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CEO’s review

Interim Report Q1 2024

The market environment has begun to show signs of stabilisation during the first quarter of the year. Volumes have stopped falling and, especially in the B2B sector, we are seeing a gradual increase in order volumes. Uncertainty is sustained by the protracted war in Ukraine and other regrettable unrest in recent times.

Net sales were practically on a par with the previous year, EUR 55.5 (56.5) million, with Easter being in March this year. Our comparable EBIT was EUR 4.2 (4.2) million, which accounted for 7.6 (7.5) per cent of net sales. Marketing costs were clearly higher than in the comparison period due to entering the Dutch and Belgian markets and a high number of new product launches. Profitability differences between segments were accentuated during the period, with Healthy Food improving both sales and profit, while Healthy Ingredients saw reduced sales value and profitability due to
price competition.

Cash flow improved significantly, reaching EUR 8.5 (3.3) million. The comparable return on invested capital (ROIC) also continued to develop positively, reaching 7.4 (6.4) per cent. As the times of crisis have somewhat subsided, we have been better able to optimise our working capital and have set clear targets for it going forward.

The cholesterol-lowering category has seen fierce price campaigning as consumers become more price-conscious. For Benecol® products, the first quarter was cautiously positive as the volume decline levelled off. Raisio is increasingly collaborating with healthcare professionals to raise awareness of Benecol® products. The UK, a key market for Raisio, has been given special attention when refining the strategy.

Sales of oat products have increased in both the B2C and B2B markets. Elovena®, which will celebrate its centenary next year, has entered the Dutch and Belgian markets during the period, in addition to its previous foreign markets in Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic countries and Sweden. To consolidate our position in the market, we are ready to invest substantially to establish the brand and further expand the range of products we sell.

The iconic Elovena® received a great recognition in March: According to the Sustainable Brand Index, consumers rank Elovena® as the most sustainable brand in Finland. In April, after the review period, Finland Chamber of Commerce selected Elovena® as the winner of the Brand of the Year 2024 competition. The jury’s reasons for the choice included the successful renewal of the Elovena® brand and the development of the product range in line with today’s trends. The benefits of the brand have been successfully integrated into the business and its development.

The plant protein category has fared poorly under the pressures of COVID-19 and inflation. This phenomenon is not limited to the Finnish market, where Härkis® is the leading brand; Europe has also seen a decline in demand on a broad front. It is clear that in the short term it is a question of taste and price compared to meat proteins, which is why we must persevere with our development work.

As the economy improves, the food market will certainly return to normal. Raisio has overcome difficult times before, staying true to its strategy. Our employees have embraced the company’s purpose and values as part of their daily work and are each developing the company in line with the strategy. My heartfelt thanks to all of you!

Pekka Kuusniemi
CEO
May 2024
Raisio Oyj:n toimitusjohtajan Pekka Kuusniemen katsaus

Raisio plc’s CEO Pekka Kuusniemi

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