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Q1 2022

Strong 10% organic sales growth; increased full-year outlook

Ester Baiget, President & CEO: "The year started strong, and we delivered very satisfactory organic sales growth of 10% with double-digit growth in three of our five business areas. Our well-diversified portfolio is showing its strength, enabling solid margins and returns, and we are driving our strategy forward while balancing short-term execution with a clear long-term focus. We raise our full-year organic sales growth outlook to 4-8% despite the negative effects of the tragic war in Ukraine, and we maintain our expectations for the other three financial outlook metrics."

Sales and financial performance:

  • Growth in Danish kroner at 16% (10% organic, 5% currency, 1% M&A).
  • Double-digit organic sales growth in three of five business areas:
    • Bioenergy (27% organic growth): Strong growth across geographies driven by innovation and yield focus as well as a strong Q1 year-on-year increase in US ethanol production.
    • Food, Beverages & Human Health (18% organic growth): Strong growth across most subareas, especially in food, and partly due to a positive timing effect.
    • Agriculture, Animal Health & Nutrition (12% organic growth): Very satisfactory growth in Animal Health & Nutrition and positive developments in Agriculture.
    • Grain & Tech Processing (8% organic growth): Solid performance in Grain; decline in Tech.
    • Household Care (-4% organic performance): Much in line with expectations following continued European softness and a demanding comparator; war in Ukraine impacting numbers towards the end of the quarter and expected to impact the full-year performance.
    • Emerging markets grew organically by 8%; developed markets grew 10% organically.
  • Good momentum on pricing initiatives with an overall neutral impact in Q1.
  • EBIT margin solid and as expected at 26.1% with lower year-on-year gross margin due to higher input and logistics costs, and lower other operating income. Operating leverage, productivity improvements and currencies were all supportive. Provision for uncertain receivables in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine with close to 1pp negative effect on the EBIT margin.
  • ROIC incl. goodwill at 18.1%, lower year-on-year and mainly affected by higher invested capital.
  • Free cash flow before acquisitions at DKK 0.4 billion including higher CAPEX for the investment in the Advanced Protein Solutions production line at Blair, Nebraska, as well as higher net working capital.
  • Solid balance sheet and debt leverage of 1.1x net debt/EBITDA.

 

Key events:

  • Two product launches in the first quarter including HiPhorious™ - a phytase solution for improved phosphate uptake – in animal nutrition.
  • Improving our score on climate leadership in the Carbon Disclosure Project from B to A.
  • Construction of production line for Advanced Protein Solutions in Blair, Nebraska, progressing according to plan.
  • Integration of Synergia progressing well after closing of the transaction.
  • DKK 500 million share buyback program initiated on February 21, 2022.

 

2022 outlook:

  • Good momentum and strong start to the year leading to increased organic sales growth outlook from previously 3-7% to now 4-8%, despite the negative impact from the war in Ukraine of slightly more than 1p.p.. Sales reported in Danish kroner are now expected to be around 6 percentage points higher than the organic growth rate.
  • Impact from pricing initiatives expected to become increasingly visible as the year progresses.
  • Expectations for the other three financial outlook metrics maintained.