Hero looks back on a successful 2013Published: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Hero has published its year-end results for 2013 and reports significantly improved results. Net income increased from CHF 37.7m to CHF 78.1m and - as a result of continued strong cash-flows - the company further reduced net debt. This is a clear confirmation of the new strategic direction and will allow Hero to invest further in growth areas.
Despite a challenging business environment, Hero showed a moderate organic growth of +0.4% to CHF 1,434m. A positive highlight is the development in Central and Northern European markets where an above-average increase of 3.4% was achieved. In particular, the business segments Fruit (+3.2%) and Cereal Bars (+7.6%) improved significantly, while the Infant Food segment showed a slight decline mainly due to the macroeconomic environment in the Southern European markets.
As a result of the positive business development as well as the share flotation of an investment in China, cash-flows were again strong which enabled the Group to reduce its debt further. Furthermore, the Group reduced its outstanding hybrid bond by CHF 50m in 2013.
The revised strategic approach of the Group, which had already started in the previous year, was consistently moved forward during 2013. As well as a focus on the core categories of infant nutrition, fruit and cereal bars, cost structures were optimised via increased synergies and integration. In the process, core brands were strengthened and side brands were either divested or moved to a more unified position. During the coming year, the focus will remain on improving the operational performance capability and optimising resource management.
Rob Versloot, Hero’s CEO, comments: “For 2014, we want to increase our organic growth in all categories, boost profitability and further develop our chosen strategy. This, combined with strict cost management as well as our focus on synergies within the Group, will help to further strengthen our financial basis for growth.”