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Chr. Hansen continues its growth in the first quarter of 2009/2010

Press Release   •   Jan 20, 2010 08:45 GMT

In spite of the general economic recession Chr. Hansen continues to experience solid growth. Sales in local currencies increased by 12% to EUR 128 million, corresponding to a growth of 6% in EUR. Better product mix and improved margins resulted in a 19% growth in EBITDA, while EBIT increased by 30% despite negative currency development.

  • 12 % growth in local currencies (adjusted for acquisitions and divestments)
    All three divisions experienced double digit growth rates
  • EBITDA before special items increased by 19% to EUR 40 million
  • EBITDA margin was 30.9% compared to 27.4% in the corresponding
    period last year
  • EBIT increased by 30% to EUR 28 million


”We have had a strong first quarter and are well prepared to capture future growth not least due to our EUR 55 million investment in the world’s largest culture plant and our continued R&D spending. It is satisfactory to see that despite adverse exchange rates and challenging market conditions, we experience both solid top- and bottom-line growth, and we look forward to yet another robust year” says Lars Frederiksen, CEO.



Chr. Hansen Holding A/S

(EUR million)

1st quarter

2009/10

1st quarter

2008/09

Growth

(in EUR)

Revenue

128

121

6%

EBITDA before special items

40

33

19%

EBITDA

39

32

22%

EBIT

28

22

30%

Net interest bearing debt

827

923

-10%



The sales growth has been strong within all three divisions despite challenging market conditions.

Sales within Chr. Hansen’s largest business division, Cultures and Enzymes Division have shown growth in local currencies of 10%. The sales growth is driven by conversion to advanced culture solutions in all markets. New products introduced by Chr. Hansen in particular to the yoghurt market combined with increased sales activities in the Asian markets further support the growth.

The Health & Nutrition Division, selling probiotics to the food supplement and agricultural industries, has increased sales in local currencies by 25%. We continue to see a strong demand for probiotic solutions for the Human Health area in all geographic areas.

Sales from the Color Division have grown in local currencies by a record 12%. The strong trend towards a shift to natural colors driven by consumer preferences is the main reason for the growth. In addition Chr. Hansen has launched a number of new products including a natural white color which has been very favourably received by the market.

EBITDA before special items improved by 19% and EBIT by 30% due to increased volumes, gross margin improvement and cautious cost management. The free cash flow developed positively and hence, net interest bearing debt was reduced further, from EUR 923 million to EUR 827 million.

In the quarter, Chr Hansen has launched several new products such as a third generation of Yo-Flex® yoghurt cultures, the new coagulation enzyme CHY-MAX® M and additional shades of natural CapColors®. The group continues to focus on research and development and during the quarter the innovation pipeline has been further strengthened.

Expectations for the year

For the full fiscal year 2009/10, sales growth is expected to continue in line with previous years. Profitability is expected to grow faster than sales.

Ownership

The owner of the company, PAI partners, is evaluating the possibility to list the company within the coming years.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Lars Frederiksen, CEO, Chr. Hansen
Phone: 4574 7474

Kristine Ahrensbach, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Chr. Hansen
Phone.: 4574 7623
Cell: 2249 5115

Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The products include cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors, and all solutions are based on strong research and development competencies coupled with significant technology investments. Revenue in the 2013/14 financial year was EUR 756 million. The company holds a leading market position in all its divisions: Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors. It has more than 2,500 dedicated employees in over 30 countries and main production facilities in Denmark, France, USA and Germany. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.

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