Barilla, slight growth in 2014

The best news is coming from Europe, Brazil and Russia. Italy holds on despite the crisis. The largest investments in France and the US
Barilla, slight growth in 2014

Barilla Group closes a financial year with a slight upturn, with turnover rising by 1% to 3.25 billion euro and gross profit that reaches 427 million euro (compared to 409 million in 2013 ), with an EBITDA margin of 13.1 percent. The strength of the euro has not helped, as has happened to many other companies with exposure in foreign markets. At constant exchange rates, in fact, the growth would have been 2 percent (3% in 2013). Whereas 2015, marked by a euro downturn versus some major currencies including the US dollar, could push us into friendlier waters.

Italy, where the group generates half of its revenues, remains a complicated market: “We are slower than other countries to overcome the crisis – said chairman Guido Barilla – and this does not help us at all, but despite that the company is able to face the difficulties of the market by closing with a positive result. ” Barilla declared a 1% volume growth in the domestic market, which “has allowed us to increase our market share in some segments of the market,” stated the ceo Claudio Colzani, adding that “in Europe we registered a 5% increase in volume, a result above even that of basic commodities “. Volumes grew by 4% even in the Americas, where Brazil is gradually becoming more and more important, and 6% in Asia, Africa and Australia, the frontier of the group. “In Brazil we had a zero quota – explains Colzani – and thanks to investments in marketing and the special soft wheat and egg pasta that we sell there we have achieved a market share close to 20%, growing by 50% in 2014 alone.” In Brazil the company was forced to integrate its offer with this particular pasta just to meet a specific demand of local consumers. It is an evolution to Barilla’s marketing approach – explained Colzani – with no longer only the traditional Italian pasta recipes but also the adaptations for the specific tastes of local consumers in the countries where you want to grow.

The investments chapter is full-bodied: 15 million euro in Italy for a new storage system for grains in Pedrignano (Pr), complete with a railroad in order to gradually eliminate the 3500 trucks that annually cross the gate of the production site each year; €20 million in the US for a line of gluten free pasta; €15 million in Russia for a new line of pasta and € 50 million in France, where it was decided to modernize and expand of bread production lines.

Net profit attributable to the group amounted to 125 million euro, up 35% on 2013, but last year there was extraordinary devaluation related to Russia (+ 93% growth in 2014) to €28 million, which this year is absent. Net debt on 31st December amounted to €250 million, that is 60% in EBITDA.

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