CEO Matti Rihko's review for Q1/2015
"Raisio's first quarter EBIT of EUR 9.6 million is over four million euros and 78% higher than a year ago. The EBIT improvement was expected and it confirmed that Raisio is back on a growth trend. The Group's EBIT was primarily improved by the integration of Benecol consumer product business into Raisio and good sales development at the beginning of the year.
Benecol business acquired at the end of 2014 has successfully been integrated into Raisio. The Benecol acquisition from the affiliates of Johnson & Johnson was a successful deal for Raisio. In the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Portugal and Hong Kong, home markets for Benecol consumer products, the business is now developed on our own terms and our focus is on marketing as well as the innovation of new products meeting customer needs.
In the UK, production improvement at the Newport snack bar factory proceeded well and business profitability improved. Raisio will continue work to improve profitability of the cereal business and to study its future alternatives. Both snack bar and cereal businesses underperformed in relation to Raisio's target.
Raisioagro delivered positive EBIT. In Finland, the restructuring of dairy farms continues, which means increased demand for added value products suitable for increasingly common TMR feeding. In early 2015, Raisioagro launched a new Benemilk Booster concentrate, which is showing good sales growth. Product range that meets the diverse needs of dairy farms is the key to gaining market share for Benemilk feeds in a situation where every tenth Finnish dairy cow is Benemilk-fed.
We continued our strong efforts for the global commercialisation of the Benemilk innovation. Our potential partner candidates are conducting feeding and production trials, which will take a long time. New innovations provide new opportunities for business expansion."