Hochland reports growth in 2019
Hochland had a good 2019, with profit on ordinary business activity increasing by 27.4% and the EBT margin at 5.1%. Investments by the group amounted to around €42 million, €3.5 million above 2018. Group-wide cheese sales rose by 4% to 378,000 tons. Processed cheese accounted for almost half of this growth.
The firm’s food service segment played a decisive role, with strong growth especially in Russia and in exports to third countries. Group sales rose to €1.6 billion, an increase of around 7%, including the mechanical engineering subsidiary Natec.
The branded business saw a group-wide sales increase of over 4%. The main contributors to this were Hochland Russia, Hochland Germany and Hochland România. In percentage terms, Patros and Gervais performed best in Germany. Almette was stable across the group. The brand was unable to fully benefit from the rising demand for fresh cheese, especially in Russia, due to capacity bottlenecks. With the expansion of the production facility in Prokhorovka, the conditions are now in place for further growth in this category.
The development of the Hochland brand was gratifying: sales increased by 7%, in Germany even well into double figures. The main driver was the newly introduced “Hofkäse” made from 100% Allgäu milk, with which the Hochland brand made a very successful return in the segment. The Hochland Sandwich Slices also contributed to the positive development. Processed cheese is now also on the rise again in the German market.
With the commissioning of the semi-hard cheese plant in Belinsky and the expansion in Prokhorovka (both in Russia), Hochland has completed two major construction projects. This will release forces for a forward-looking investment project in France: With a high double-digit million investment, the Fromagerie Henri Hutin will be transformed into a flexible production facility over the next few years, the company notes.