Hero net income up more than 50%Published: Friday, April 17, 2015
- Group net income reaches CHF 113 million despite slight fall in organic growth
- Net debt reduced to CHF 125 million from CHF 163 million in 2013
- Implementation ‘goodness of nature’ mission and strategy to be accelerated
Swiss food company Hero, with a mission to delight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature, has reported a significant rise of 54% in net income for 2014 compared to the previous year, up to CHF 112.8 million from CHF 73.4 million. The company said the strong increase in net income was realized despite a conservative approach driven by stricter risk management.
“We have again made significant progress in improving the financial foundations of our company in 2014. The increased net income is complemented by the substantial reduction of our net debt, both the result of our improved operational performance combined with positive one-time effects and strict cash management,” Hero CEO Rob Versloot said. Net debt decreased to CHF 125 million from CHF 163 million in 2013, and has been nearly halved since 2012.
The positive results came despite a slight decrease of 1% in organic growth as the company faced tough market conditions in Europe and the USA. Net sales came in at CHF 1.34 billion in 2014, compared with CHF 1.4 billion a year earlier. Last year, the company continued on the first phase of the new strategic direction that focuses on the Jam, Baby and Toddler Food, and Cereal Bars categories. This strategy has seen sales growth rates in a number of European markets, in particular the Nordics, Eastern Europe and the emerging markets. Health snacking trends have seen the Cereal Bars segment achieve double-digit growth rates.
Supported by the financial success, the company will accelerate the implementation of its strategy built around its mission todelight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature. A new operating model aimed at the realization of sustainable profitable growth in the lead categories of Jams, Baby and Toddler Food and Cereal Bars has recently been implemented.
Versloot added: “Now that we have successfully managed to consolidate our business over the last 24 months, it is time to shift our focus to further growing our company. I am convinced that our mission, strategy and new operating model will enable us to drive growth in the coming years.”