Business performance of the segments
The Corn Segment grew its net sales by 0.7% to €739.0 (734.2) million in the year under review. That increase is mainly attributable to a positive business performance in South America. In North America – and in particular in the Midwest of the U.S. – wet weather conditions during the sowing season meant that corn cultivation area fell sharply and resulted in significant decline in net sales at the joint venture AgReliant. On the other hand, there were positive exchange rate effects from the increase in the US dollar’s value against the euro. In Europe and China, KWS’ business was overall stable in the course of the year. The segment’s income rose by 22% to €57.9 (47.4) million. The EBIT margin rose from 6.5% to 7.8%.
Net sales at the Sugarbeet Segment rose slightly to €461.2 (455.1) million. While net sales in the EU declined due to difficult cultivation conditions, the fall in sugar prices and the removal of surplus capacities in the sugar industry, net sales grew sharply in Eastern Europe thanks to the introduction of CONVISO® SMART. In North America, net sales benefited from a slight increase in cultivation area and a stronger US dollar. The segment’s EBIT – including a positive non-recurring effect of €11.0 million from the sale of shares in KWS Potato B.V. – increased to €179.6 (160.5) million.
Net sales at the Cereals Segment rose sharply by 13.0% to €170.8 (151.1) million. Net sales from rye seed grew by 24% thanks to the rise in cultivation area and higher market share. Revenue from wheat seed and rapeseed remained stable in the year under review, while barley business increased sharply. Rye seed is still the main sales driver in the Cereals Segment, contributing around 39%. EBIT increased by 25% to €23.0 (18.4) million, giving an EBIT margin of 13.5% (12.2%).
Net sales at the Corporate Segment were €3.9 (4.2) million. They are mainly generated from KWS’ farms. Since all cross-segment costs for the KWS Group’s central functions and basic research expenditure are charged to the Corporate Segment, its income is usually negative. The costs consolidated in this segment rose in the year under review, among other things due to the reorganization project ONEGLOBE, costs for the change in legal form, M&A activities, and higher IT expenditure. The segment’s income was € –97.1 (–77.3) million.
The difference from the KWS Group’s statement of comprehensive income and segment reporting is due to the requirements of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and is summarized for the key indicators of net sales and EBIT in the reconciliation table below: