In the first nine months of the 2012/2013 fiscal year (as of June 30), KWS SAAT SE (ISIN: DE0007074007) recorded a growth in sales for all product segments. The corn and cereals businesses achieved double-digit growth rates. Business trends in the third quarter are decisive for KWS’s annual success, as it is during this period that the main sales drivers, corn and sugarbeet, are sown. Following this encouraging development, the company confirms the forecast announced in February 2012/2013, despite an increased R&D budget.
Corn is growing strongly – cereal sales top €100 million mark for the first time
In the first nine months of the 2012/2013 fiscal year, KWS benefited significantly from the strong development of the corn business in North and South America and the sugarbeet seed business in the USA. The cereals business, where sales exceeded €100 million for the first time, also developed very positively. Overall, KWS Group sales increased by 11.0% to €880.9 million, while the operating result (EBIT) increased by 8.5% to €185.6 million.
In relation to the individual business units, the corn segment remains the strongest sales driver in the group. The segment benefited from the positive development of new business activities in South America, renewed growth of the North American joint venture AgReliant and market share gains in France. Sales of corn seed increased by 13.0% to €524.2 million, with an EBIT increased by 15.7% to €105.1 million. There will be another seasonal fall in the segment result for the fourth quarter.
In the sugarbeet segment, which also includes seed-potato activities, reductions in acreage related to the price of sugar led to lower sales in the EU-27, as well as in Russia and Ukraine. This effect was offset by market share gains in North America, however. Segment sales increased by 5.3% to €247.5 million. At €76.8 million, the EBIT was at the previous year’s level.
Sales in the cereals segment increased significantly by 19.8% to €104.8 million. This trend was buoyed by good business development in Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. KWS’s cereals business is essentially determined by the sales of winter cereals. Hybrid rye is the largest sales driver here with more than 50%. The segment result increased to €31.9 million in proportion to sales. However, earnings will decrease again by the end of the fiscal year, as the planned structural costs are offset by still only minor revenue from the sale of summer cereal varieties.
KWS confirms forecast – pleasing development in all segments
The KWS Group expects a sales growth of more than 15% to €1.140 billion in the 2012/2013 fiscal year. The operating result should amount to €145 million, which would correspond to an EBIT margin of 12.7%.
“In the 2012/2013 fiscal year, we once again successfully placed our innovative product range in Germany and abroad. We have thus expanded our market share in the key markets. Our new business activities in China and Brazil are also well above plan, which underpins our competitiveness,” said CEO Philip von dem Bussche.