As contemplated in the company’s forecast for 2014, the sharp rise in cocoa prices in recent months affected significantly the profitability of the cocoa and chocolate activity during the off-season.
- The cocoa and chocolate business ended the first quarter with a slight sales drop, falling 1.6% to 75.71 M€. However, the rising price of cocoa, which in the first quarter reached highs not seen since 2011, had a significant negative effected on the business’ EBITDA during the off-season, resulting in a figure of 2.73 M€, compared to 4.90 M€ in the first quarter of 2013.
- Natraceutical’s turnover contributed 10.10 M€ to the consolidated Natra figure, compared to 11.15 M€ in the first quarter of 2013 (-10.4%). This adjustment was mainly due to the change in the purchasing dynamics in the pharmaceutical channel, which traditionally acquired its main supply for nutritional weight control supplements during the first quarter pre-sale campaign. As a direct result, and despite a reduction in operating costs, the EBITDA for the first quarter was adjusted to 2.61 M€, compared to 2.94 M€ in the same period during the previous year.
- Natra closed the first quarter of 2014 with a consolidated turnover of 85.81 M€ (-2.7% in relation to the same period during the previous year), an EBITDA of 5.34 M€ (-46.6%) and a net loss of 2.34 M€, against 0.18 M€ profits at the end of 2013.
1.- Evolution of the cocoa and chocolate business
Following the significant rise in cocoa prices during 2013, ranging between 1,382 and 1,800 pounds per tonne, the first quarter of 2014 saw a continuation of this trend, with prices reaching an initial maximum of 1,898 pounds per tonne (the highest price since early September 2011).
Evolution of sales and EBITDA
(Q1 2013-2014, in M€)