Vion Solid operational results
On the back of these solid operational results and its strong balance sheet, Vion reinstates its dividend with a first payment based on the results of 2017 of €9.5 mill.
• Net sales up 7% to €5.1 bn. (2016: €4.8 bn.)
• Normalised EBITDA from ongoing operations increased 5% to €64 mill. (2016: €61 mill.)
• Net profit of €22 mill. versus €39 mill. in 2016 as the result of €9 mill. lower tax benefits and €13 mill. higher restructuring and results on acquisitions and disposals
• Robust balance sheet with a solvency of 44.3% (2016: 42%)
• Dividend reinstated with a first payment based on the results of 2017 of €9.5 mill.
• Successful launch of “Good Farming Balance”, a demand-driven approach, to better capture the opportunities in the international pork markets
• Conversion to IFRS completed
• Publication of a second corporate social responsibility (CSR) report
Francis Kint, CEO Vion: “In 2017 we have achieved a lot. We improved our operational results for the second year in a row, with normalised EBITDA now up to €64 mill. At the same time, we continued our investment programme to improve our production footprint. Our investments now total €260 mill. over the last four years, while maintaining our solvency ratio comfortably above 44%. Realising that the meat industry is at the heart of societal debate, we are actively engaged in stakeholder dialogues and proposing and implementing solutions.”
In March Vion’s Pork division introduced “Good Farming Balance”, a demand-driven approach, to better capture the opportunities in the international pork markets, bringing improved perspectives for Dutch pig farmers. It was a success and more than 70% of the pigs purchased in the Netherlands are now contracted in one of Vion’s concepts (Good Farming Star, Good Farming Balance and De Groene Weg). To answer to the consumers’ increasing demand for upscale products, the company’s Beef division launched several families of products such as dry-aged, Simmenthal and regional origins. The Food Service division has continued to broaden its assortment with innovative concepts such as noodle sticks for the out-of-home segment and thus offer caterers and restaurants solutions to delight its guests.
The first CSR report, published in April 2017, was well received by all stakeholders and was followed in the meat industry. In the second CSR report, the company has widened the themes from the part of the value chain in which it is active to the entire chain. The company has also connected its topics and related initiatives to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The company has introduced two major societal issues in its report: the environmental aspects of livestock farming and greenhouse gas emissions of the meat production chain.
Following the launch of a dedicated website of transparency in Germany, the company expanded it in the Netherlands, through the launch in December 2017 of www.vion-transparantie.nl. On this website, Vion explains how it operates, publishes facts and data of audits and opens a forum for discussion with stakeholders.
2018 will be a pivotal year for Vion because many initiatives taken in the last years will start bearing fruit this year. While livestock prices have been increasing since the beginning of the year, this is so far not matched by increasing meat prices. The company expects the societal debates around livestock farming and meat production to strengthen and increase the relevance of the themes that Vion has put on the table since three years.