Organic and acquisition-driven sales growth with a significantly improved EBITDA
October-December 2020 (fourth quarter)
● Net sales amounted to SEK 1,083 million (825). Organic growth amounted to 10.4 percent. This was achieved despite certain disruptions in the supply chain attributable to Covid-19.
● EBITDA amounted to SEK 114 million (81) before items affecting comparability,
corresponding to a margin of 10.5 percent (9.8).
● Profit for the period was SEK 55 million (35), corresponding to earnings per share of SEK 0.85 (0.64) before and after dilution.
● Free cash flow amounted to SEK 102 million (103).
● Midsona acquired System Frugt A/S, a leading Nordic player in plant-based foods with its premium Earth Control brand.
● Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri and sustainability website Aktuell Hållbarhet named Midsona as the most sustainable company on OMX Nasdaq Stockholm in the FMCG category.
January-December 2020 (full-year)
● Net sales amounted to SEK 3,709 million (3,081). Organic growth amounted to 3.9 percent.
● EBITDA amounted to SEK 390 million (290) before items affecting comparability,
corresponding to a margin of 10.5 percent (9.4).
● Profit for the period was SEK 176 million (97), corresponding to earnings per share of SEK 2.70 (2.02) before dilution and SEK 2.69 (2.02) after dilution.
● Free cash flow amounted to SEK 252 million (155).
● A different year characterised by both positive and negative factors attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
● For 2020, a dividend of SEK 1.25 per share (1.25) is proposed, corresponding to SEK 81,255,760 (81,255,760) before the on-going issue in the warrant programme.
Change in Group Management after the end of the period
● Max Bokander took office as the CFO for Midsona on 11 January 2021.
Comment by the CEO
Midsona's strongest quarter ever
Midsona concluded the very special year 2020 strongly. From consumers bunkering products contributing to a strong start to the year, the trend shifted to a temporary sales decrease in the summer when several countries lifted their restrictions. In this respect, the fourth quarter is the most normal of the year; we saw neither bunkering tendencies nor restraint, but rather the consumers seemed to have resumed earlier consumption patterns. The fourth quarter was our strongest quarter ever in terms of sales and earnings. Net sales of SEK 1,083 million was above one billion Swedish kronor in a single quarter for the first time. Organic growth amounted to more than 10 percent.
The net sales increase is primarily attributable to the acquisition of the Danish company System Frugt, which is part of the Group from 7 October and has had a very good start. The fourth quarter is also System Frugt's strongest by far in terms of the season. System Frugt strengthens our position in dried fruit and nuts in the Nordic region and is a platform for continued growth in plant-based foods. In order to not risk disrupting sales in the key fourth quarter, the integration of System Frugt was not initiated until the end of the quarter and the gains from synergies will begin to have some effects in the first quarter of 2021.
Our organic roll-out has gained speed
During the quarter, we saw organic growth in all three of our business areas. The strategic roll-out of a broad assortment of organic products in FMCG in Europe, which began in the spring, was interrupted in the middle of the year due to the pandemic, but gained speed again in the fourth quarter. The Davert brand grew strongly in the DACH region and the continued roll-out of Happy Bio in the French and Spanish FMCG was very strong. We have new listings with several leading players that both filled and refilled the shelves with our organic products.
Clear focus on sustainability and a stake on plant-based meat alternatives
In December, we announced the investment of around SEK 45 million in our production unit for plant-based meat alternatives in Castellcir in northern Spain. This investment means a sharply increased production capacity at the same time that economies of scale and improved efficiency will entail lower costs. The production facility will be the hub for our plant-based meat alternatives and provide the Group's operations with products. With this investment, we intend to double sales in plant-based meat alternatives to around SEK 300 million. We are at the beginning of a paradigm shift as consumers replace meat with plant-based sources of protein. Demand for plant-based alternatives has steadily increased in recent years and is expected to continue to grow as growing numbers of people see the benefit of a plant-based diet for both personal health and the well-being of the planet. Our entire strategy and business idea build on a passion for healthy, natural and sustainable food, which makes sustainability a well-integrated part of our business. To continue to develop and be on the forefront, we devote extensive resources to our sustainability efforts and were therefore very proud in November to receive, from Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri and sustainability website Aktuell Hållbarhet, the award as the stock exchange's most sustainable company in the FMCG category, where we were competing with the giants of the industry.
Strong financial position
Altogether, we had a very good quarter and it was pleasing that this was also visible in a strong cash flow from operating activities of SEK 113 million. In light of our stable financial position, the Board of Directors has decided to propose to the annual general meeting a dividend of SEK 1.25 per share, which is unchanged from the previous year. The dividend proposal is in line with the company's financial target of a dividend ratio of at least 30 percent of profit after tax, at the same time that financial flexibility is maintained for acquisitions.
We have a strong ambition to reinvest our profits in the business and continue to evaluate acquisitions in Europe. Our strong history of incorporating products and businesses, together with our size and our geographic coverage, makes us an attractive partner, which we notice in our discussions with potential acquisition objects. In accordance with our strategy, I hope and believe we will be able to make further complementary acquisitions in one or more of our three divisions in 2021.
I am proud of how well our organisation has handled the challenges we were faced with in 2020. We are beginning 2021 with confidence, but considering the strong product bunkering that took place in the first quarter of 2020, the comparative figures for the current quarter are challenging. We have a strong portfolio of healthy products that the consumers have clearly shown that they appreciate and we are steadfast in our optimistic view of the future. The strategy we have worked by for several years has been successful and I see opportunities for a continued strong development in upcoming years. I am looking forward to keeping you updated.
This is information of the type that Midsona AB is obligated to make public in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication through the agency of Peter Åsberg and Max Bokander on 5 February 2021 at 8 am CET.
This information was distributed by Cision http://www.cisionwire.se/