Unifrutti Group: significant growth in volumes and profitability
The Group approves the 2020 financial statements and continues its expansion with strategic acquisitions
Unifrutti Group, one of the global leaders in the production, marketing and distribution of high quality fresh fruit, consolidates a 2020 with unprecedented results despite the complexities of last year that affected the entire sector. Proforma revenues, equal to US $ 709 million, show a 5% increase compared to net revenues as of December 31, 2019, equal to US $ 676 million, with approximately 647 million tons of products sold in 2020.
The global pandemic from Covid-19 has helped to accelerate trends already underway: an increase in demand for products with health attributes with a boom in sales on the orange market, particularly in the months that coincided with the first lockdown, an increase in buying fresh food and a spike in consumer demand for unprocessed food. This trend is expected to continue even after the end of the pandemic, imposing a clear acceleration in the change in global lifestyles in which the consumption of fresh fruit is favored.
The gross profit margin increased to 18%, compared to 16% the previous year, while the Ebitda reached 12% as a percentage of revenues, up compared to 10% in 2019 thanks to a significant plan to contain the costs adopted by the various divisions of the Group, as well as a better price mix on core products such as lemons and citrus fruits exported from South Africa, in addition to the positive results achieved in the Japanese market which today represents approximately 28% of consolidated revenues.
The total assets of the Group stood at US $ 981.8 million, an increase of 10% compared to the previous year, with the greatest contribution coming from the new acquisition of the Oranfrizer group, one of the Italian leaders in the production of blood oranges, which in financial year 2020 generated revenues for a total of US $ 63 million and an Ebitda of US $ 5.3 million, a trend in line with that expected for the year 2021.
Marco Venturelli, Chief Executive Officer of Unifrutti Group, declared: “In 2020 the growth plan announced in 2019 was confirmed, with the contribution of the strategic partner Carlyle. With the recent acquisitions of Dimifruit and Oranfrizer, the Group wants to send a clear message of dynamism and continuous growth of its production platforms in the various geographies. The achievement of US $ 83 million of Ebitda testifies to the consistency of the current strategic plan, which is rooted in a continuous buy & build action at a global level".
Unifrutti acquired 92% of Oranfrizer shares in November 2020: this transaction allowed the Group to expand its portfolio with a globally recognized and best-in-class product exclusively made in Italy, with significant potential for expansion in the markets international companies, increasing corporate assets to ensure greater security on the supply of products to meet future growth in demand.
The global development strategy, which aims to diversify the offer by including well-established agricultural companies with successful experiences in the Group, continued with the acquisition of Dimifruit in Spain, which led Unifrutti to control approximately 80 hectares of fully produced vegetables. in the Almeria greenhouses with the integrated pest management system, reaching a total of over 5 million kg distributed during the last season.
Unifrutti is also moving in the direction of applying artificial intelligence at all levels of the business, with the main objective of expanding the Group's commitment to sustainability under the guidance of a dedicated ESG team within the Head Office. A partnership is currently being developed with a leading global player in the AI sector, thanks to which a project will be developed that will allow the Group to acquire skills and tools to deal with the effects of climate change and reduce the exposure to related risks.
In 2021 the Group expects to maintain its focus on maximizing the EBITDA margin, as a combination of organic growth in turnover and efficiency of the Group's cost structure. The investments aimed at expanding production capacity, made over the last four years by the Group in the Philippines, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and Italy will guarantee a stable and greater supply of products as well as an increase in profitability.
The company also has a priority for the development strategy of production in the northern hemisphere, essential for expanding the selling proposition, covering the entire production seasons and developing a continuous and strategic dialogue with customers in the reference markets. Extraordinary investments will be increasingly focused on human resources, in particular the construction and consolidation of internal skills, in a reference market that remains extremely complex, on the expansion of production capacity and on technological development.
EFA News - European Food Agency