AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Despite organic sales growth of 2.5% in the first quarter, negative currency effects led to a 7% decrease in net sales for Corbion nv. The currency effect was felt in Ingredient Solutions, where organic net sales growth was 2.2%, but net sales decreased 9%.
Companywide, net sales of €213 million ($258 million) compared with €229.9 million in the previous year’s first quarter. EBITDA excluding one-off items was €38.6 million ($46.8 million), down 19% from €47.8 million.
In Ingredient Solutions, which encompasses Food and Biochemicals, net sales of €206 million compared to €226 million in the previous year’s first quarter. The sales decrease came because of a negative currency effect of 11%. EBITDA excluding one-off items was €43.3 million, down 12% from €49.4 million.
“As anticipated, a weaker U.S. dollar and negative raw material price effects have put pressure on our Ingredient Solutions EBITDA,” said Tjerk de Ruiter, chief executive officer of Amsterdam-based Corbion, when results were given April 26. “Nevertheless, we were able to maintain a healthy margin in this business segment.”
Within Ingredient Solutions, organic sales for Food decreased by 0.4% while net sales of €147.2 million in food were down 12% from €167.4 million. EBITDA excluding one-off items in Food dropped 21% to €26.8 million from €33.8 million.
“A decrease in sales was expected for the first quarter as we are still facing an unfavorable comparison base in bakery,” Corbion said. “We continue to recover lost business, albeit at a slow pace.”
A bakery enzyme recently went off-patent in the United States, which resulted in sales reduction as a consequence of lower input costs.
“In meat we see the portfolio mix shift toward natural preservation solutions continuing, which translates into above average growth rates,” Corbion said. “Meat sales growth outside the U.S. was mainly driven by Latin America.”
Net sales in Biochemicals, also within Ingredient Solutions, rose 1.4% to €59.4 million from €58.6 million. EBITDA excluding one-off items was €16.5 million, up 6% from €15.6 million.
Corbion’s Innovations Platforms benefited from the recently acquired algae ingredients business, now called Corbion Algae Ingredients. Within Innovations Platforms, net sales jumped 64% to €6.4 million from €3.9 million. Innovations Platforms recorded a loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding one-off items, of €4.7 million, which compared to a loss of €1.6 million in the previous year’s first quarter.