Huhtamäki Oyj’s Results January 1–December 31, 2019

Q4 2019 in brief
• Net sales increased 8 percent to EUR 875 million (EUR 813 million)
• Adjusted EBIT was EUR 75 million (EUR 62 million); reported EBIT was EUR 72 million (EUR 27 million)
• Adjusted EPS was EUR 0.48 (EUR 0.45); reported EPS was EUR 0.46 (EUR 0.17)
• Comparable net sales growth was 5 percent at Group level and 6 percent in emerging markets
• Currency movements had a positive impact of EUR 23 million on the Group’s net sales and EUR 2 million on EBIT

FY 2019 in brief
• Net sales increased 10 percent to EUR 3,399 million (EUR 3,104 million)
• Adjusted EBIT was EUR 293 million (EUR 251 million); reported EBIT was EUR 286 million (EUR 226 million)
• Adjusted EPS was EUR 1.88 (EUR 1.69); reported EPS was EUR 1.82 (EUR 1.49)
• Comparable net sales growth was 6 percent at Group level and 7 percent in emerging markets
• Currency movements had a positive impact of EUR 90 million on the Group’s net sales and EUR 8 million on EBIT
• Capital expenditure was EUR 204 million (EUR 197 million)
• Free cash flow was EUR 226 million (EUR 80 million)
• The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of EUR 0.89 (0.84) per share

Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO:
“We maintained our growth trend during the last quarter of the year in an economic environment challenged by the trade war between the USA and China, the announced Brexit and the amplified concerns around sustainability of the planet. Despite the uncertainty in the global economy, demand for foodservice and pre-packed food packaging was good in 2019. Our net sales reached EUR 3.4 billion for the year 2019, increasing by 10 percent with the comparable growth at 6 percent. All our business segments contributed, especially North America. Net sales increased as a result of positive volume development and pricing management. Currencies movements had a positive impact on net sales during the year.

Our profitability improved in the last quarter as well as during the full year, particularly driven by pricing and operational improvement in all businesses. Our adjusted EBIT margin increased to 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter and to 8.6 percent in 2019.

Good progress on many fronts continued during 2019. The ramp-up of Goodyear, our new plant in Arizona, United States, progressed well. In April, our new, state-of-the-art flexible packaging unit in Egypt was inaugurated and in October, our newest fiber packaging line was launched in Russia. In addition to investments in new units and packaging lines, we also announced three acquisitions during 2019: Everest Flexibles in South Africa, Mohan Mutha Polytech in India, and full ownership of our joint venture company Laminor in Brazil. All three acquisitions support our growth in developing markets.

In 2019, critical society matters have amplified particularly around sustainability, digitalization of the value chain and consumption shifts. Their implication on our industry are key variables considered in our ongoing strategy development. To address the demand for more sustainable packaging solutions, we continued in 2019 to invest into both fiber-based alternatives and recyclable packaging. Good examples are our investments into paper straws, fiber trays and recyclable mono-material flexible packaging under our blueloop™ concept.

Following our investments into both existing and new units, in new products and innovations, as well as the announced acquisitions, our balance sheet is healthy. With a net debt/EBITDA ratio of 2.0, we are well placed to invest in future growth. We continue our strategy of looking for both organic and acquired growth.”
more detail at: https://www.huhtamaki.com/en/media/media/stock-exchange-release/2020/huhtamaki-oyjs-results-january-1december-31-2019-strong-net-sales-growth-and-profitability-improvement-in-2019/

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