2.8% organic growth in 2020

published on 02/28/2021 at 3:57 p.m.

Photo credit © reuters

(Boursier.com) – In a year marked by an unprecedented health and economic crisis, the Group Unibel achieved a turnover of 3.455 billion euros in 2020, up 1.6% compared to the previous year. Organic growth continued to progress and reached + 2.8%. Excluding restatement of the hyperinflation effect in Iran, it stands at + 3.2%. The currency impact included is -1.7% (58.7 million euros).

This organic growth in annual sales is driven by the positive dynamics of the core brands, in particular, Boursin, Kiri, Leerdammer and GoGo squeeZ in all of the Group’s markets. The year 2020 is marked by the return to growth of Bel France, Bel US, the Vache qui rit brand, as well as the continuation of the positive trajectory of MOM. Finally, sales of industrial and unbranded products fell by -5%, compared to the previous year, due to the decrease in the price of cream.

In the 4th quarter of the financial year, consolidated turnover reached 862.3 ME, down -1.8% compared to the 4th quarter of 2019. This change reflects a negative currency effect of -4.5% related to mainly to the appreciation of the euro against the dollar and organic growth of + 1.6%.

The Group has shown great resilience in a complex environment, and sees its two operating segments continue to grow on an organic basis. The contraction of the markets of North Africa and the Middle East was offset by the strong growth of the North American and European markets, supported by the success of the sales and marketing strategies deployed locally, as well as by the performance of MOM. In particular, Mini Babybel is returning to growth thanks to the success of the new activation campaign carried out in July and August 2020.

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Covid situation update

Throughout 2020, the Group has set itself the top priority of ensuring the health and safety of its employees by implementing very strict preventive measures at all of its sites around the world. Thanks to its agile operational management and its financial rigor, the Group has been able to quickly adapt to face the pandemic linked to Covid-19 and to mitigate its impacts. In particular, it took action to actively manage its stocks and raw materials in the light of fluctuating consumer demand and to limit the additional operational costs incurred by the management of the crisis.

Over the full year 2020, the Group estimates that the overall impact of the Covid-19 crisis on sales is insignificant, although there are significant disparities by geographic area. In France, the Benelux, the United Kingdom and the Gulf countries, local consumption, in particular of products for cooking at home, was particularly strong. On the contrary, Morocco and to a lesser extent Southern Europe have been adversely affected, while the estimated impact in North America is neutral.

Confirmation of 2020 earnings outlook

The transformation plan initiated at the end of 2018 continued in 2020. The associated cost reduction plan, intended to support growth, was successfully completed at the end of the year, in line with the previously announced objectives and schedule. Thanks to these cost reductions, to the renewed productivity efforts of industrial operations and to its rapid adaptation in terms of health, operation and finance to face the crisis linked to Covid-19, the Group should post a new improvement of its operating margin, as well as strong cash generation.

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With its long-term commitment to a healthier diet embodied by its new signature “For all. For good”, the Group is firmly committed to a model of responsible and profitable growth.

The Group will publish its results for fiscal 2020 on March 18.

©2021, Boursier.com

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