Royal Cosun’s operating profit for 2001 increased by 32 per cent to € 79 million (2000: € 60 million). Consolidated turnover increased to € 979 million (2000: € 885 million). The net profit for the year came to € 18 million, a decline of 37 per cent in comparison with the previous year, mainly on account of disappointing results at the participations Aviko and Advanta.
Cosun's core activities made good progress in market and product development, product launches and efficiency gains in 2001, further strengthening the foundation of the business.
The Single Ingredients activities performed well. Suiker Unie had an excellent year despite a reduction in the sugar quota. The result was the outcome chiefly of a successful beet campaign and increased sales of C sugar at good prices. Nedalco achieved a considerable increase in turnover and a recovery in its result. The growing demand for healthier food boosted sales of inulin (Sensus).
In Compound Ingredients, Unifine Döhler strengthened its position in the European fine bakery market through three successive acquisitions in Belgium, Spain and Hungary. Turnover increased strongly but results were depressed by competitive pressures and increased raw material costs that could not be passed on in prices.
Unifine profited from the growth of the food service and snack food market but reorganisation costs meant its result was little changed from 2000. In the fruit and vegetable applications market, SVZ achieved the same good results as in previous years. Promising new markets were tapped for fruit and vegetable juice compounds.
The results of the Participations Aviko and Advanta were below expectations. Following a modest recovery in 2000, Advanta reported a loss in 2001 owing to a restructuring and the currency crisis in Argentina and additional stock provisions in North America. Aviko's results were depressed by overcapacity in the North American market and the attendant pressure on margins. The North American activities were sold at the end of 2001.
In the Single Ingredients group, Cosun expects Suiker Unie's results to be lower in 2002 than in 2001. Nedalco may benefit from firmer market prices. Sensus' results will be depressed by the poor chicory harvest in 2001. Inulin sales will continue to rise.
In the Compound Ingredients group, both turnover and results are expected to be higher. Unifine Döhler in particular may also report a recovery in its results following the completion of its integration in the course of the year.
Participations, too, are expected to turn in better results. Through the sale of its North American activities, Aviko will be able to concentrate on growth and greater profitability in the European market. Advanta's results will be significantly higher as a result of the measures already implemented.