Glanbia will continue to expand via organic growth and acquisitions, managing director of the food group Siobhán Talbot said.
The global nutrition group has just posted 2015 pre-tax profits of €271.0m, up 10.5% in constant currency, and up 29.4% on reported figures for 2014. Group revenues were €3.667bn, down 7.4%. Pre-tax earnings were €310.7m, up 9%.
Adjusted earnings per share of 79.14c were up 10.6% in constant currency, and up 29.4% on reported figures. Analysts at Davy lifted their earnings per share forecast by around 4% to 86c.
The group’s Performance Nutrition division’s protein powders and other products earned Glanbia €135.6m in 2015. Global Ingredients earned €106.6m, and Dairy Ireland €28.8m.
“We are really pleased with the performance,” said Ms Talbot. “This is our sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth. We have done well in recent years; the figures show the underlying strength in the business.”
The group’s joint ventures and associates performed in line with expectations. Operating cash flow improved by €75.2m to €281.4m. The group has recommended a full-year dividend of 12.1c per share, an increase of 10%. Analysts at both Davy and Merrion have endorsed this guidance.
“We’re in constant growth mode,” said Ms Talbot. “We will continue to grow through a blend of organic expansion plus acquisitions. We have banking facilities in place for this growth. Our acquisitions in 2014, [US sports nutrition business] Isopure and [Scandinavian sports nutrition firm] Nutramino have performed well.
“Our strategy is to respond to global megatrends of nutrition as consumers focus on active, healthy lifestyles, seek protein and exert a focus on where their food comes from. Responding to these trends, Glanbia takes pure and clean ingredients including milk, whey and grains and using our expertise, we produce high-quality nutritional ingredients and branded products for consumers worldwide.”
Still a big player in the global dairy industry, Glanbia’s diversified portfolio is now largely insulated against dairy market volatility.
Last December, the group invested €202.4m in acquiring thinkThin, a US-based lifestyle nutrition brand operating in the protein enriched nutrition bar and snacks category. Net sales for thinkThin in the year to the end of December 2015 were $87m (€79m).
In April, Glanbia disposed of its interests in Nutricima, a Nigerian-based developer of dairy-based drinks and powders, to its joint venture partner PZ Cussons for €28.5m. Glanbia said that the impact of this disposal on the group’s 2015 earnings was immaterial.
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