Dutch feed company ForFarmers has shown solid growth in total feed volume and operating profit in 2015.
In 2015 the total feed volume produced by ForFarmers, including the net effect of acquisitions, increased by 3.8% to 9.1 million tonnes (2014: 8.8 million tonnes). The like-for-like volume increase was 1.3%. In the Netherlands cluster a like-for-like growth of 4.0% was realised. In the Germany/Belgium cluster there was a slight decline in volume of 0.6%, caused by the fact that the cluster acted more restrained towards lower profitability longer-term contracts (tenders).
More ruminant feed in the Netherlands
Total Feed volume for the Netherlands cluster increased by 4.0% to 4.1 million tonnes. In the ruminant sector the increase of the volume amounted to 5.4%, mostly as a result of the abolition of the milk quotum resulting in more cows being kept on farm. In addition more compound feed and concentrates per animal were fed in this segment, which resulted in higher milk production. The volume was also higher in the poultry sector (+4.9%). In the swine sector there was a general declining trend (-1.5%) due to low sales prices of pig meat. The sale of organic feed increased in volume by more than 40% compared to 2014. This increase was partly the result of the cooperation with Agrifirm (full year 2015 compared to 4 months in 2014). In addition to this, ForFarmers realised a significant growth in the number of customers who bought organic feed in 2015.
Decline in Germany/Belgium, swine and ruminant sector declined
The volume in the Germany/Belgium cluster in 2015 was 1.9 million tonnes which was slightly lower than in 2014. Volume in both the swine and the ruminant sector declined. Sales in the ruminant sector decreased compared to last year due to the low milk prices resulting in less use of compound feed. The sales in the swine sector declined as a result of the low swine prices and the resulting pressure on our customers' margins. In the poultry sector volume grew, particularly in products for the laying hen sector (>20%), due to the acquisition of new customers. Volume in the broilers segment in Germany/Belgium was lower in 2015.
Further expansion in UK market
In the United Kingdom cluster the like-for-like volume declined by 1.0%. This decline was mainly caused by a drop in demand from ruminant farmers, in particular in the DML segment. Due to acquisitions the total volume in the United Kingdom did, however, increase by 6.4%. The volume of compound feed of ForFarmers remained stable compared to 2014. An increase was realised in both the ruminant and the poultry sector, the swine sector showed a slight decrease in volume. 2015 was also marked by further expansion in the United Kingdom with the acquisition of Total Feed activities of Countrywide Farmers in May 2015.
Animal feed: From local to international
Yoram Knoop, CEO ForFarmers commented: "In a year with challenging conditions for the agricultural sector and our customers, I am pleased with the achievements of ForFarmers. Volumes, gross profit and profit all increased. With the ongoing implementation of Horizon 2020, the transformation from a local compound feed supplier to a leading international feed company is fully underway. Meanwhile, significant progress has been made and advantages have been realised with our strategic partnerships. In 2015 ForFarmers has strengthened its position, has further professionalised the organisation and is ready for the new challenges of 2016."
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