Atria Plc, Interim report, 25 April 2023, 8.00 am
Interim report of Atria Plc, 1 January–31 March 2023
Atria’s net sales increased - strong performance by Atria Finland
- Consolidated net sales totalled EUR 428.0 million (EUR 374.8 million).
- Consolidated EBIT was EUR 10.9 million (EUR 2.3 million), or 2.5% (0.6%) of net sales.
- Consolidated net sales increased as a result of increased sales prices and stable sales volumes.
- EBIT grew in Finland, where the first quarter was successful. Sweden's EBIT was burdened by additional costs caused by the transfer of production of approximately EUR 1.3 million.
- The costs of raw materials, supplies, energy and external services were higher than in the comparison period.
- Atria initiated change negotiations concerning the rearrangement of pig slaughtering and cutting at Atria’s Nurmo plant in Finland. In Denmark, an efficiency programme was launched to improve profitability.
- The change in consumer behavior caused by the economic recession has favoured the sales of Atria’s diverse product range, especially in the retail sector.
- Atria started purchasing Series A treasury shares in March. A maximum of 100,000 shares will be purchased, which corresponds to approximately 0.35% of the company’s stock.
- The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.70 (EUR 0.63) be paid for each share for the 2022 financial period.
|Atria Denmark & Estonia||28.2||26.0||112.9|
|Net sales, total||428.0||374.8||1,696.7|
|EBIT before items affecting comparability|
|Atria Denmark & Estonia||-0.5||0.8||1.2|
|Adjusted EBIT, %||2.5%||0.6%||2.9%|
|Items affecting comparability of EBIT:|
|Refund of employment pension contribution*||0.0||0.0||1.3|
|Sale of real estate in Malmö*||0.0||0.0||9.7|
|Impairment of goodwill and trademarks**||0.0||0.0||-51.1|
|Effect of the sale of subsidiary, Sibylla Rus**||0.0||0.0||-8.8|
|Profit before taxes||8.9||2.9||1.7|
|Earnings per share, EUR||0.23||0.09||-0.19|
|Adjusted earnings per share, EUR||0.23||0.09||1.43|
|* Included in other operating income|
|** Included in other operating expenses|
Juha Gröhn, CEO
“Our net sales for Q1 totalled EUR 428.0 million, up by more than EUR 50 million year-on-year. EBIT increased from EUR 2.3 million to EUR 10.9 million. We can be satisfied with both the growth and improved EBIT.
The strong performance by Atria Finland laid the foundation for the growth and improved EBIT. In an operating environment where costs are increasing, improving or even maintaining financial results requires strong net sales growth, and we succeeded very well in this respect in Finland. In other business areas, growth remained too low, which is reflected in the results of the Sweden, Denmark & Estonia business areas.
In Sweden, net sales and profit performance were weakened by the sale of Sibylla Russia in spring 2022. Net sales, measured in local currencies, increased by 16% when Sibylla Russia is excluded from the comparison period’s figures. The transfer of production from the Malmö plant, which will be closed, to the Sköllersta plant has proceeded according to plan and generated additional costs. Our capacity to deliver has remained good during the transfer.
In Denmark, sales fell short from the target, but our market position is still stable. The proportion of campaign sales has increased as a result of increased price awareness among consumers. In Estonia, sales were good, and during Q1, we were able to set sales prices at a level that corresponds with the current cost level.
The Foodservice market developed better than we expected at the end of last year. Of course, the year-on-year comparison figures are quite modest due to the COVID-19 restrictions applied last year. In sales to retail, net sales increased but volumes decreased slightly.
Consumers’ weakened purchasing power is reflected in their purchasing behaviour: they seek less expensive products and shopping places. For Atria, this shift will not generate needs to renew our product range, as we have a wide selection and comprehensive customer base. The share of store brands has been increasing, but Atria has succeeded well, thanks to its strong brands.
The large investments in the Nurmo poultry plant in Finland and the Sköllersta meat product plant and logistics centre in Sweden have proceeded partly even ahead of schedule.
During the first months of the year, the growth of inventories turned to a slight decrease. Net interest-bearing liabilities increased by EUR 43 million from year-end by the end of March due to the large cash flow from investments.
Responsibility requires practical actions, such as the extended implementation of renewable energy. The solar power plant in the Nurmo plant area was expanded. After the expansion, 8% of the electrical energy used by Atria’s Nurmo plant comes from solar energy.”
January - March 2023
Atria Group’s net sales in January– March were EUR 428.0 million (EUR 374.8 million). Consolidated EBIT was EUR 10.9 million (EUR 2.3 million), or 2.5% (0.6%) of net sales.
Consolidated net sales increased as a result of increased sales prices and stable sales volumes. In addition, Ab Korv-Görans Kebab Oy acquired by Atria late last year increased net sales in Finland. The change in consumer behaviour has favoured the sales of Atria’s diverse product range, especially in the retail sector.
EBIT was significantly better than in the corresponding period last year. EBIT grew in Finland, where the first quarter was successful. The costs of raw materials, supplies, energy and external services were significantly higher than in the comparison period. The comparison period’s EBIT was low due to the rapid increase in costs.
Atria’s ongoing investments are proceeding as planned. The construction and building technology preparation of the new poultry plant in Nurmo are proceeding according to schedule, and the first process equipment installations are underway. A new logistics centre was inaugurated at the Sköllersta plant, Sweden, in January. The first production lines were transferred from the Malmö plant to Sköllersta during the review period. Along with the investments, interest-bearing liabilities have also increased. Despite this, the Group's liquidity has remained good.
Lars Ohlin, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, and member of Atria Group’s Management Team retired as of 1 March 2023. Lars Ohlin has been working for Atria since 2007 and as Executive Vice President, Human Resources and a member of the Management Team since 2016.
Atria Finland’s net sales for January–March were EUR 323.5 million (EUR 274.3 million). Net sales grew in all sales channels except exports. The increased net sales resulted from increased sales volumes and higher sales prices for retail and Foodservice customers. In addition, Ab Korv-Görans Kebab Oy acquired by Atria late last year increased net sales. Atria’s diverse product range has been selling very well in the current market with weakened consumer purchasing power. EBIT totalled EUR 14.9 million (EUR 3.0 million). EBIT was significantly better than in the corresponding period last year, thanks to increased sales. In addition, the sales structure was favourable, absence due to sick leaves decreased significantly from the previous year, and operational efficiency was at a good level. The comparison period’s (Q1/ 2022) EBIT was low due to the rapid increase in costs. The costs of raw materials, supplies, commodities and external services were still significantly higher than in the comparison period. Meat producer prices were also significantly higher than in the corresponding period in the previous year.
Atria Sweden’s net sales for January–March were EUR 81.8 million (EUR 82.1 million). The net sales and EBIT for the comparison period include the Sibylla Russia business, which was sold in May 2022. The growth of net sales in local currencies, excluding the Russian fast-food business, was 16%. Sales price increases strengthened net sales. EBIT was EUR -3.3 million (EUR -0.9 million). Raw material prices have remained very high during the review period. Atria Sweden purchases the pork and beef used in its products from Sweden or elsewhere in the EU. The price of pork started increasing in the EU towards the end of the period. This, combined with the weakening of the Swedish Krona, has had a negative impact on Atria Sweden’s profitability. Sales prices were increased during the review period, but this was not sufficient to cover the increased costs. Meat product production was transferred from the Malmö plant to the Sköllersta plant, Örebro, during the review period according to plans. The Malmö plant will be closed later this year. The production transfer generated approximately EUR 1.3 million of additional costs, which deteriorated EBIT for the review period.
Atria Denmark & Estonia’s net sales in January–March were EUR 28.2 million (EUR 26.0 million). EBIT was EUR -0.5 million (EUR 0.8 million). Atria’s net sales in Estonia grew by approximately 20 per cent year-on-year as a result of increases in sales prices. Sales volumes remained at the comparison period’s level in Estonia. In Denmark, lower sales volumes affected net sales. The sales volumes have decreased due to price increases and changes in consumer behaviour. Consumers are now choosing inexpensive Private Label and campaign products. In addition, the continued high raw material costs affected EBIT. The sales price increases have not been sufficient to cover the rapidly rising costs.
|Shareholders´ equity per share EUR||15.62||16.33||15.90|
|Equity ratio, %||44.5%||49.2%||44.8%|
|Net gearing, %||60.7%||45.6%||50.5%|
|Free cash flow||-40.3*||-56.7*||-47.7**|
|% of net sales||6.4%||5.7%||7.7%|
|*1 Jan – 31 March|
|**1 Jan – 31 Dec 2022|
News on responsibility: Atria Finland introduces bio-based plastic in its mince packaging
Atria Finland’s vacuum-packed mince will be sold in packages made from bio-based material from now on. The majority of materials used in the package are renewable. Replacing the fossil-based plastic with bio-based plastic will reduce the package’s carbon dioxide emissions by 48%. Thanks to the new packaging, the amount of fossil-based plastic used in packaging will reduce by approximately 120,000 kg per year.
Atria Finland joined the Diversity Commitment of Finnish Business & Society (FIBS), the biggest corporate responsibility network in the Nordic countries. According to this Commitment, the company undertakes to voluntarily promote diversity, inclusion and equality in its work community. The Commitment is based on four principles: We offer equal opportunities, identify and utilise individual skills and needs, manage our personnel fairly, and communicate our objectives and achievements.
The solar power plant extension carried out by Atria Finland in cooperation with Solarigo Systems Oy at the Nurmo plant has been taken into use. With this, the panel capacity of the first plant commissioned in 2018 almost doubled. Approximately 8% of Atria’s Nurmo plant’s annual energy consumption is covered by solar power. After the commissioning of the extension, Atria’s annual solar power output will be roughly 9,000 MWh. The project reduces total emissions even further and improves the production facilities’ energy efficiency, also increasing Atria’s energy self-sufficiency.
In cooperation with Valio and Natural Resources Institute Finland, Atria Finland has been developing a nationwide calculation model for the carbon footprint of cattle farms. During the last year, Atria and Valio have been preparing the Carbo® calculator, which is based on the calculation model and suitable for beef cattle and suckler cow farms. With this calculator, Atria’s more than 1,200 contract farms specialising in beef production can calculate the farm’s environmental impacts and explore the most efficient ways to reduce these impacts. Atria will make the Carbo® calculator available to all of its contract producers this spring.
Outlook for the future
Atria Group’s adjusted EBIT in 2023 is expected to be smaller than in the previous year (EUR 49.0 million).
During 2023, the company will commission a major expansion at its Sköllersta plant in Sweden, and the phased start-up and testing of the new poultry plant in Nurmo will begin. These measures will result in additional costs in 2023.
In addition, high costs, weakened consumer purchasing power and global political uncertainty will continue to affect the business environment in 2023. Atria’s strong market position and strong brands, good customer relationships and reliable industrial processes will enable stable business also in 2023.
Board of Directors’ proposal for profit distribution for 2022
The Board of Directors proposes that a dividend of EUR 0.70 (EUR 0.63) be paid for each share for the 2022 financial period.
Atria Plc complies with the disclosure procedure in accordance with standard 5.2b of the Financial Supervisory Authority and publishes its interim report for 1 January to 31 March 2023 as an attachment to this stock exchange release. The full release is available on the company's website at www.atria.com.
Publication of the interim report
Atria Plc's CEO Juha Gröhn will present the company's interim report in a webcast today, 25 April, at 10:00 - 11:00 am. The webcast is available on Atria's website at www.atria.fi/konserni/sijoittajat/ in Finnish language. During the webcast, you can ask questions in writing via chat. The recording of the press conference and the presentation material of the event will be available during the same day at www.atria.fi/konserni/sijoittajat/taloustieto/osavuosikatsaukset/.
Board of Directors
For more information, please contact: Juha Gröhn, CEO, Atria Plc, tel. +358 400 684224.
Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd
The interim report is available on our website at www.atria.com.