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Q4 2020

Resilient 2020 performance despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 expected stronger with outlook of 2-6% organic sales growth and solid EBIT margin and FCF generation

Organic sales performance of 0% (Q4: -3%) in 2020: Household Care +5% (Q4: 0%), Food, Beverages & Human Health 1% (Q4: -4%), Bioenergy -9% (Q4: -4%), Grain & Tech Processing -1% (Q4: -4%), Agriculture, Animal Health & Nutrition +1% (Q4: -6%). EBIT margin at 26.1% (Q4: 23.1%). ROIC incl. goodwill at 18.9% (Q4: 17.6%). FCF bef. acq. at DKK 3.4 billion (Q4: DKK 0.7 billion).

Ester Baiget, President & CEO: "COVID-19 made 2020 a year like no other in recent memory and I'm extremely proud of the way our ‘Zymers’ have handled these difficult circumstances. The advances we made during the year are a testament to Novozymes' strong purpose, culture and well-diversified business model. I’m confident that we will return to growth in 2021, supported by a more streamlined organization, stronger commercial presence, innovation, as well as a gradual recovery in those areas adversely affected by the pandemic."

The year in summary:

  • Organic sales performance ended at 0% (Q4: -3%) and at -3% (Q4: -8%) in reported DKK
  • Household Care delivered solid organic sales growth driven by the rollout of the Freshness platform, market penetration especially in emerging markets and COVID-19 induced changes to consumer behavior. Food, Beverages & Human Health organic sales were up slightly as food and human health grew while beverages declined due to COVID-19 effects
  • Organic sales declined in Bioenergy and Grain & Tech Processing as COVID-19 impacts severely affected ethanol and textile production. Slight organic sales growth in Agriculture, Animal Health & Nutrition supported by the rollout of Balancius™ and a BioAg one-off
  • merging market organic sales at +1%; developed market organic sales at -1%
  • The Human Health opportunity reached a key milestone with its first internal product launch; BioFresh® 4+, a clinically proven enzymatic solution that eliminates bad breath for up to four hours. Two gamechanging acquisitions were also made in the human health area
  • 18 products launched during the year, including 11 launches in the fourth quarter alone
  • Reported EBIT margin at a solid 26.1% despite currency headwinds. Underlying EBIT margin at ~27% excluding one-offs, currency, and M&A-related effects (2019: underlying ~26%)
  • Very strong free cash flow at DKK 3.4bn before acquisitions. Strong balance sheet at 0.8x NIBD/EBITDA
  • Proposed dividend at 5.25 DKK/share and 51.9% payout ratio. DKK 1.5bn worth of stock buybacks in 2020


2021 outlook: Organic sales growth of 2-6%; wide range reflects continued covid-19 related uncertainty. ~1 percentage point less in reported DKK terms. Q1 y/y organic sales decline expected due to high comparator. EBIT-mgn at 25-26% including negative y/y impacts from currency and M&A-related effects of around 1 percentage point each. Underlying y/y EBIT-mgn improvement driven by operational leverage and diligent cost control. ROIC incl. goodwill at ~19%. FCF bef. acq. at DKK 2.7-3.1bn. Stock buyback program of up to DKK 1.5bn.