As an Austrian industrial group with an international focus, AGRANA operates globally in its Fruit segment, while its Starch and Sugar segments operate mainly in Europe. In these markets, AGRANA seeks or already occupies a leading position in the industrial processing of agricultural raw materials. The Group pursues a growth strategy oriented to the respective local market opportunities. Lasting, stable customer and supplier relationships, respectful treatment of all stakeholders and continual growth in the company’s value are major cornerstones of the corporate strategy, which is guided by the principles of sustainable management. AGRANA’s aim is to provide both its globally operating and its regional customers worldwide with high product quality, optimum service and innovative product development ideas and expertise.
AGRANA controls and manages the product value chain from the purchase of agricultural raw materials to the production of the resulting intermediate goods for industrial customers (and end products for consumers in the case of the Sugar segment). AGRANA utilises the Group’s strategic know-how across segment boundaries. This is especially true for agricultural grower contract management and raw material procurement, the knowledge of customer requirements and markets, the opportunities for the development of inter-segment products, and synergies in logistics, purchasing, sales and finance. The cross-segment application of these competencies forms the basis for a robust market position relative to competitors in all product groups, and underpins AGRANA’s innovative strength and lean cost position.
In its business operations, AGRANA seeks to make the part of the value chain that it can influence as sustainable as possible. By sustainability in this context AGRANA primarily means the following three aspects, which apply to all business segments:
|AGRANA share data||2018|19||2017|18|
|Closing price at Feb 28 year-end||€||17.401||99.10|
|Earnings per share||€||0.411,2||8.972|
|KGV (auf Basis Ultimokurs)||42.4||11.0|
|Closing book value per share at year-end||€||21.581,2||89.432|
|Number of shares at year-end||’000||62,489.01||15,622.2|
|Closing market capitalisation at year-end||€m||1,087.3||1,548.2|
1 A four-for-one stock split was performed in July 2018.
2 Based on the number of shares outstanding at the balance sheet date.
|ISIN CODE AT000AGRANA3||Exchange/ market segmentVSE/Prime Market||Type of security Ordinary shares||Number of shares 62,488,976|
|Reuters Code AGRV.VI||Bloomberg Code AGR:AV||Ticker symbol AGR|
At the Annual General Meeting of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG on 6 July 2018, shareholders approved a four-for-one stock split. The corresponding amendment to the Articles of Association was entered in the commercial register on 24 July 2018. In connection with the stock split, in compliance with international market standards, AGRANA’s shares were assigned a new ISIN, AT000AGRANA3, replacing the old ISIN AT0000603709. The changeover of the listing on the Vienna Stock Exchange (the start of trading under the new ISIN) occurred on 27 July 2018. The actual book entry of the shares with the new ISIN in securities accounts and the actual retirement of the existing shares with the old ISIN was performed on 31 July 2018.
Through the stock split, the number of shares increased from 15,622,244 to a new total of 62,488,976. The share capital remained unchanged at € 113,531,274.76 and is now divided into 62,488,976 no-par value bearer shares. Each no-par value share now represents a proportionate amount of approximately € 1.82 of the share capital.
In the equity market, the 2018 calendar year worldwide showed a clear division into three parts: A stage of about one month of strongly rising prices, a long period with highly volatile price movements and a subsequent correction of the markets. This correction set in at different times in the various regions, but had taken hold in most markets by the beginning of the fourth quarter and strengthened considerably in December. In line with the performance of global markets, the Vienna Stock Exchange too began the year 2018 bullishly, reaching a peak of 3,688.78 points on 23 January 2018, the highest close of the decade for Austria’s benchmark ATX index. However, in the course of the year, affected especially by the worries over trade conflicts, the ATX gradually lost ground, ending the calendar year at only 2,745.78 points.
On 1 March 2018, AGRANA started the 2018|19 financial year at a share price of € 24.78. Influenced by the already described environment for stock markets both worldwide and in Vienna, AGRANA’s shares consistently traded above € 22.5 in the first three months. After weak results for the first quarter of 2018|19 reported on an ad-hoc basis in June and the reaffirming of the guidance for the full year (expected significantly lower EBIT), AGRANA’s share price entered a declining phase. The downward trend was exacerbated in the second half of the year when the environment for sugar manufacturers did not improve with the start of the new sugar marketing year (which began on 1 October 2018) and as AGRANA’s further quarterly reports, for the first half and third quarter of 2018|19, were negatively received by the market. The closing price of € 17.40 at the balance sheet date represented a significant decrease of 29.8% from the opening price at the start of the financial year. The performance of the ATX index over the same period was less negative (down 12.5%). AGRANA’s average trading volume on the Vienna Stock Exchange was about 49,000 shares per day1 (prior year: approximately 77,000 shares per day2).
The market capitalisation at 28 February 2019, with 62,488,976 shares outstanding, was € 1,087.3 million (prior year: € 1,584.2 million).
AGRANA is listed in the Prime Market segment of the Vienna Stock Exchange and is also quoted in the VÖNIX, the Austrian Sustainability Index. This equity index comprises those exchange traded Austrian companies which are leading in social and environmental performance.
1 Trading volume based on double counting, as published by the Vienna Stock Exchange.
2 Trading volume based on double counting, as published by the Vienna Stock Exchange; the share count has been multiplied by four to facilitate year-on-year comparison.
AGRANA is committed to a predictable, reliable and transparent dividend policy designed for continuity. The distributions are based not only on profit but also on the Group’s cash flow and debt situation and the need to maintain a sound balance sheet structure. For the financial year under review, the Management Board will therefore propose to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on 5 July 2019 to pay a dividend of € 1.00 per share, representing a dividend yield of 5.7% based on the share price of € 17.40 at the end of February 2019 (prior year: 4.5%). The dividend payment date is 12 July 2019.
|Dividend per share||€||1.001,2,3||1.1253|
|Earnings per share||€||0.412,3||2.243|
|Dividend payout ratio||%||243.91||50.2|
1 Proposal to the Annual General Meeting.
2 A four-for-one stock split was performed in July 2018.
3 Based on the number of shares outstanding at the balance sheet date.
4 Based on the closing share price at the balance sheet date.
AGRANA has a long-standing, stable principal shareholder in Z & S Zucker und Stärke Holding AG (“Z & S”), Vienna, which itself is indirectly co-owned by Zucker-Beteiligungsgesellschaft m.b.H. (“ZBG”), Vienna, and Südzucker AG (“Südzucker”), Mannheim, Germany. Under a syndicate agreement between Südzucker and ZBG, the partners in the syndicate have mutual rights to appoint members of each other’s management board and supervisory board.
In the 2018|19 financial year there was no material change in shareholder structure.
1 Directly held.