Trading update Q1 2018: Continuous brand growth despite strong prior year comparison; guidance for 2018 affirmed
Q1 2018 highlights
· Autonomous growth in own brands 4.3%
· In-line with strategy, further reduction of private label and distribution business
· EBITE of €16.7 million, equal to 10% of revenue
Given some strong pipeline effects in Q1 2017, our branded sales growth in the first quarter of 2018 was softer in comparison to last year.
Given the one-off nature of these effects and continued strong sales to the consumer and market share gains on several of our key brands we remain positive for the development of 2018 as a whole.
Investment in A&P in Q1 was higher than last year and is expected to accelerate growth in the coming 9 months.
As expected we saw double-digit decline in private label and distribution brands in the quarter.
Our biggest brand, Bjorg showed healthy growth but below prior year due to a significant pipeline fill in one of our main grocery customers in March 2017.
Market share and consumer sell out were up and main innovations such as the organic gluten-free range, chilled vegetarian meal options and dairy alternative yoghurts performed well. Bonneterre had a good quarter in the HFS channel in France.
Zonnatura started the year with an impactful communications campaign with a well-known Dutch celebrity, Rico Verhoeven.
Clipper delivered another quarter of double-digit growth across most countries.
Isola Bio performed well ahead of last year in Italy but was affected by slower sales in some Export countries.
Whole Earth grew at double-digit levels while Mrs Crimble's was flat in the UK as a result of pruning of non-core categories.
Our German business delivered good growth overall driven by extended Grocery listings for Clipper and a turnaround of Allos in the HFS trade. Tartex, however was negative in the quarter given a significant customer pipeline fill in Q1 2017.
In Spain we continued to grow strongly in the Grocery channel while performance in the HFS channel was softer.
Gayelord Hauser suffered a significant decline as consumers are leaving the dietetic market in France resulting in reduction of trade support. Our newly developed range of products is starting to gain traction.
In Q1 revenue increased by 1.4% to €166.7 million. Autonomous growth of our own brands was 4.3% and total autonomous revenue growth amounted to 1.7% as a result of continued decline in private label and distribution brands (above (10%)).
The depreciation of the British pound contributed (0.3)%.
We remain confident that 2018 will be a successful year for us and an important step in further strengthening our business and our position in the market place.
Analyst & investor meeting
At 10h00 CET, a conference call for analysts, investors, and media will be hosted by Ronald Merckx (CFO). The dial-in number is +31(0)20 531 5845. There will also be a live audio webcast via www.wessanen.com
The press release and presentation are available for download at www.wessanen.com.
Media, investor & analyst enquiries
Ronald Merckx (CFO)
Phone +31 (0)20 3122 126
Important dates 2018
20-07-2018 Publication Q2 2018 interim results
19-10-2018 Publication Q3 2018 trading update
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Wessanen via Globenewswire