- Preliminary business results 2019 confirmed: year-on-year revenue growth, EBIT and EBITDA at the upper end of the forecast range
- Proposed dividend of EUR 0.28 per share
- Coronavirus pandemic – Withdrawal of forecast for the 2020 financial year, impacts on quarterly results Q1 2020. Long-term growth strategy is maintained.
Haselünne, March 26, 2020 – Berentzen-Gruppe Aktiengesellschaft, which is listed on the regulated market (General Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE0005201602), today published its Annual Report for the 2019 financial year. In the report, the Group confirms its preliminary business results published on February 4, 2020 for the previous financial year. Based on those figures, the corporate group recorded consolidated revenues of EUR 167.4 million (2018: EUR 162.2 million), which constitutes a 3.2 percent rise year on year. Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (consolidated EBIT) amounted to EUR 9.8 million in the 2019 financial year (2018: EUR 9.8 million), while consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (consolidated EBITDA) totalled EUR 18.4 million (2018: EUR 17.3 million).
“Today we are looking back at a financial year that met our expectations in full”, explains Oliver Schwegmann, member of the Executive Board of Berentzen-Gruppe Aktiengesellschaft, and carries on: “The more we regret that today we had to lower our forecast for fiscal year 2020 due to the unpredictable impacts of the current Coronavirus Pandemic, even though we remain convinced of the success of our long-term growth strategy.” The Berentzen Group had published a corresponding capital market information today.
“In the 2019 financial year, our three key performance indicators of revenue, EBIT and EBITDA are within the ranges forecasted by us – – and EBIT and EBITDA are even on the upper end. On the whole, this shows that we worked successfully and profitably once again in the past financial year and are in an extremely robust position as a corporate group. Against this background, we see ourselves as well prepared as possible for the special challenges currently facing us due to the Coronavirus, even though we may not achieve our original goals in full this year,” says Schwegmann.
According to Schwegmann, consolidated gross profit in 2019 was significantly higher than in the previous year. “At the same time, we followed through on our plans to increase our investments in qualified staff, technology and marketing considerably in order to implement our profitable growth strategy sustainably over the long term”, says Schwegmann. This is why consolidated EBIT remained at the previous-year level, he explains.
All three segments – Spirits, Non-alcoholic Beverages and Fresh Juice Systems – contributed to the year-on-year rise in revenue of EUR 5.2 million with growth rates of between 3.0 and 6.4 percent. Schwegmann says that the Berentzen Group is bucking the market trend with this growth.
He cites one stand-out highlight in the 2019 financial year as the impressive development of the Mio Mio brand once again. “Although we had already achieved a notable level of sales, we experienced further growth of 33 percent with Mio Mio products. That’s something we are especially proud of“, says Schwegmann.
Outlook for the 2020 financial year and expected result in the first quarter of 2020
Within the framework of the Annual Report 2019, the Berentzen Group today also published its Forecast Report for the financial year 2020, which in particular also reflects the expectations of the Group with regard to its earnings development. This Forecast Report for the financial year 2020 was based on the integrated group planning as well as on market and company assessments of the Berentzen Group, which were still valid at the time of the preparation of the consolidated financial statements on March 16, 2020.
However, in view of the rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic since then and particularly in the last few days, the state crisis measures introduced in connection with it and their drastic impacts on the economy, a sufficiently reliable and secure assessment of the course of Berentzen Group's business development in the 2020 financial year is no longer possible. “Against this background, it is unfortunately not possible for us to make a serious assessment of our business performance this year. Our 2020 Forecast Report is therefore no longer valid, even though we remain convinced of the sustainability of our business model and the long-term success of our strategic orientation”, says Schwegmann. Currently, there are three factors in particular that have a negative impact on the 2020 financial year. “Firstly, we are already feeling the impacts of the fact that the gastronomy business with spirits and non-alcoholic beverages has almost come to a complete standstill. Secondly, it is understandable that marketing activities in the food retailing sector are no longer being implemented as agreed, in order to avoid unnecessarily endangering sales staff and customers by increasing customer frequency. And thirdly, in our Fresh Juice Systems segment we are currently experiencing an increasingly noticeable decline in orders for fruit presses, because capital goods are currently being avoided to a large extent in this crisis, both for our retail partners and especially for our gastronomy customers, such as hotels or cafés," Schwegmann explains the background.
Due to the current dynamic and unique nature of the situation and the associated uncertainties, a new, updated forecast is not possible at present. "Moreover, according to our latest estimates, we already expect that, despite all the countermeasures already taken, we will close the first quarter of 2020 with a clearly positive result, but lower than in the same period of the previous year," says Schwegmann.
“We are currently assuming that the impacts of the Coronavirus are more likely to be felt in the short term, but that we will nevertheless operate solidly and profitably this year. We are convinced that our sustainable growth strategy will again tie on its success achieved so far”. Against this backdrop, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose a dividend of EUR 0.28 per share to the upcoming annual general meeting (2018: EUR 0.28 per share). This means that roughly 53 percent of the consolidated profit is to be distributed.