Paulig and Santa Maria made good profits in 2008

In spite of the financial crisis that began last autumn and despite sharp fluctuations in the prices of raw materials, Paulig and Santa Maria did well last year. The pro forma* net sales of Paulig and Santa Maria were up by 7 per cent on the previous year, reaching 698.2 million euros (2007: 653.3 million euros. The net profit was 24.6 million euros (2007: 22.1 million). Almost half of the net sales were generated by the World Cuisine product group, mostly Mexican food. Coffee accounted for over 30 per cent and consumer and industrial seasonings for a total of roughly 20 per cent. The Groups provided a total of some 1,800 jobs in various countries.
The net sales of the Paulig Group’s official financial statements grew last year to 303.5 million euros (2007: 269.9 million euros) and the net profit rose to 24.6 million euros (2007: 22.1 million euros), mainly due to coffee business. The Group’s solvency stayed good in spite of 37 million euros in investments. The largest investments were procurements for the new roastery’s production process, the construction of a seasonings plant in Romania for the Group’s associated company Fuchs Gewürze GmbH, and the purchase of a plot of land for a roastery in Tver, Russia.
Outlook for the rest of 2009
The first quarter went according to expectations for the Paulig and Santa Maria Groups. The prevailing financial crisis may somewhat affect the figures for the rest of the year, although cyclical variations are not usually as heavy in the food industry as in other sectors of industry. The greatest challenge is in Russia and the Baltic countries. Managing the fluctuating prices of the Group’s main raw materials – coffee, wheat, maize, spices and palm oil – will continue to be a significant challenge in the current financial year.
According to plan, the new coffee roastery in Vuosaari will start up production in summer 2009 and gradually the old roastery will wind up production in the autumn, whereupon other functions will also be relocated to the new facilities. This is a large-scale project and preparations have been made for several years.
The Group’s financing has been secured with long-term loan arrangements which provide good opportunities in spite of the recession.