Chr. Hansen revenue up 10 percent in first quarter

Chr. Hansen reports strong organic revenue growth of 10 percent in the first three months of 2017-18: Food Cultures & Enzymes, 12 percent; Health & Nutrition, 10 percent; and Natural Colors, 4 percent. EBIT before special items decreased by 1 percent to EUR65 million (US$79 million), corresponding to an EBIT margin before special items of 25.4 percent. The overall outlook for 2017-18 is unchanged.

CEO Cees de Jong says: “We have had a solid start to the year, with Food Cultures & Enzymes’ organic growth better than expected. Sales of bioprotective solutions continue to show impressive momentum, and this is still without any significant impact from the second-generation FreshQ products that we launched at the beginning of this financial year.

“Our EBIT margin before special items in Q1 was lower than last year, mainly due to the sale of a property in Argentina in Q1 2016-17, adverse currency impacts and costs related to starting up our new production capacity in Copenhagen. The new capacity is producing ahead of schedule, and we expect to see improving margins from this toward the end of the financial year.

“We are encouraged by the solid start to the year, and we maintain our overall guidance for the full year. We increase our expectations to organic growth for Food Cultures & Enzymes to be even stronger and above the long-term 7-8 percent growth target that we have for this business. At the same time, we lower our expectations to organic growth in Health & Nutrition for the full year to be below our long-term guidance for this business due to the challenging market conditions in North America.”