Croatia's Fortenova Group has reported like-for-like revenue growth of 14%, to HRK 18.8 billion (€2.5 billion), in the first half of its financial year, driven primarily by the integration of Mercator.
Consolidated EBITDA for the first six months of the year exceeded HRK 1 billion (€130 million), or 74% more than the same period last year.
On a like-for-like basis, adjusted consolidated EBITDA grew by 19%.
Companies in Fortenova’s food division saw the highest growth in revenue, while the agriculture unit witnessed the fastest growth in EBITDA.
Net profit for the period, after excluding currency exchange impacts, amounted to HRK 12 million (€1.6 million).
In the first half of 2021, the company reported a loss of HRK 213 million (€28.4 million) after exclusion of currency exchange impacts.
'Excellent Operating Results'
Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group CEO and member of the board of directors, commented, "These excellent operating results were generated in spite of the negative impacts of inflation on the increase in prices of labour, energy and raw materials and the consequently increased costs across the supply chain.
"Looking further forward, the expected changeover to the euro will have an additional long-term positive impact on the group’s credit profile, as after the conversion 80% of our business will be generated in euros. Additionally, the currency risk for our debt will be eliminated."
He noted that the process of ownership transformation and the divestment of shares held in Fortenova Group by Sberbank continues and that over the course of the first half of 2022, the final prerequisites for a court ruling on closing the Extraordinary Administration Procedure in Agrokor will have been met.
'Very Positive' Performance
James Pearson, Fortenova finance chief, described its first half performance as "very positive" as it focused on market realisation and achieving planned operational improvements.
“Following the significant deleveraging achieved by Fortenova Group in 2021 by the transactions related to Mercator, the Frozen Food Business Group and a number of non-core business and property disposals, in 2022 we have continued to generate higher revenues and operating profits, which brought about a further decrease in the leverage ratio, which now amounts to 3.94 times which reflects the increasing financial strength of the group,” Pearson added.