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Q4 2023

6% organic sales growth in Q4 and 5% for the full year with solid margins and free cash flow generation

As Novozymes just closed the combination with Chr. Hansen on January 29, and the annual report now is expected to be released on February 8, this announcement only contains unaudited numbers. Full audited financial statements as well as non-financial numbers will be released with the annual report on February 8. This result update allows us to provide selected numbers for Novozymes standalone as early as possible

Ester Baiget, President & CEO: “I am very pleased with our performance in 2023 - a year characterized by changing market demand and inventory adjustments in certain industries. The strength of Novozymes’ diversified portfolio and end-market exposure enables us to capture growth opportunities as they arise, providing a solid overall performance. We delivered organic sales growth of 5% for the year with solid earnings and cash flows. We closed the combination with Chr. Hansen on January 29. Our new company, Novonesis, is better equipped to enable customers further address the ever-increasing needs for healthier lives and a healthier planet supported by our broad portfolio of innovative, value added biosolutions. Thank you to all stakeholders for supporting us in making Novonesis become a reality”.

Sales performance (unaudited)

  • DKK sales growth at 2% (5% org., -3% FX, 0% M&A), Q4 DKK sales growth at 2% (6% org., -4% FX, 0% M&A).
  • 5% organic sales growth driven by broad-based pricing, flat volumes (Q4: ~4% pricing, ~2% volumes):
    • Household Care 5% (Q4: 10%): Growth in developed markets from innovation and increased penetration despite declining in-market detergent volumes. Emerging markets grew from increased penetration of enzymatic solutions. Strong end to the year with high uptake of innovation and penetration.
    • Food, Beverages & Human Health -2% (Q4: -4%): Year characterized by destocking and a one-off in the comparable base (performance flat excluding the one-off). Demanding Q4 year-on-year comparable and timing impact. Human Health soft as well with sequential growth in Q4 over Q3, but with high Q4 comparator from last year.
    • Bioenergy 23% (Q4: 20%): Demand remaining strong across geographies and a broad, differentiated portfolio of solutions for multiple end-markets. ~4% Q4 y/y volume growth in US ethanol production.
    • Grain & Tech Processing -6% (Q4: 2%): Growth in Grain offset by expected softness in tech from reduced sales of solutions for Covid-19 test kits and, additionally, declining demand in textile. Q4 with a less negative textile market and growth in grain.
    • Agriculture, Animal Health & Nutrition 3% (Q4: -7%): Growth driven by performance in Animal Health & Nutrition with strong demand for sustainable yield and health solutions. Performance muted in Q4 following year-end inventory optimization and destocking in value chain.


Key events:

  • Four products launched in Q3, of which two were public, and a total of ten new products launched in the first nine months of which four were public.
  • Interim dividend of DKK 4.20 per share equaling ~50% of adjusted net profit for the period January 1 to August 31, 2023, with October 17 as the pay-out date.
  • Regulatory approval regarding combination with Chr. Hansen now also received in China, Brazil and Turkey. South Korea and EU clearances outstanding, with EU official filing submitted on October 20, 2023.
  • Executive Leadership Team of new company announced on October 10, 2023 (announcement no. 57).
  • Participation at United Nations’ General Assembly in New York with strong agenda and continued pull for accelerated sustainability efforts.

Financial performance (unaudited)

  • Reported EBIT margin b.s.i. at 25.4% (underlying ~25.5% b.s.i.) for the year and 25.1% in Q4 (underlying ~26% b.s.i.) and negative FX for both periods. Higher input costs partly mitigated by positive pricing taking gross margin to 54.3% with y-o-y and Q4 vs. Q3 improvement.
  • Free cash flow bef. acq. at a solid DKK 2.1 billion for the year, 1 billion higher than in 2022, mainly from lower investments.
  • Solid balance sheet with NIBD/EBITDA ratio of 1.2x.
  • ROIC incl. goodwill b.s.i. solid at 16.5% with higher invested capital year-on-year.
  • Interim dividend of DKK 4.20 per share for January 1 – August 31 period paid on October 17.

*Special items include costs related to the combination with Chr. Hansen

Other key events and information

  • 18 new products launched in 2023, of which 8 in Q4. Of the 18 products, 7 were public (3 in Q4).
  • Site for production of Advanced Protein Solutions in Blair, US, on-line in December. First shipment in January.
  • New company name ‘Novonesis’ announced, and level 3 leadership structure formalized.
  • Combination with Chr. Hansen completed on January 29, 2024 (announcement 02, 2024) following all regulatory approvals received and registrations completed.
  • Novozymes expects to release its 2023 Annual Report on February 8 following the recent approval of the combination with Chr. Hansen.
  • Proforma numbers for Novonesis including revenue, organic revenue growth, key financial numbers as well as 2024 outlook will be provided no later than March 31.
  • Novonesis will host a Capital Markets Day in London on June 18, 2024.
  • Proposed dividend for the period September 1 - December 31, 2023 will be announced by the Board of Directors of Novonesis in connection with the notice to convene at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.