Fortenova Group publishes its financial results for H1/2023 and its 2022 financial statements.
In respect of the unaudited consolidated statements, for H1/2023 the company generated EUR 2.7 bn of total revenue, outperforming the same period last year by 9 percent. Adjusted operating profits amounted to EUR 101 million. Net debt has remained below EUR 1.1 billion, with the liquidity on the company’s accounts at EUR 279 million. All of the Group’s business divisions have recorded total revenue growth against the same period last year, though with reduced operating profits. The drop in operating profits is primarily due to the large increase in electricity and raw material costs, increase in salaries, as well as the selling price limits for specific product categories imposed by the Governments in the area.
In respect of financial results for 2022, the audited consolidated results the Group presented total consolidated revenues of more than HRK 40.7 billion or EUR 5.4 billion, exceeding the 2021 revenue by 30 percent. Consolidated adjusted operating profits grew by over 20 percent, amounting to more than HRK 2.3 billion or EUR 310 million, along with a positive net result. At the end of 2022 the net debt was slightly below EUR 1.1 billion, with a leverage ratio of 3.44 times (as per Lender defined terms), which represents half of the leverage ratio that the Group had in 2019, the year of Fortenova Group’s foundation. Cash on the company’s account at year end was EUR 290 million.
“The Group’s operating results continue to show that Fortenova Group has managed to separate its operational performance from its ownership issues, where the presence of sanctioned co-owners in the structure makes it more difficult to achieve a sustainable and efficient capital structure. With the recently executed refinancing with our existing lender HPS, we will no longer have sanctioned entities on the credit side of the Group which delivers on our plans “– said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s CEO and Member of the Board of Directors.
“The Group delivered outstanding results in 2022 with the growth with the highest ever cash EBITDA and the first full year positive net result coming only from ongoing operations. H1 2023, has as expected been more challenging given the impact of inflation on costs and consumer income and purchasing power. The Group has so far shown considerable resilience given these headwinds with the Retail Group in particularly continuing to perform very well.” – said James Pearson, Fortenova Group’s Chief Financial Officer.
Along with the financial performance indicators, Fortenova Group has also disclosed a thorough and comprehensive overview of the Group’s operating performance in 2022 in its second consecutive Sustainability Report, where it has presented a number of activities and initiatives related to the process of establishing the strategic framework for sustainability management. Those activities have had positive effects on all the markets on which the Group operates – among its customers, clients, business partners, in the local community as well as among its employees and other stakeholders.
The Group is particularly focused on working on its sustainability and on publishing the Sustainability Report, in spite of the numerous challenges that it faced last year. “At no point has this called into question our commitment to one of the company’s strategic priorities – the realization of our sustainability goals and the positioning of Fortenova Group as a responsible corporation. The Report has presented our most important actions when it comes to environmental, social and governance topics in the Group to the broader public and, moreover, offered an in-depth insight into our operations and our environmental impact. We see this thorough annual analysis of all our constituents as an excellent lever in improving transparency and raising awareness of our priorities” – Fabris Peruško concluded.
As presented in the Report, as part of each of the seven key topics that constitute the strategic sustainability framework, in mid-2022 the Group established internal working groups with a view to defining measurable initiatives for the period until 2030. Thus, for example, standing out within the “GHG Reduction” topic there is the project of Scope 1, 2 and 3 calculations for all Fortenova Group companies, intended to set up an action plan for achieving climate neutrality, while as part of the “waste management” topic, all Beverages Group companies are currently implementing the project of introducing the tethered cap. Konzum, for example, initiated the project called Recyclopedia, intended to educate consumers and prevent the creation of food waste in households and was declared the Best Donor for the fifth consecutive time. Along with encouraging short supply chains, a Supplier Code is in preparation as well. Last year the Group also conducted surveys regarding gender equality on all markets and adopted a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy. An important aspect of the Group’s strategic framework is also the topic of initiating a project to identify climate risks and opportunities and build sustainability criteria into investment decisions.
„Besides the package presented by the Croatian Prime Minister containing 30 groups of articles for which price ceilings have been set, Fortenova Group, and primarily Konzum, will set the total value of the list of 365 articles published by the Ministry of Economy back to the total value as of 31st December last year, effective today. Apart from that, Konzum will start an additional discount on another 1000 articles today. We will thus invest EUR 10 million in prices on an annual level” – announced Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s CEO and Member of the Board of Directors. He added that, since one year already, meat, edible oil and milk from the production companies PIK Vrbovec, Zvijezda and Belje were listed among the products with price caps, while the Government’s new, extended list contained additional articles from those companies.
Zoran Mitreski, CEO for Retail at Fortenova Group and President of the Management Board of Konzum, pointed out that the price discounts on 1000 articles will range from five to 40 percent, depending on the group of products, and the prices will be locked until year end. “We have strived to include almost all product groups that we sell – 50 percent from food, 50 percent from non-food, and it is important to note that our suppliers have supported this drive and that Konzum’s investment in prices until the end of this year will amount to around EUR 3.5 million” – Mitreski said.
All prices will be transparently published on Konzum’s website. Commenting on the Croatian Government’s fifth package of measures designed to help the Croatian citizens, Fabris Peruško said that Fortenova Group welcomed any initiative intended to lower inflation, with all Fortenova Group companies in Croatia taking part this time again. “As already mentioned when the first package was adopted, we as a company are aware of our influence in the society and want to support the Government’s efforts to restrain inflation”.
An invitation was sent today by Fortenova Group to the Depositary Receipt Holders for a Meeting to be held on 27 June, where they will, among other things, vote on the Group’s proposal to refinance the existing bond in the amount from EUR 1.1bn to EUR 1.2bn with the Group’s current majority creditor HPS Investment Partners.
In the materials for the Meeting, the DR Holders were provided with a detailed presentation on how the Group’s management, prior to putting the proposal on accepting the terms and conditions of the refinancing offered by HPS to the vote at the DR Holders’ Meeting, explored all other viable refinancing options that were available to Fortenova Group, including extensive discussions with regional and investment banks as well as bond market considerations.
After significant efforts to find financing with banks and bond markets, the Fortenova Group management has decided to enter a new financing for the period until 29 November 2024 with HPS, the existing leading non sanctioned creditor, provided that the DR Holders vote in favour of this proposal.
The conditions of the new financing of the entire amount of the current bond ranging from EUR 1.1bn to EUR 1.2bn offered by HPS in regards of margin and EURIBOR floor remain the same as for the current bond. The terms of the new bond include an Original Issue Discount, a one-off payment of 6.75 percent of the bond amount to be issued, which partly reflects sanctioned entities being in the Group’s capital structure and underlines the necessity of dealing with this problem as soon as possible. When the issue of the sanctioned entities being in the Group’s capital structure is resolved, Fortenova Group’s access to the banking market will reopen and the company will explore it again.
One of the terms agreed with HPS as part of the new financing is the commencement of a process for the potential divestment of Fortenova Group’s Agriculture Division by no later than 31 December 2023. Should the divestment actually take place, proceeds will be used for the Group’s further deleveraging or for strategic investments in the Group’s other core retail and food businesses.
With regards to its operating business, the Fortenova Group continues to perform extremely well. Preliminary unaudited results for 2022 show net revenues exceeding EUR 5.2 billion, operating profits according to IFRS-16 of more than EUR 470 million (adjusted operating profits of more than EUR 300 million), with EUR 1.1 billion of net debt of. Group liquidity was in excess of EUR 280 million and the Group achieved its best-ever ratio of total net debt to adjusted operating profits of 3.5 times.
The company Mercator-CG and the retail chain Franca signed a sale-purchase agreement today, whereby Mercator-CG acquired the Franca retail facilities in almost all municipalities in Montenegro.
This is Fortenova Group’s first acquisition in the region, whereby the company has accomplished one of its strategic goals – to secure the strengthening of its store network on the SEE markets and its availability to the customers not only through organic growth, but also through acquisitions of local retailers.
The transaction was previously approved by the Competition Protection Agency and with its realisation Mercator-CG, which operates under the brand IDEA, has improved its offer to consumers and availability, ensuring a footprint covering the entire country.
Namely, the retail chain owned by the Franca family has 67 stores, with most of them – 13 to be precise – located in Podgorica, eight in Budva and seven in Bijelo Polje. With the acquisition of the new stores the retail network of the IDEA brand grows to almost 200 stores and with the takeover of 900 Franca retail employees the significance of the company Mercator-CG as one of the country’s largest employers shall grow as well, because following this acquisition the IDEA brand will employ more than 2 500 people. As employer, Mercator-CG has also assumed all contractual obligations towards its new employees.
On behalf of Mercator-CG the Sale-Purchase Agreement was signed by Ivan Karadžić, Executive Director of Mercator-CG, Ivan Antonijević and Boško Vuković, both Deputy Executive Directors of Mercator-CG and on behalf of Franca by the co-owners of shares and members of the Franca family: Hilmija Franca, Hatema Franca, Halida Franca, Sead Franca, Safet Franca and Halid Franca.
The agreement signing ceremony that finalised the transaction was also attended by Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, who stated on that occasion:
„Fortenova Group has strongly supported this acquisition pursued by the company Mercator-CG because it bears witness to the fact that we are implementing our strategy of strengthening the regional presence in retail. We have a clear vision of what we want to achieve in this business in all the five countries of our operations, we want to provide high-quality offerings and service, affordable prices as well as a strong footprint and a wide choice for our consumers. We can already clearly see the effects of synergies in retail that have started with the integration of Mercator in 2021 – from improved implementation and management to excellent collaboration with local suppliers, which has due to the shorter supply chains proved to be our key competitive advantage in the two recent crises. Given that the Franca family is a producer of high-quality fresh and processed meat, I am certain that the good partnership collaboration will continue in this case, too” – Peruško said.
Viewed from the angle of Hilmija Franca, Franca company’s Executive Director, with this acquisition Franca will consolidate its leadership position on the Montenegrin fresh and processed meat market. Franca will continue to be present on the market under that name, as one of the largest and most recognisable local brands. “The most important thing for us is that all 900 employees will stay employed with the new company” – says he and continues:
“To become part of a regional network and join forces with one of Montenegro’s largest chains means a great deal to us. We are exceptionally proud that our products will be present in all IDEA stores and thus even closer to numerous consumers. At the same time, I am sure that this partnership will also open the gates to other markets for us as leaders in our country’s meat industry. The focus of the company Franca will be on development projects in the primary processing industry and on strengthening exports to countries of the EU and the region. Like before, agricultural producers will remain Franca’s priority through repurchases. I believe that this important business step will be the beginning of new, great successes for all of us” – Franca said.
Ivan Karadžić, Executive Director of the company Mercator-CG noted on the occasion of closing the transaction that there was no doubt that this acquisition would be yet another stride in meeting business goals.
„This is an important point in our operations. The merger of the Franca store chain is an important step in our strategic development as it positions us as leader on the Montenegrin market and with around 200 stores the only chain present in all municipalities of Montenegro. With this acquisition our company shall also become the country’s largest employer with over 2 500 employees and I would like to use this opportunity to wish the more than 900 employees of Franca Markets a sincere welcome to our team. I am happy that they will become part of our company and that we will continue to meet the goals set as one team. With this acquisition and the focus on fresh, local, private label, the Super Card and digital transformation we are changing the retail market in Montenegro, improving our customer service and implementing state-of-the-art trends by using the power of the Group we belong to” – said Karadžić.
Zoran Mitreski, Executive Director of Fortenova Group for Retail and President of the Management Board of Konzum also highlighted the importance of the realised acquisition, particularly in the light of expanding the store network.
„We have strong investment dynamics within the system. Last year we opened more than 150 points of sale across the region, whereof 60 new and 90 refurbished ones. The formal takeover and integration of Franca will follow in autumn, as well as further investments and the continued exploration of further merger and acquisition opportunities in retail”, Mitreski announced.
On a different note, the Franca retail chain was established as part of the company founded by the Franca family in 1990, having started from the former meat industry “Meso-promet”. Over the last 30+ years they have developed one of the most significant production and retail companies on the territory of Montenegro, with a total of 1 500 employees. Franca has based its recognition on the market largely on local fresh and processed meat from their own farms, with their products present not only on the Montenegrin market, but also in the region and in some EU countries.
The realised acquisition will also mean the combining of expertise, technologies, brands and other resources of both companies and provide for a stronger market position, meeting different customer needs as well as assortment extension, primarily by offering premium local products.
While detailed operating results for the period 1-9/2022 will be disclosed by Fortenova Group next week, preliminary results have shown that the Group has within the first nine months of 2022 generated total consolidated revenue of slightly more than HRK 30 billion or EUR 4 billion, which is a 38 percent increase in comparison to its performance in the same period of 2021.
Net of the Mercator integration effects, total revenue from continuing operations has grown by 15 percent in a year-on-year comparison, primarily thanks to the good tourist season, significant operational improvements and partly also due to inflation.
At the same time consolidated adjusted EBITDA of the period grew by 20 percent against last year’s and amounted to more than HRK 2 billion or EUR 265 million. In spite of the high cost of debt and increased cost of energy and labour, over the period 1-9/2022 Fortenova Group also generated profits from continuing operations.
At the end of September Fortenova Group had a cash position of almost HRK 2 billion on its accounts. At the same time it continued with the deleveraging process and achieved a net debt to adjusted operating profits ratio at the end of the period of 3.6 times, thus having halved the leverage ratio that had amounted to 7.2 times at the time of Fortenova Group’s incorporation.
Just as Konzum, being the national retail leader, was the first retailer in Croatia to start with the dual price display, it has as well together with Tisak, Fortenova Group’s other large retail company, among the first voluntarily acceded the Code of Ethics that establishes the ways in which business entities shall proceed in the process of introducing the euro in the Republic of Croatia.
Given that Fortenova Group has approached this process in an equally transparent way through all of its business segments, the Code of Ethics will as well be acceded by the other Group companies that have a prominent direct relationship with consumers, such as Abrakadabra (A007), Roto dinamic, Multiplus card and others.
Although the document is declaratory in nature, the business entities acceding the initiative guarantee that they shall over the course of the conversion process take care for the adjustment of Croatian consumers to the introduction of the new currency to be as transparent as possible.
With Fortenova Group companies being national leaders in the retail as well as distribution and production of food, by voluntarily acceding the Code of Ethics and accepting its principles they have confirmed their commitment to the welfare of their customers, suppliers and business partners.
As of the day of acceding the Code of Ethics, Fortenova Group companies have acquired the right to use a visual identification sign – a slogan and logo guaranteeing their customers and service users the implementation of principles from that document. They will also be included in the list of business entities that will be publicly available at the website www.euro.hr.
In reply to the questions about the possible impact that the situation with Sberbank Europe, which has along with its branch offices got under the management of the European Central Bank or the central banks of the countries in which it operates, may have on the operations of Fortenova Group as well as the ownership share of Sberbank at Fortenova Group, from Fortenova Group we would herewith once again like to set straight (https://fortenova.hr/en/news/the-divestment-of-sberbank-in-the-region-does-not-affect-the-ownership-of-sberbank-russia-in-fortenova-group/) that the shares in the company are held by Sberbank Russia and hence any developments regarding Sberbank Europe shall have no impact whatsoever on the operations of Fortenova Group. With regards to the impact of the ownership in general on the company’s operations, as already pointed out several times in the context of the sanctions over the last few days, the ownership of Fortenova Group does not affect the company’s day-to-day operations. Fortenova Group’s capital structure and liquidity are stable, its financing is headed by the US investment company HPS Investment Partners, and the operating business is run through the respective domestic, local banks on the markets where Fortenova Group operates.
After receiving a number of non-binding offers for the acquisition of the companies Ledo plus, Ledo Čitluk and Frikom, forming together with several smaller affiliated companies the Frozen Food Business Group, Fortenova Group have decided to move forward to the next phase of the sales process by inviting a select number of bidders to start due diligence.
“The market test has confirmed that there is strong international interest among potential investors in our Frozen Food business. The qualified non-binding offers come from companies with outstanding investment and operational track record. We are glad that we will be entering due diligence process with some extremely strong potential partners”, said James Pearson, Fortenova Group’s Chief Financial Officer.
“Our ultimate goal, over and above maximising value, remains to be selection of a strategic partner who will make the maximum contribution to the further development of the Frozen Food Business Group. Even though we are entering the due diligence phase now, completion of the process still depends on finding the partner who will recognize the full value and potential of this business and its people”, said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. “In order to proactively achieve our targeted capital structure via deleveraging the company, Fortenova Group is ready to dispose of only one segment of the core business, which potentially would be the Frozen Food Business Group. I expect the due diligence process to be completed by the end of this year and we will continue to keep our people and the market informed of further developments in a timely manner”, concluded Peruško.”
Belje plus, part of the Fortenova Group, and MEGGLE Croatia reached and signed an agreement on the purchase of the assets of the MEGGLE dairy in Osijek. By purchasing MEGGLE’s property and production line – with the intention to commence own production as of 1st January 2021 – Belje will preserve the long-standing tradition of milk production in that part of Slavonia.
With the start of the production in Osijek Belje will purchase a certain quantity of milk from MEGGLE’s present contractors, while the need for employees is still under review, with around 100 people expected to be employed.
Fortenova Group already accounts for around 10 per cent of the total milk quantity produced in Croatia, which is around 5 per cent of the local needs. Most of the milk produced at Belje is used for the production of ABC cheese, with its annual production currently at the level of 3,700 tonnes, while plans have been developed for the significant expansion of its portfolio.
“We are happy with the agreement reached and with having closed the sale of MEGGLE’s assets in Osijek, as well as with Belje’s decision to produce on that location following our withdrawal. After having made the final decision on closing down our production in Croatia, the MEGGLE Group has exerted maximum efforts to find a buyer for the assets in order for as many of our employees as possible to have new employment after 31st December and for our contractors not to have any standstill in the purchase of milk. Until the end of the year MEGGLE shall continue to restructure its operations, in accordance with the agreement reached with the trade unions, while meeting all the assumed obligations in time and in full”, said Marjan Vučak, President of the Management Board of MEGGLE Croatia.
“The MEGGLE Group is aware of how important it is to preserve the milk production in Osijek, which is why we had delayed our decision for as long as this was possible and we are glad that with the new owner it will be continued after all. Over all these years Meggle has been a socially sensitive and responsible employer and a reliable business partner. Having reached this agreement with Fortenova Group confirms that we have continued to behave that way in this restructuring process, too, and we shall keep operating according to the same principles going forward”, said Matthias Oettel, CEO of the MEGGLE Group.
“Fortenova Group has continuously worked on further improving the value and strengthening the portfolio of its brands. In order to utilise all potentials of ABC fresh cream cheese, which is one of the strongest regional brands and one of our strongest export products, Belje needs additional production capacities and MEGGLE’s withdrawal enabled us to secure them within short time. With the Osijek plant we have secured the prerequisites for the development of new products, made of local raw material, of premium quality and higher added value. With this move we shall continue to work on the preservation and further growth of the local agricultural production, which along with saving existing and opening new jobs is of great significance for Slavonia and the broader community. Fortenova Group views its operations in the long term and we are currently preparing the company for operations in the period following the crisis in order to have as strong as possible a lever for growth once the recovery starts, with this transaction to be entirely financed from our operations” – said Fabris Peruško, Chief Executive Officer of Fortenova Group.
“The acquisition of Meggle’s assets and the development of new products can be an additional encouragement to increase the quantities of milk produced and for small producers to invest in dairy cow farms in Croatia. This would certainly have a positive effect on the change of trends, after this year the long-lasting decline in milk quantities produced in Croatia has finally been stopped. The dairy industry is one of the major focus areas of the 2020-2025 strategy in Fortenova Group’s Agriculture Division, and the Belje food industry will be the platform on which the development in that segment will gain momentum” – says Andrej Dean, President of the Management Board of Belje.
The transaction will be carried out once all the required regulatory approvals are in place.
Fortenova Group d.d. and Osijek Koteks d.d., a leading Croatian construction company, finalised an agreement whereby Osijek Koteks has acquired Projektgradnja plus d.o.o., a fully owned subsidiary of Fortenova. Osijek Koteks was selected as the best bidder through a competitive sale process managed by Fortenova and Deloitte Croatia as the exclusive financial advisor to Fortenova.
By closing this transaction, Fortenova Group continues towards its aim to focus on three core segments of retail, food and agriculture. Since the start of the sale process approximately a year ago, Fortenova Group has also divested its subsidiary Rivijera, which manages the Triestina camp in Ičići near Opatija, as well as minority stakes in ID Riva Tours and Gulliver putovanja. ID Riva Tours is a German tour operator organising trips to Croatia, with offices in Poreč, Žminj, Rijeka, Zadar and Trogir, while Gulliver putovanja is one of Croatia’s leading destination management companies in the majority ownership of the global tour operator TUI.
James Pearson, Fortenova Group’s Chief Financial Officer, emphasized on this occasion the importance of the company’s focus on core business: “I would first of all like to thank all the employees of Projektgradnja, and Rivijera, for their skills, dedication and hard work while they were part of the Fortenova Group. We now wish them the best with their new partners and hopefully, much deserved success in the future. For Fortenova, these four transactions, along with others we expect to make in the coming months, allow the Group to make good progress in moving towards its previously announced focus on three core divisions of retail, food and agriculture. The aim is to have a sharper focus on these three divisions and have an overall less complex Group to enable us to deliver better returns as we go forward.”
As part of the sale process for all these businesses Fortenova Group was focused on finding buyers who share Fortenova’s vision of developing the acquired businesses for the benefit of their employees, partners and other stakeholders. As a result of this transaction, Projektgradnja gained a strategic partner who will improve and strengthen its operations, and secure its long-term prospects. At the same time, Osijek Koteks will complement its portfolio which mainly consists of civil engineering and construction material production with building construction projects, and strengthen its overall expertise in civil engineering by taking over some 200 Projektgradnja’s construction experts. It is worth noticing that Projektgradnja executed some of the largest and most complex construction projects in Croatia, and is well qualified to perform all kinds of construction works. Over the last four and a half years Projektgradnja completed 69 projects with the total value of more than EUR 173 million.
Over the first six months of 2020 the Group thus generated consolidated revenues of almost HRK 10 billion (9,910 million) and consolidated EBITDA of HRK 531.9 million. The consolidated results pertain to Fortenova grupa d.d. and its 95 subsidiaries, without Mercator, the transfer whereof to Fortenova grupa d.d. is expected by the end of the year. A strong cash position of HRK 1.5 billion on its accounts and stronger market shares were the features that Fortenova Group concluded its operations with in the first half of 2020.
According to non-consolidated indicators, the core businesses non-consolidated net sales revenues for the period were 4.3 per cent lower than in 2019, which was expected in view of the global economic lockdown that marked the H1/2020 operations due to measures introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and EBITDA was improved by almost 3 per cent against the same period of 2019.
While net sales revenues in the Retail & Wholesale and Food segments dropped by 3.9 per cent and 8.3 per cent, respectively, total revenues in agriculture grew by six per cent due to the increase in pig prices. Agriculture segment also features excellent EBITDA growth rate of 41.5 per cent in H1/2020 against the previous year. Retail EBITDA grew by HRK 37 million, with the major positive effect accounted for by Q1/2020 and the implementation of measures taken to adjust operations to COVID-19 circumstances. The lockdown conditions were mostly reflected in the Food operations, particularly the segment that primarily leans on the HORECA channel and tourist flows, resulting in a drop of EBITDA by 11.5 per cent compared to the same period of 2019 though market shares increased in oil, beverages and frozen food and business in Serbia performed well.
“Given the impact of COVID-19 on the first half of 2020, we are very satisfied with our operations. When it comes to our consumers and the community in which we operate, the most important thing was to keep the supply chain running without interruption and to protect the safety of our employees and our customers, and when it comes to the position of Fortenova Group – to reduce the negative effects of the crisis as much as possible by implementing measures intended to adapt our operations and to manage liquidity reserves as firmly as possible, which we have successfully done, as shown by the six-months results. The period also featured very positive steps in the process of transferring Mercator and Dijamant to Fortenova Group and optimism regarding the results of the tourist season, which was way better than expected” – said Fabris Peruško, Chief Executive Officer of Fortenova Group at the presentation of the H12020 business results to DR Holders, i.e. owners of the company.
Commenting on the financial results of H12020, James Pearson, Executive Director for Finance of Fortenova Group, said that “in view of the negative impact of COVID-19 we have managed our cash and profitability very well”, stating further: “Fortenova Group now has a very clear and agreed strategy to deliver financial health of the Group. This we will continue to deliver on and we expect to fully comply to our lender requirements going forward”.
Last year, marked by increasing revenue and adjusted EDITDA, ends with strong cash position while Q1 2020 shows best results in the past three years
In presenting the results of last year’s operations to its DR holders, Fortenova Group highlighted the growth of both most important performance indicators in 2019 – total revenue and EBITDA, accompanied by building strong liquidity reserves due to which it entered the year 2020 with a cash position of HRK 1.6bn.
The pro forma consolidated total revenue of Fortenova grupa d.d. in 2019 reached almost HRK 24 billion (23,946 million), with consolidated adjusted EBITDA amounting to almost HRK 1.7bn (1,662 million). Given that Fortenova grupa d.d. has been operational since 1st April 2019, the presented results are the pro forma consolidated results of Fortenova grupa d.d. and the 102 companies, net of Mercator, the transfer of which to Fortenova grupa d.d. is not yet completed.
The Core segments, which include the results of 17 core companies of Fortenova grupa d.d., companies from the business areas of Retail and Wholesale, Food and Agriculture, generated a total of HRK 24,805 million in unconsolidated revenues in 2019, or a growth of 3.6 % against the year 2018. At the same time unconsolidated EBITDA of the Core segments saw a year-on-year growth of 13 % and amounted to HRK 1,917 million.
All Fortenova grupa d.d. Core segments experienced total revenue growth in 2019 – Retail and Wholesale of 3%, while both Food and Agriculture generated 4% higher revenues than in the year 2018. Total revenues generated in Retail and Wholesale amounted to HRK 13,934 million, in Food HRK 8,267 million and in Agriculture HRK 2,604 million.
Having maintained the same level of EBITDA as in the previous year, with HRK 1,132 million realized in 2019 the Food Business segment made the largest contribution to the Group total. The highest positive effect on total revenue growth in Food was accounted for by the edible oils and meat divisions.
The highest growth of revenue and EBITDA in the Retail and Wholesale business area was accounted for by Konzum, whose EBITDA in 2019 outperformed the one from the previous year by 25.5 %. Total revenues generated by Croatia’s largest retail chain in 2019 grew by 4.5%, in spite of the fact that it had a lower number of stores than in the previous year. In the Agriculture segment the increase in revenue was mostly accounted for by PIK Vinkovci, while the highest growth of profits in 2019, was generated at Belje with HRK 62 million.
Fortenova grupa d.d. was able to continue the favourable operating trends in Q12020, with consolidated revenues, net of Mercator, amounting to HRK 4.814 million, while adjusted consolidated EBITDA for the period amounted to HRK 93.6 million.
At the same time, in Q12020 the Core segments generated unconsolidated total revenue growth of 8 %, while the unconsolidated EBITDA for the quarter amounted to HRK 245 million or 90 % more compared to the results generated by Agrokor d.d. in the period preceding the Settlement Plan implementation.
„The growth of all key performance indicators, particularly EBITDA, as well as the fact that we secured a smooth operational continuity, have proved that the numerous transformational processes that have been taking place at Fortenova grupa with a view to achieving significant cost control and improving efficiency, have borne fruit. Furthermore, as already known, over the course of 2019 the company refinanced its SPFA debt, implemented changes in organisation and governance and obtained a new capital and ownership structure. At the same time, Fortenova Group has been settling all its liabilities regularly and without exception and entered the year 2020 with a very strong cash position of HRK 1,635 million on its accounts. Hence the measures taken by the Group at the end of Q12020 in order to adjust its operations to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis were primarily directed at maintaining its strong liquidity and employment in order for the Fortenova grupa to be ready to move on once the crisis is over” – said Fabris Peruško, CEO of Fortenova Group at the presentation of the 2019 results to the holders of Depositary Receipt s, ie. the owners of the company.