Norwegian conglomerate Orkla has reported 7.0% year-on-year growth in operating revenue, to NOK 50.4 billion (€5.02 billion), in its 2021 financial year.
Adjusted operating profit increased by 11.9% during the year, to NOK 6.14 billion (€610 million), which the company says is its highest ever.
Earnings per share, on an adjusted basis, amounted to NOK 5.17 in 2021, an increase of 2.6%.
Orkla’s board of directors will propose a dividend of NOK 3.00 per share for the financial year 2021, up 25 øre.
Orkla president and CEO, Jaan Ivar Semlitsch, commented, “Orkla’s branded consumer goods business had good income growth in 2021. We made several strategically important acquisitions and strengthened our positions in priority growth areas such as plant-based products, consumer health and out-of-home.
“Orkla has established a platform for generating sustainable, profitable growth with a good cash flow that will also make it possible to pay out solid dividends to our shareholders in the years ahead.”
In 2021, Orkla spent NOK 7.03 billion (€700 million) on acquisitions, with the biggest ones being the health and wellness company NutraQ, the Indian spice company Eastern Condiments (67.8% interest), and the Netherlands pizza chain New York Pizza (75% interest).
In addition, New York Pizza purchased the German pizza chains Stückwerk, Flying Pizza and Pizza Planet in September and October.
Currently, Orkla has 663 franchised pizza outlets, 296 of which are Finland, 255 in the Netherlands and Belgium, and 112 in Germany.
In January 2022, Orkla Health purchased 95% of the shares in Vesterålen Marine Olje, which produces various residual raw materials from white fish, used in the production of cod liver oil and other products.
In the fourth quarter, the company’s operating revenues increased by 11.1%, to NOK 14 billion (€1.4 billion), while profit before tax amounted to NOK 1.8 billion (€180 million), up 42.7% year-on-year.
Orkla’s branded consumer goods unit reported 8.4% growth in operating revenues in the quarter.
Orkla Food Ingredients witnessed organic turnover growth of 16.1%, while Orkla Confectionery & Snacks and Orkla Foods saw organic growth of 5.5% and 4.1%, respectively.