Statement by CEO Mauricio Graber: “The solid results for Q1 show the strength of our business model. Organic growth reached 10%, driven by both volume and pricing initiatives and EBIT b.s.i. increased by 17% supported by the organic growth and exchange rates, leading to an EBIT margin b.s.i. of 24.7%. In light of the Q1 performance, we maintain our underlying target for the year but update the outlook to reflect current exchange rate levels.
We will maintain a clear and strong focus on executing our targets for the financial year 2022/23 while preparing for the proposed merger with Novozymes, which offers an exciting opportunity to create a leading global biosolutions partner based on strong complementary technology platforms, highly dedicated employees and a customer-centric approach.”
Q1 2022/23 highlights
Revenue amounted to EUR 310 million, up 15% from EUR 268 million in Q1 2021/22.
Organic growth was 10% in Q1 2022/23 driven by a mix of volume and price growth. Food Cultures & Enzymes organic growth was 8% mainly driven by price initiatives, but with good volume growth above underlying markets. Health & Nutrition organic growth was 12% driven by volume. The Lighthouses (Bioprotection, Fermented Plant Bases, Plant Health, and HMO) were impacted by the timing of orders and delivered 4% organic growth combined in Q1, while the core businesses delivered 10% organic growth.
EBIT b.s.i. amounted to EUR 77 million, up 17% from EUR 65 million in Q1 2021/22. The increase was driven by a positive contribution from exchange rates and pricing initiatives, which was partly offset by a negative impact from higher input costs.
The EBIT margin b.s.i. was 24.7%, up from 24.4% in Q1 2021/22. The improved margin was due to a positive contribution from exchange rates, which was partly offset by continuing inflationary pressures, despite ongoing price initiatives.
Free cash flow b.a.s.i. amounted to EUR 17 million, down from EUR 55 million last year, as the cash flow from operating activities b.a.s.i. was negatively impacted by a change in working capital and higher taxes paid.
On December 12, 2022 Chr. Hansen and Novozymes announced that the two companies had entered into an agreement to create a leading global biosolutions partner through a statutory merger. Work has been initiated to seek customary merger control and other regulatory approvals from relevant authorities, while the extraordinary general meeting for shareholder approval is currently expected to be held in the first half of the calendar year 2023.
The current exchange rate level for the EUR/USD stands at 1.07 versus 0.97 at the time of the initial 2022/23 outlook provided on October 12, 2022. To reflect the 10% depreciation of the USD we update the outlook for the year regarding the impact of exchange rates on revenue, EBIT margin b.s.i. and cashflow b.a.s.i. The expectations for the underlying business incl. organic growth, EBIT margin b.s.i. and cash flow b.a.s.i. net of exchange rates remains unchanged.