2018, A RECOVERY YEAR FOR THE GROUP
The Group ended the year with an EBITDA at €154 million (26% higher than the goal) and achieved recovery, notably in its core activity (grain processing and biodiesel production).
Although some doubts persist, the regulatory landscape is becoming clearer. Europe has confirmed a long-term future for the biofuel market until 2030, with an incorporation rate stabilized at 7%. Some European countries made up for their delays in incorporating biodiesel as soon as the second half of 2018, causing a marked rise in demand. Europe has also declared its aim to place a ceiling on high-emitting biofuels and put an end to unfair competition from Argentine soybean esters by fixing a quota and minimum price.
All Avril’s Business Lines achieved their financial goals, or more
After a difficult year for Lesieur in France, 2019 is seeing benefits for its table oil activities from a repositioning of its Puget and ISIO4 brands and the launch in French supermarkets of the Italian olive oil brand Costa d'Oro, recently acquired by the Group.
In terms of specialties, the downturn in the performance of oleochemicals, impacted at the end of the year by the European economic slowdown, was offset by the international dynamism of animal specialties. Animal nutrition and livestock products, now combined within the Livestock Sectors Business Line, remained under pressure but ended 2018 in a positive position, driven by the performance of the pork branch. Matines, currently in its transition towards alternative eggs, should see growth and profitability once again in 2020.
On its side, Avril’s finance and development company, Sofiprotéol, almost doubled its commitments in 2018 and has confidence in a successful 2019 through its excellent portfolio of investments.