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CEO’s review

Financial Statements Bulletin 2020

The previous year tested Raisio’s ability to act agilely in the face of very rapidly changing conditions. The financial year was marked by fast changes in demand during the spring, changes in consumer behaviour as a result of lockdowns, currency fluctuations, remote working and the continuous state of alertness to prevent negative impacts from the pandemic. I can proudly state that our organisation showed both extreme flexibility and commitment, and we managed to accomplish an excellent operational performance. The achievement of the partial goals for the second year of our triennial strategy period proved, from the start of March, to be highly challenging, particularly in terms of the expansion to new markets. The realisation of broader research projects, especially clinical studies, will, for the most part, be postponed until a point at which the pandemic is behind us. Commitment to our purpose and strategy remains resolute. The core aim of our strategy period is to increase our oat business. The internationalisation of oat products has advanced despite the challenging conditions. As a single market, Finland deserves special mention, as all brands saw excellent growth. During the financial year, the megatrends supporting our work have strengthened even further.

The uncertain political situation in the UK has thrown a shadow over the Healthy Food Segment from June 2016 onwards. The trade agreement finally signed on Christmas Eve eliminates this uncertainty, thereby indicating there will be no changes in the availability of products or the consumer price levels due to the tariffs. Electronic customs systems and other measures required for the market outside of the EU were made ready by the capable personnel at Raisio, and operations continued uninterrupted.

Despite the exceptional situation, the euro-denominated net sales for the financial year declined only marginally to EUR 233.6 (236.3) million, and the comparable EBIT increased, both absolutely and relatively, to EUR 27.7 (27.3) million, which accounted for 11.9 (11.5) per cent of net sales. When adjusted by the currency rates, net sales grew by 0.4 per cent and the comparable EBIT increased by 4.2 per cent. The cash flow from operations was especially strong at EUR 34.7 (23.3) million.

In terms of investments, the financial year was intensive. We invested altogether EUR 28.5 (19.5) million, which equated to 12.2 (8.3) per cent of net sales. The majority of our investments were allotted to our growth projects: the share of investments directed towards our new production facility for plant-based added-value products was considerable, but we also focus on improvements to productivity by investing in our existing production facilities. The building of the new facility has proceeded on schedule despite highly challenging conditions. Consumers will be able to enjoy Raisio’s new, healthy and delicious plant-based products in the second half of the current year. We will share more about the new product categories to be launched during the first half of the year. The modernisation of the Nokia mill, which was completed at the start of 2020, proved successful and we were able to enter new export markets for the export of gluten-free oats. Value-added oats also achieved a notable increase within our domestic market.

The second year of Raisio’s responsibility programme, Good Food Plan 2019−2023, was characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to minimise its impact, as well as efforts to support the virtual working methods of the personnel, as many employees shifted to remote working whenever possible. Despite the exceptional year, several significant steps were taken towards the achievement of the goals of the responsibility programme. One of these was the decision to build a new heating plant at the Nokia mill. Once the plant is completed, in summer 2021, all of Raisio’s own production facilities will run on carbon-neutral energy. We have also continued systematic work geared to finding new cardboard-based packing solutions for both our current products and new products we will be launching in the future.

Personally, I am extremely proud of the fine work of the personnel, carried out in unusual circumstances, and I want to warmly thank each of my colleagues at Raisio. We have shown that we control the direction of the roller coaster; we are not content to just take the role of passenger, even within a difficult operational environment.

Pekka Kuusniemi
President and CEO
February 2021
Raisio Oyj:n toimitusjohtajan Pekka Kuusniemen katsaus

Raisio’s President and CEO Pekka Kuusniemi