Hochdorf moves on in 2021
Restructuring started by Hochdorf Group in summer 2019 was implemented last year and completed with the exception of a few issues. The integration of Bimbosan was completed with the move to Hochdorf in January 2021 and the business relationship with Pharmalys could be improved in operational cooperation, the company says.
The focus of the new board of directors and management team, which was recruited in June 2020, was on stabilising and shaping the future of the company. The strategy and the organisational model were approved by the board at the beginning of December 2020.
CEO Peter Pfeilschifter explains the new strategy: “Hochdorf is well equipped for the increasing global demand for high-quality and technologically sophisticated special foods, so-called ‘Smart Nutrition’ products, for people of all ages. We see interesting growth opportunities with above-average added value.”
In 2020 Hochdorf Swiss Nutrition AG processed a total of 335.8 million kg (a drop of 14.2% compared to 2019) of milk, whey and cream. The Covid-19 pandemic led to higher domestic demand for dairy products due to the discontinuation of shopping tourism, which reduced the amount of milk available and led to significant under-deliveries in the cream area.
Net sales from deliveries and services fell in line with expectations from CHF457 million (€415m) to CHF306.2 million (€278m). The decline is mainly due to the sale of the subsidiary Uckermärker Milch.
Despite this lower net turnover, gross profit increased from CHF61.8 million to CHF94.3 million. The gross profit margin is 30.9% (previous year: 14.1%) and shows the positive effect of the resolved and implemented portfolio streamlining. Personnel expenses fell significantly from CHF50.7 million to CHF39.7 million. Other operating expenses also fell sharply from CHF85.8 million to CHF40.7 million due to the adjustment and the absence of special effects. The EBITDA results in a clearly positive CHF13.9 million (2019: CHF -74.7 million). Net debt decreased from CHF104.7 million in 2019 to CHF87.6 million.
After years of reorganisation and restructuring, Hochdorf sees the 2021 financial year as a year of new beginnings. At the same time, it is important to continue on the path of financial recovery.
The company expects growth in the area of high-protein powder products based on milk and whey, in non-milk-based or plant-based powders and in Swiss cream sales.
In 2021, the Hochdorf Group expects net sales in the range of CHF260-300 million and a balanced annual result at EBIT level, despite the ongoing uncertainties regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. For the ‘new’ Hochdorf Group, excluding Uckermärker Milch, Marbacher Ölmühle and Zifru Trockenprodukte, this means organic sales growth of 3 to 4%.