. We therefore expect low to moderate growth of own brands for the year.

Guidance FY 2019

· We expect low to moderate growth of own brands and a further reduction of private label and distribution brand sales
· We expect EBITE as % of revenue to be in the range of 8 to 9% for the full year
· Net financing costs around €2.0-2.5 million. This includes an impact of around €0.5 million regarding the implementation of IFRS 16 and around €0.5 million related to the unwinding discount of the contingent consideration for the Abbot Kinney's acquisition
· Tax rate around 30%
· Capital expenditure of €10-12 million
· Depreciation and amortisation of €14-15 million. This includes an impact of around €4.3 million related to IFRS 16 and €0.4 million amortisation of the Gayelord Hauser brand after reclassification to a finite life

Important dates 2019

11-04-2019  AGM (14h00 CET)
18-04-2019  Publication Q1 2019 trading update
19-07-2019  Publication Q2 2019 interim results
18-10-2019  Publication Q3 2019 trading update

Analyst & investor meeting

At 10h00 CET, an analyst & investor meeting will be hosted by Christophe Barnouin (CEO) and Ronald Merckx (CFO) at the Wessanen head office in Amsterdam. The meeting can be followed via a live audio webcast at www.wessanen.com. Those unable to attend can participate using the following telephone number: +31 (0)20 531 5853. The press release and presentation are available for download at www.wessanen.com.

Media, investor & analyst enquiries

Ronald Merckx (CFO)
Phone  +31 (0)20 3122 126
Email [email protected]
Twitter @Wessanen_250

This announcement is distributed by West Corporation on behalf of West Corporation clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Wessanen via Globenewswire

Copyright © Thomson Reuters 2019. All rights reserved.
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