Chr. Hansen has reported that 2016-17 was another good year in which it delivered on its operational and strategic priorities and achieved strong financial results while continuing to build long-term growth opportunities.
“Organic growth reached 10%, and the EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin before special items ended at 28.9%, up from 28.2% the year before. Finally, free cash flow before special items and acquisitions was 188 million euros, an improvement of 7% despite considerable investments in both new capacity and future growth opportunities, in line with our 'Nature’s No. 1' strategy,” chief executive officer Cees de Jong said.
Food Cultures & Enzymes and Health & Nutrition both delivered strong growth, performing slightly above the long-term ambitions for these businesses, while Natural Colors grew in line with ambitions. This meant Chr. Hansen reached the high end of revenue expectations, de Jong noted. Profitability improved in all areas, and the significant profitability improvement in Natural Colors was particularly encouraging.
Revenue in bioprotection reportedly grew by around 30%, and the company just launched a range of second-generation products to fuel future momentum in this category.
In plant health, Chr. Hansen received registration for two new products ahead of schedule. In the human microbiome, the company said it expanded its strain library with lead candidates targeting gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic health.
Shortly after the end of its financial year, the company completed the large capacity expansion for dairy cultures in Copenhagen, Denmark -- a complex project that Chr. Hansen said has been executed fully according to plan.
The key focus for Chr. Hansen continues to be strong organic growth through innovation and making good progress in many of its strategic initiatives.
For 2017-18, the company is projecting organic revenue growth of 8-10% and an EBIT margin before special items of close to the 28.9% achieved in 2016-17. Also projected is a free cash flow before special items, acquisitions and divestments of around the 188 million euros achieved in 2016-17.
Chr. Hansen is a leading global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. It develops and produces cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors for a variety of foods, confectionery, beverages, dietary supplements as well as animal feed and plant protection. Its product innovation is based on more than 30,000 microbial strains, and its solutions enable food manufacturers to produce more with less while also reducing the use of chemicals and other synthetic additives.
Revenue in the 2016-17 financial year totaled 1.063 billion euros. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen.