Bump in sweetener sales boost Danisco earnings

by Jeff Gelski
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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — A 26% increase in Sweetener division sales helped to lift Danisco to gains in second-quarter earnings and sales.

Companywide Danisco posted revenue of DKK3.826 million ($677 million) for the quarter ended Oct. 31, which marked an 18% increase from DKK3,239 million ($573 million) in the previous year’s second quarter, the Copenhagen-based company said Dec. 16. The group’s second-quarter earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came in at DKK623 million ($110 million) before the Bio Chemicals Projects (BCP). In the previous year, second-quarter EBIT (before BCP) was DKK 407 million ($72 million).

The Bio Chemicals Project covers Danisco’s collaboration with DuPont and Goodyear and recorded total second-quarter costs of DKK48 million.

Danisco for the fiscal year now expects revenue of about DKK15.3 billion, which is up from previous expectations of DKK15 billion. The company expects fiscal-year EBIT (before BCP) of DKK2.2 billion to DKK2.3 billion, up from DKK2.1 billion to DKK2.2 billion.

The second quarter was another strong quarter for Danisco, said Tom Knutzen, chief executive officer.

“We can now confidently say that our Sweeteners division is on track to recover profitability,” he said. “It is also evident that we have established a new earnings level for Genencor and Cultures. And earnings will remain strong for Enablers, even if we are now entering a different phase of the business cycle due to substantial raw material price hikes.”

In Food Ingredients, Danisco had second-quarter revenue of DKK2,545 million, up from DKK2,173 million in the previous year’s second quarter. Enablers, Cultures and Sweeteners all are part of Food Ingredients.

Sweeteners in the second quarter had revenue of DKK420 million, up 26% from DKK334 million in the previous year’s second quarter, and EBITDA of DKK47 million, up from DKK29 million. Sweeteners benefited from initiatives focused on capacity reduction at certain sites and efficiency measures resulting in staff deductions.

“We have experienced improved plant load for xylitol and felt the effect of last year’s restructuring initiatives,” Danisco said. “We are currently seeing an improvement in our underlying cost competitiveness due to positive currency development as well as a more challenging input cost environment from our Chinese competitors.”

Enablers in the second quarter had revenue of DKK1,567 million, an increase of 16% from DKK1,350 million in the previous year’s second quarter, and EBITDA of DKK340 million, up from DKK259 million. Enablers include emulsifiers, gums and systems activities. Danisco expects higher raw material costs to impact Enablers.

“We already took steps very early on to address this challenge with our customers and how to best mitigate this risk, for example through novel product solutions,” Danisco said. “As a result of more contracts with mutual raw material flexibility and shorter durations, as well as our improved internal systems, we feel better equipped to face the challenges of the coming quarters when it will be a key success criterion for Enablers to obtain compensation from customers for increasing costs.”

Cultures in the second quarter had revenue of DKK558 million, up from DKK489 million in the previous year’s second quarter, and EBITDA of DKK144 million, up from DKK139 million.

Danisco’s Genencor business in the second quarter had revenue of DKK1,294 million, up 20% from DKK1,074 million in the previous year’s second quarter, and EBITDA of DKK297 million, up from DKK186 million. Danisco said sales of enzymes for grain processing, including bioethanol production, continued at a high level.

Companywide for the first six months of the fiscal year, Danisco reported revenue of DKK7,740 million, up from DKK6,688 million in the same time period of the previous year, and EBIT (before BCP) of DKK1,310 million, up from DKK944 million.

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