Glanbia has delivered a 16.6% increase in revenues in 2019, driven by a strong performance from its Glanbia Nutritionals (GN) segment, and by the acquisitions of SlimFast and Watson.
The drivers of revenue growth included a 6.6% increase in pricing, a 9.9% contribution from acquisitions with overall volume broadly in line with 2018, its preliminary results for the 2019 financial year ended 4 January 2020 showed.
"GN saw broad-based volume growth with notable performances in vitamin and mineral blends, and healthy snack ingredients, underlining the continued consumer shift towards health and wellness," said Siobhán Talbot, group managing director.
Total Group profit was €214.8 million for 2019 down from €234 million in 2018 as a result of lower year-on-year earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA).
Wholly-owned EBITA was €276.8 million, a 7.8% decline and EBITA margin was 7.1% the report showed.
EBITA decline was driven by Glanbia Performance Nutrition (GPN) which, encountered challenges in International markets throughout 2019 as well as lower sales in the North American Specialty and Club channels resulting in lower volumes and negative operating leverage.
The Irish global nutrition group said that this decline was partially offset by a 10.5% increase in EBITA in GN driven by volume growth, price increases and the Watson acquisition.
"It was disappointing that earnings were impacted by challenges in the GPN segment and to address these we have conducted a comprehensive business review and are taking actions to simplify our business, allowing us to concentrate on our core brands, and optimising our routes to market across channels and geographies," Talbot said.
"As a result, we expect GPN to regain branded revenue growth momentum in 2020."
In accordance with the amended and restated Relationship Agreement dated 2 July 2017 between the Company and Glanbia Co-Operative Society Limited a process to identify a successor to Martin Keane as Chairperson has commenced, the group outlined in a statement.
A sub-committee of the Board, led by Dan O’Connor, senior independent director, has been established.
External advisors have been appointed to assist the sub-committee in the selection process.
Richard Laube will retire on 28 February 2020.
Jer Doheny and Eamon Power (directors nominated by the Society) will retire from the Board at the forthcoming AGM on 22 April 2020.
In accordance with the Relationship Agreement, in 2020 the number of directors nominated by the Society will reduce from eight to seven and in 2022 the number of directors nominated by the Society will reduce to six, the company said.
Replacements will be announced in due course.
In 2020, Glanbia said that it 'expects to deliver adjusted earnings per share broadly in line with prior year on a constant currency basis' and that it 'expects GPN to deliver branded revenue, margin and EBITA progression in 2020 versus prior year.'
The Board of Glanbia will ‘seek shareholder authorisation’ for a share buyback programme at the Annual General Meeting on the 22 April 2020.
"Glanbia is financially strong and cash generative. We have increased our dividend by 10% and we are proposing to our shareholders that we adopt a share buyback programme in 2020." Talbot added.
"We are confident that the actions being taken will position the company to generate enhanced shareholder value in a growing healthy nutrition market."
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