Hero Group gains market share in a challenging year
- Organic growth of 1.1% in 2020
- Financial position remains robust
Lenzburg, March 26, 2021 – The Hero Group, which is on a mission to delight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature, achieved an organic growth of 1.1% in 2020. Reported sales declined by 5.9% to CHF 1.12 billion due to currency translation effects and the discontinuation of a non-core business segment in the US.
“Our strategy, and the actions taken when Covid-19 hit, were focused on protecting the safety of our employees and on securing the supply of Hero food products to our customers and consumers at all times. I am pleased that we were able to post an organic growth under these circumstances”, said Rob Versloot, CEO Hero Group.
The branded sales in core categories grew 2.4% organically, again faster than the overall business. Consequently, their share in total business continued to increase in 2020, fully in line with the company’s strategy. “It is a great achievement of our teams that we could gain market share in our core categories Baby & Toddler Food, Healthy Snacks and Natural Spreads. This underlines our competitive strength and that we are able to win with consumers. It gives me confidence that we will emerge stronger from the crisis.”, Rob Versloot added.
The Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on the Group’s financials, especially in the foodservice and export business, resulting in an EBIT of just under CHF 60 million compared to CHF 83 million in 2019.
“While the profit contribution from our core categories increased by 12%, this positive development was overcompensated by negative impact from Covid-19 as well as structural effects”, Hero Group CFO, Karsten Boyens commented.
“We see the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in our financials 2020. At the same time, our core business and our financial position have proven to be robust during the crisis. Our Net Debt of CHF 126 million remains on a comfortably low level while the equity ratio improved”, concluded Karsten Boyens.
An outlook for 2021 remains difficult given the current circumstances and uncertainties. “The year 2021 will still be significantly impacted by Covid-19, however we expect recovery in the second half. Hero remains committed to its strategic focus on accelerating growth in core categories and to its investments in digitalization and sustainability.”, Rob Versloot added.
About Hero Group
The Hero Group is an international food company focused on branded nutritional food products. The company was founded in 1886 in Lenzburg, Switzerland, where its headquarters are still located today. Hero's main core product categories of Baby & Toddler Food and Milks, Natural Spreads, and Healthy Snacks, are complemented by its activities in Gluten Free and Specialties. The Group, which lives by its mission to delight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature, boasts a global footprint and its portfolio consists of many well-known international and local brands. In 2020, the Group generated revenues of CHF 1.12 billion.
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