PRESS RELEASE – Func Food Group Q4 and Full Year 2017 Financial Report
Func Food Group has today published its Q4 and full year 2017 financial report. The report is available in English at http://www.funcfood.com/investors/?lang=en.
Fourth quarter 2017
• Consolidated Group revenues amounted to MEUR 8,9 (MEUR 8,4 in consolidated 2016).
• Revenues increased by MEUR 0,6 or 6,6% in comparison to 2016.
• Consolidated Group EBITDA amounted to MEUR -1,5 (MEUR 7,1 in consolidated 2016).
• EBITDA decreased by MEUR 8,6 in comparison to 2016.
• EBITDA adjusted for items affecting comparability was MEUR -0,7 in 2017 and MEUR -0,1 in 2016 (reduction of MEUR 0,6).
Year-to-date December 2017
• Consolidated Group revenues amounted to MEUR 40,1 (MEUR 40,0 in consolidated 2016).
• Revenues increased by MEUR 0,1 or 0,3% in comparison to 2016.
• Consolidated Group EBITDA amounted to MEUR 0,2 (MEUR 10,3 in consolidated 2016).
• EBITDA decreased by MEUR 10,0 in comparison to 2016.
• EBITDA adjusted for items affecting comparability was MEUR 1,3 in 2017 and MEUR 3,2 in 2016 (reduction of MEUR 1,9).
In Q4 2017 the Group had a negative EBITDA in its main markets Finland and Sweden. Adjusted EBITDA was positive in Finland and negative in Sweden. In comparison year Q4 2016 the Group recorded other income of MEUR 7,9 relating to non-realization of additional purchase prices of acquisitions. Revenue performance in Finland was strong lead by the FAST brand. In Sweden, the Group achieved revenue growth in local currency SEK but declined slightly in euros. The growth in local currency was driven by the Celsius brand. Total net revenue for the Group was MEUR 8,9 (+6,6% vs. previous year). In order to account for seasonal imbalances and strategic decisions to exit private label manufacturing, this report includes pro forma revenue growth comparisons without Freddy Store Ab and private label sales. In Q4 2017 net revenue excluding these businesses grew by +9,3% vs. PY. Total EBITDA was MEUR -1,5 and adjusted EBITDA was MEUR -0,7. Total sales margin-% was at a low level (23,7%), driven by an adjustment relating to an acquisition item from previous years, but also by the launch of new innovations at the end of Q3. The Group invested in promotional campaigns to support the launches. The launches and growing cross-sales increased the number of SKU’s held in stock, which impacted logistics expenses. The Group also recorded higher than average write-offs in the quarter.
The Group’s year-to-date revenue was MEUR 40,1 (+0,3% vs. PY and +7,7% vs. PY excluding Freddy Store and private label sales). Celsius revenues increased by MEUR 2,3 or 11,1% vs. PY, followed by MEUR 1,9 (+23,3%) growth of FAST. In line with the overall trend in 2017 the discontinuation of private label sales together with Freddy were the biggest hindrances to further revenue growth. EBITDA for full year 2017 amounted to MEUR 0,2 (MEUR 10,3 in 2016) and adjusted EBITDA was MEUR 1,3 (MEUR 3,2 in 2016).
Revenues for the Finnish market increased notably in Q4. However, the full year development was negative. The most significant driver for the revenue growth in the quarter was FAST, which recorded a 70,1% growth, while the full year development was +22,2%. CocoVi and FitFarm brands declined clearly in the quarter and full year. Total revenue development for Finland was +18,5% vs. PY in the quarter, and -7,1% in full year 2017. Excluding private labels the revenue growth was +24,9% in the quarter and +1,8% in full year 2017. Total EBITDA in Finland amounted to MEUR -0,1 and adjusted EBITDA to MEUR 0,1 in the quarter.
In Sweden, Q4 net revenues grew by +3,2% vs. previous year in local currency SEK (excluding intercompany sales), and declined by 1,4% in EUR. Full year development in euros was +5,2%. Excluding the Freddy business the quarterly net revenue in SEK was +3,6% and in EUR -1,1% vs. previous year. Total EBITDA in Sweden was MEUR -1,3 and adjusted EBITDA was MEUR -0,8 in the quarter.
The Group started commercial operations in Norway during Q4 2017. However, the impact of the Norwegian business to the Group’s overall net revenue and EBITDA figures was still at a low level.
During the quarter the successful trajectory of Celsius in Sweden faced some challenges due to ever more fierce competition. This resulted in lower volume growth for the quarter than earlier in 2017. This development was partly offset by increased level of promotions. The FAST brand in Sweden saw a continuation of the successful implementation of the FAST ROX no sugar added protein bars, which gained new distribution points and received very positive consumer response.
As in previous quarters, the retail development across both core markets continued to grow. In Sweden, the grocery channel grew by +1,6% vs. previous year while in Finland the growth was +2,8%. The bars category maintains positive growth in Sweden, which also holds true for Finland, where on a full-year level both bars and protein puddings have driven growth for the category. Meanwhile, protein powders are now showing a downward trend in retail, driven by price competition and an increasing share of e-commerce.
In terms of market share the Group has managed to drive an increase for both bars and puddings in Finland, while losing some share in powders as a result of very heavy price pressure in the market. The bar and pudding categories have also been the key drivers behind the successful volume growth of the FAST brand in 2017 as a whole. Despite a challenging environment in Q4, the Group has managed to deliver a solid 2017 for our core brands Celsius and FAST, including starting sales for Celsius in Norway. However, this positive development has unfortunately been partly offset by challenges relating to the CocoVi and Freddy brands.
On December 18 2017 the Group initiated a written procedure to its bondholders, requesting to amend the terms and conditions of the bonds. The Group proposed that a maximum of MEUR 10,0 of the Group’s MEUR 23,1 secured intercompany loan made available by Func Food Group Oyj to Func Food Sweden Ab can be converted into equity at Func Food Sweden Ab. Also, the Group proposed a waiver for the MEUR 4,5 amortization scheduled for September 2018. Further, the Group proposed an increase to permitted financial lease debt and a permission to enter into a recourse factoring arrangement with major retailers. The proposal also included changes relating to potential divestment of the Group’s Freddy business and a permission to potentially merge the Finnish operative entities. Upon approval of the amendments the Group ensured than an equity contribution of minimum MEUR 2,0 and maximum MEUR 3,0 would be provided. At the release time of this report the bondholders have approved the amendments and MEUR 3,0 of the contribution has been arranged.
Total consolidated EBIT for the Group was MEUR -2,9 for the quarter (MEUR 0,5 in Q4 2016) and MEUR -4,2 for full year 2017 (MEUR 0,7 in 2016). Sales margin-% declined in 2017 vs. 2016. In 2016, sales margin was significantly affected by income related to non-realization of additional purchase prices of acquisitions. However, the Group also faced pressure in form of increased cost levels in e.g. logistics. Investments in marketing increased by MEUR 0,8 in 2017 vs. 2016, following the Group’s expansion strategy. Personnel and other operating expenses increased by MEUR 0,4. Total depreciations, amortizations, and impairments decreased by MEUR 5,2. In 2016 the Group recorded a goodwill impairment of MEUR 5,6.
Consolidated cash and cash equivalents on 31 December 2017 amounted to MEUR 1,3 (MEUR 0,7 in the beginning of the quarter and MEUR 0,7 in the beginning of 2017). The Group generated a negative net cash flow of MEUR 1,4 from operating activities in the quarter, mainly driven by debt service costs, and a positive net cash flow of MEUR 4,8 during the twelve months of the year. The positive development was largely impacted by decreased receivables relating to blocked bank account funds, which were used for bond amortization in Q1.
On January 15 2018 the bondholders of the Group approved amendments to the terms and conditions of the bonds in accordance with the written procedure initiated in December 18 2017. Following the approval the shareholders of the Group made further subscriptions of the convertible loan made available by the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on November 20 2017. In total, the full MEUR 3,0 of the loan has been subscribed.
The Group has continued to follow its expansion strategy established in 2016, with focus on driving the revenue of our core brands in their home markets and additionally investing behind expanded cross-sales for FAST and Celsius. Operations of Func Food Norge AS proceeded as planned and the first deliveries of Celsius in Norway took place in December 2017. As part of the expansion of FAST in Sweden, the core products of our portfolio have achieved wide distribution starting in late January and the outlook for more listings later in the spring comes with a degree of optimism.
Additionally, the Group has in February announced a management re-structuring process that aims at reducing complexity, increasing focus, and enabling more speed in our operations as we move forward.
Following our 2017 results including the challenges in EBITDA delivery driven by entering the Swedish nutrition market on a large scale, the Group maintains a modest but positive revenue and EBITDA growth aspiration for 2018. The competitive environment on “traditional products” (powders, drinks) continues to be challenging across all our markets, and growth will come from driving cross-sales for relevant parts of the portfolio combined with strong innovation. The group will continue to improve cost control and optimise net working capital levels in order to enable both continuous investments behind growth and reliable debt service performance.
For further information please contact:
Robin Lybeck, CEO, Func Food Group Oyj
mobile +358 40 735 2464
Tommi Virtanen, CFO, Func Food Group Oyj
mobile +358 40 590 4040.
The information contained in this press release is such information that Func Food Group Oyj is required to publish in accordance with the Swedish Securities Market Act (2007:528) and/or the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act (1991:980). The information was submitted for publication on 28 February 2018, at 19.30 CET.
Func Food Group Oyj, Mäkelänkatu 91, 00610 Helsinki, Finland. The board is resident in Helsinki. For further information about the company please visit http://www.funcfood.com/?lang=en.
Func Food Group Oyj