AGRAVIS: "2014 finished respectably"

The financial year just ended was challenging for large parts of the German economy – but especially in agribusiness. Despite strongly fluctuating and considerably lower prices for agricultural commodities, despite the upheavals of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the associated currency turbulence, despite sustained social discussions about the value and intensity of agriculture, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG could not be distracted from its fundamental growth trend in the 2014 financial year.

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Increased sales in the cereal business were not able to offset the fall in prices, however the agricultural trade company with the largest sales in the German agricultural market – according to the first, preliminary annual figures – was able to consolidate its position above the Euro 7 billion line and the first figures suggest it was able to complete a respectable year in terms of profitability – although not a record year.

"A hard, challenging year for the AGRAVIS Group is over. AGRAVIS finished 2014 – according to the first figures at the end of the year – respectably and on target," describes the head of AGRAVIS, Dr. Clemens Grosse Frie, adding: "According to the first, still preliminary figures, the pre-tax results show we completed a successful 2014 – but not a record. Almost all the divisions and fields of activity acheived very good results in the last financial year. There were setbacks in the overall results due to currency losses, especially in the Rouble, and due to the market upheavals in the highly volatile cereal wholesale business." Below the line, according to Grosse Frie, the AGRAVIS Group is happy with the sales and results. "With these figures we have reached a secure intermediate station for our futher growth."

More than Euro 92 million invested

With this, the company is aiming to strengthen the equity further and to show its extraordinarily high willingness to make investments. "Once again we have impressively increased our investments – and in 2014 with more than Euro 92 million, we have invested more than ever in location renewal and optimisation, as well as in improving processes." For the current year, the company does not want to change its fundamental investment behaviour, according to Grosse Frie. This is also the case for the expansion strategy by gaining additional market share, but also through the acquisition and integration of companies. "We will continue to be active here in the market."

International network successfully expanded

The desired takeover of the agricultural trading activities of Getreide AG in particular by the Danish-German joint venture DAVA-AGRAVIS-International will be another milestone in the expansion of the agricultural trading business. The decison here is currently with the anti-trust authorities.

"We now have four smoothly functioning joint ventures with our Danish partners. We believe the cooperation is successful, professional and characterised by mutual trust," explains Grosse Frie. "Our core business will still continue to take place in Germany – preferably in northern, western and eastern areas – but the international network is very important for us," says the AGRAVIS boss. "Overall, the 2014 results, investments and market developments underline our determination to grow, which we will carry forwards into 2015, states Grosse Frie.

Precise results and details, along with forecasts for the 2015 financial year will be presented by the company at the Accounts Press Conference on 12 March 2015.