AGRAVIS remains strong in a difficult market
"Low grain prices and also weak energy, meat, and milk prices have meant that the 2015 financial year has been anything but straight-forward", explained AGRAVIS Chief Executive Dr. Clemens Große Frie. "We have remained strong in a difficult market and once again shown that AGRAVIS is a stable 7 billion euro company with future prospects."
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- In 2015, AGRAVIS showed itself to be strong in a demanding market (from right): Executive Board member Johannes Schulte-Althoff, Dr. Clemens Große Frie, Chairman of the Executive Board, and Bernd Homann, Head of Corporate Communication, introduced the developments of the 2015 financial year at annual press conference in Münster.
The financial year just ended was, according to Große Frie, "essentially fair-going and demanded a lot from us. It was a formidable feat of perseverance to achieve turnover of approximately €7 billion, €6.94 billion to be precise. However, we managed to do so – despite extremely demanding market conditions." AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG maintained growth during the 2015 financial year and showed that "difficult market situations have to be handled in an entrepreneurial manner". This is particularly evident when looking at earnings before taxes.
"With a result of €45.1 million, we have been able to achieve a result that was far better than the previous year." Große Frie also added: "AGRAVIS has achieved good or very good results in all areas – it was only problematic in a few individual areas. There were setbacks in the overall result due to currency fluctuations and market developments in the extremely volatile wholesale agricultural product sector. There was not much to gain during 2015 in this sector. The focus was to recoup costs as far as possible, but we have not succeeded in doing so in all areas."
Alliances, growth, profitability, proportional international growth – whether this is through own subsidiaries or international stakeholders – are the future paths for the AGRAVIS Group, as Große Frie expressed it. "We are not a global enterprise. We are a solid German company following entrepreneurial objectives. In doing so, as employers we have put ourselves in a strong position. This is shown by our third success in the Focus employer rankings."
"We intend to continue internationalisation in a metered manner to ensure profitable and continued development of AGRAVIS", said Große Frie. It is also fitting that the company, together with Danish partners Danish Agro and Vestjylllands Andel, via DAVA AGRAVIS International has started agricultural trading activities for Getreide AG under the name Ceravis. In 2016 the objective is to expand Ceravis AG into a prominent company with a turnover of €1.3 billion. To do so, AGRAVIS handed over the previous subsidiaries in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, namely Fugema Futtermittel- und Getreidehandelsgesellschaft mbH in Malchin, Raiffeisen Mölln GmbH & Co. KG in Mölln, and Raiffeisen-Zentrum-Idstedt GmbH in Idstedt, to Ceravis AG on 1 January 2016. This provides the company with a strong starting position in the north of Germany.
Further reports, a video, and photographs can be found here .
It also fits into the picture that AGRAVIS has just acquired a stakeholding in the international trading company Bögel and taken over 33 per cent – subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities. Bögel has over 125 years’ experience in national and international trade with feed components and aims to continue to grow profitably in the future. This move gives AGRAVIS access to the direct purchase of feed components such as palm oil and palm kernel expeller, and also to the procurement markets in Asia.
"These international decisions help us to ensure and build on profitability, market share, and market access. We must now be ready to take steps that are of major importance tomorrow", stated Große Frie with one eye on the future. "In this case, the clear willingness to change that is a feature of AGRAVIS plays a major role in success."
AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG has made it clear in the domestic market through a considerable number of acquisitions, co-operations, alliances, and investments that their focus is on continuous growth. "For example, we expanded our animal feed division by taking over the Heidemark plant in Höltinghausen and expanded our technical division through various takeovers of regional farm machinery dealers", explained the head of AGRAVIS. In terms of turnover, the AGRAVIS Group grew by approximately 1.7 billion euros through mergers and acquisitions over the last ten years. "A considerable dimension, in my opinion", described Große Frie, who then added: "In this case we have sustainably expanded investments in existing AGRAVIS site infrastructure and also strengthened the equity base of the Group."
Due to profit retention and issuing profit participation rights, AGRAVIS's equity has grown to €515 million – and it has tripled since the foundation of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG in 2004 up until the end of 2015. "A development that underlines the solidity and attractiveness of AGRAVIS."
Further growth and even higher rates of customer retention are key objectives for 2016. Große Frie informed that investments are planned for 2016 which will be €60 million greater than depreciation and amortisation. Further co-operations, alliances, and acquisitions are also on the agenda. "We are currently in partnership with 13 co-operatives from the region and have taken a very important step towards a co-operative partnership. As AGRAVIS we will hand over 50 per cent of our company to AGRAVIS Kraftfutterwerke Münsterland GmbH – including the plants here in Münster and Dorsten. This means that we work on production together with our customers and thus strengthen our competitive position. From customers, we gain partners." This has become a successful model for AGRAVIS.
AGRAVIS expects further development, but at a lower market level for the ongoing financial year. "In a normal year – without currency fluctuations, with a reasonable harvest, with decent spring business, a normal summer, in other words a normal year without major one-off effects – we would expect, assuming stable price development on raw material markets, a turnover of approximately €6.7 billion and profits before tax of €48 million. Why the projected fall in turnover? With regard to our three companies in the North that were sold to Ceravis AG, we have lost about €300 million in turnover – and we have taken this turnover into account for the forecast", stated Große Frie, who instantly added: "However, it remains our stated objective that AGRAVIS sticks to our 8/80 strategy – making €80 million profit before tax with a turnover of €8 billion. We plan to reach this objective in 2018. AGRAVIS has the potential to do so."
Further reports, a video, and photographs can be found here .