EBITDAin CHF million
Free cash flowin CHF million
Net revenuesin CHF million
Gross profitin CHF million
Operating expense (net)in CHF million
EBITin CHF million
Investmentsin CHF million
Employeesnumber of employees (FTE)
Valora confirms the communicated expectations and achieved EBIT in the 2017 financial year of CHF 79.0 million, an increase of + 9.3 % or CHF + 6.8 million. Its EBIT margin rose by + 0.4 percentage points to 3.8 %. Its gross profit margin improved by + 0.5 percentage points to 42.0 %, meaning it has achieved its medium-term goal for 2018 ahead of schedule. Adjusted for acquisition costs and the EBIT contribution from BackWerk, the results are at the upper end of the communicated expectations and the EBIT margin goal of 4.0 % has likewise already been achieved in 2017.
At CHF 2,075.3 million, the Group’s net revenues are slightly lower than the previous year (– 0.9 %) as a result of the deconsolidation of Naville Distribution as of August 2016 (+ 0.9 % adjusted for Naville Distribution). Group net profit is CHF 57.1 million, which is lower than the previous year (CHF 63.4 million) because of non-recurring positive effects involving deferred taxes in the 2016 financial year. In terms of the return on capital employed (ROCE), profitability improved by + 0.3 percentage points to 8.6 % well above the cost of capital. Free cash flow increased as well, rising by + 13.0 % or CHF + 9.5 million to CHF 82.0 million.
Following the successful conclusion of its focus strategy, which ended with the sale of the Naville property in Geneva at the beginning of the year, Valora took major steps towards strengthening and expanding its core business in 2017.
Thanks to the optimisation of product ranges, improvement of processes, network adjustments and selective expansion, Retail Switzerland / Austria, in particular, increased profitability further. Retail Germany / Luxembourg and the Food Service division increased revenues and gross profits substantially, although profitability remains under pressure for the time being.
By strengthening its management team, Valora is ensuring that the Group will be able to take even better advantage of future market opportunities. Such opportunities mainly involve the ongoing trend towards “foodvenience” (ready-to-eat food, out-of-home consumption), increased footfall at high-frequency locations, individual offerings and the merging of digital and physical offerings. However, challenges continue to be presented by the accelerated decline of print media in Germany, historically high prices of raw materials for dairy products and greater competitive pressure in locations with high footfall.
With its acquisition of the young and promising US-based pretzel producer Pretzel Baron in January 2017, Valora laid the foundation for further international growth and the expansion of its market position as one of the leading pretzel producers. It also expanded its pretzel production capacity in Europe by replacing a production line at Brezelbäckerei Ditsch in Germany. Further expansions of capacity are planned in both Germany and the USA over the next few years. Following its acquisition of the BackWerk franchise business, which was first consolidated in November 2017, Valora is now one of the leading vertically integrated food service providers in Germany, and it strengthened its international presence with its market entry in the Netherlands.
Valora took the first two important steps towards achieving its announced long-term financing strategy: Following the successful capital increase of some CHF 166 million in November 2017, a five-year promissory note (Schuldschein issue) for EUR 170 million was placed on the capital market in the first half of January 2018. The funds generated by this transaction are being used to refinance the BackWerk transaction, further finance the planned expansion of pretzel production capacities in Germany and the USA and refinance the capital market instruments that will fall due in 2018. The Schuldschein issue has allowed Valora to take advantage of the current attractive market conditions as well as high investor interest and enabled it to refinance the credit instruments falling due in 2018 at significantly better conditions.
All totals and percentages are based on unrounded figures from the consolidated financial statements.
- From continuing operations