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Royal Unibrew A/S announced the closing of the acquisition of Vrumona, the second largest soft drink company in the Netherlands, from Heineken. Vrumona is located near Utrecht and employs more than 300 people. The company has a strong portfolio of own brands and partner brands supporting the health and sustainability agenda.

Lars Jensen, CEO of Royal Unibrew A/S, states: “I am happy to welcome the dedicated and talented people from Vrumona to the Royal Unibrew family. We are eager to onboard the strong organisation and get started on the exiting journey to establish the company as a multi-beverage platform in Central Europe that will deliver organic earnings growth for years to come.”

As previously announced, Royal Unibrew A/S is acquiring 100 % of Vrumona at an enterprise value of EUR 300 million on a debt free basis. In 2022, Vrumona realised net revenue of EUR 200 million and an EBITDA of around EUR 25 million, resulting in an acquisition multiple (EV/EBITDA) of 12x.

The acquisition is expected to be EPS accretive in 2024, and ROIC on the acquisition is expected to exceed WACC within three years.

Vrumona fits very well into Royal Unibrew A/S’ operating model of strong local businesses with strong local brands with its solid positions in On-Trade and Off-Trade. The company has been a front runner in creating healthy and functional beverages for years for which reason the majority of its business is within the no/low sugar and calories segment. With the acquisition, Royal Unibrew A/S establish a new growth platform and expand its geographical footprint while the company also expand its longstanding relationship with PepsiCo as Vrumona is operating the full beverage portfolio from PepsiCo on a license agreement in a partnership dating back to 1949.

The Vrumona production facility in Bunnik includes seven lines with a current annual output of around 3.1 million hectoliters. The production facility is in a good condition; however, additional long-term investments are needed to improve efficiency as well as to expand capabilities and capacities. It is therefore expected that it will take some years before the platform is able to exploit its full organic growth potential.

Symrise AG successfully continued its profitable growth course in the third quarter of 2021. The Group recorded excellent organic sales growth of 8.3 %. In the first nine months of the current financial year, growth even amounted to 9.2 %. Taking into account the portfolio effect from the acquired fragrances business of Sensient as well as currency translation effects, Group sales rose to € 2,883 million during the reporting period (9M 2020: € 2,703 million), up 6.7 % compared to the prior-year period and 10.6 % in the third quarter. Both segments contributed to this positive result.

Symrise continues accelerated growth course
Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram (Photo: Symrise)

“We can look back on an exceptionally successful third quarter of 2021. As a result of the progress made in battling the coronavirus pandemic, demand has continued to increase significantly. The demand was particularly high for applications associated with more travel or leisure activities – including, for example, sun protection products, fragrances, but also applications for beverages and culinary products. We are extremely satisfied with our business development since the beginning of the year and we are continuing our accelerated growth path,” said Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG. “This is why we are once again raising our sales forecast to around 9 %. We are confident that we can achieve even more growth than forecasted after six-months and we will make the best possible use of the remaining weeks in 2021 to achieve this target.”

Applications for beverages and pet food drive strong sales growth for Flavor & Nutrition segment

The Flavor & Nutrition segment increased organic sales by a strong 10.0 % compared to the previous year. In the third quarter, organic growth amounted to 9.7 %. Taking currency translation effects into account, segment sales increased to € 1,752 million (9M 2020: € 1,646 million). Flavor & Nutrition also saw a normalization of consumer behavior owing to progress in combatting the coronavirus pandemic. The increase in out-of-home consumption exerted a positive impact and led to strong demand for beverages. At the same time, the increasing number of households with pets across the world generated high demand for pet food applications, resulting in strong growth in this business unit.

Applications for beverages recorded sales growth in the double-digit range. In all markets, growth was particularly driven by the strong increase in demand for beverages destined for out-of-home consumption.

Sales in the Savory business unit in all regions slightly exceeded the exceptionally high prior-year level, which was characterized by the particularly high demand during the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales for sweet product solutions were slightly below the prior-year level. Medium single-digit growth driven by new customers in Latin America and Asia/Pacific was offset by the current low price level for vanilla.

The Pet Food business unit continued its strong growth compared to the already excellent prior-year period and increased sales in the double-digit percentage range. The sales development was particularly dynamic in the national markets of Mexico, Russia and South America.

The Food business unit achieved modest organic growth. This was driven by rising sales in Western Europe, while sales in North America declined slightly.

The ADF/IDF Group also developed extremely well, achieving double-digit organic sales growth. The business recorded strong growth in its home market, the American domestic market.

The Probiotics business unit, including the majority shareholding in the Swedish company Probi AB, did not maintain the strong level of the previous year and recorded a slight decline in sales. This is balanced by strong project vitality with numerous new product launches of customers.

Symrise once again raises its sales forecast for 2021

With its global presence, the continually growing, diversified portfolio and its broad customer base, Symrise considers itself as being robustly positioned despite the ongoing challenging market environment. Symrise has full delivery capability and can reliably meet the strongly rising demand in the wake of successful combatting of the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on the positive business development in the first nine months, Symrise is once again raising the sales target and now expects organic growth of around 9 % for the full year 2021. This corresponds to an increase of around two percentage points compared to the raised forecast of 7 % in August 2021. Symrise thereby highlights its aspiration to once again significantly outperform growth in the relevant market for fragrances and flavors during the current financial year. In the present business environment, current estimates assume market growth of 3 to 4 %.

Furthermore, Symrise is adhering to its profitability target for the financial year 2021 and is aiming for an EBITDA margin of more than 21 %.

The medium-term targets continue to be unchanged. The company expects to increase its sales to between € 5.5 and € 6.0 billion by the end of the financial year 2025. Symrise intends to achieve this increase with annual organic growth of 5 to 7 % (CAGR) and complementary strategic acquisitions. Profitability over the medium term is projected in the target corridor of 20 to 23 %.

  • Britvic acquires Plenish, plant-based drinks business
  • Portfolio comprises plant-based milks, cold-pressed juices and functional shots
  • The transaction strengthens Britvic’s offer in the high-growth plant-based milks and organic juice categories

Britvic announces the acquisition of Plenish, the plant-based milks, cold-pressed juices and shots company, and one of the most exciting brands in its category in Great Britain. Plenish joins Britvic’s portfolio of market-leading brands and strengthens the Group’s offering in the fast-growing plant-based segment.

Founded in 2012, Plenish offers a range of plant-based milks and plant-powered juice drinks all made from the highest quality, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. The products are carried by major national grocery retailers. Plenish’s sales are further boosted by highly effective marketing and a sophisticated direct-to-consumer sales offer.

Kara Rosen set up Plenish in 2012 after looking for alternative solutions to deal with a recurring health issue. A native New Yorker, Kara moved to the UK and soon realised that there were no cold-pressed juices in the British market free of sugar. Kara decided to make her own juices and nut milks using mainly green vegetables from organic origin. Since then, Plenish has become one of the fastest growing plant-based milks brand in the UK, while its juice-led direct-to-consumer business continues to grow at over 100+ % pa. The transaction is closely aligned with Britvic’s strategy of building a portfolio of soft-drinks brands for every consumer occasion and its focus on accessing new spaces in the soft drinks category. Britvic has a long track record of successfully leveraging its scale and capabilities to grow its brands, and it will draw on this experience to fulfil the full potential of Plenish.

Britvic recognises the opportunity presented by the fast-growing plant-based drinks segment, with plant-based milks set to achieve retail sales values of over £500m by 2024. The non-soya plant-based milks market has grown more than tenfold over the past decade and it is fast becoming a mainstream category, with consumers favouring healthier, plant-based products over dairy.

The transaction also serves to strengthen Britvic’s Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainability agenda. The Group is committed to ensuring its products help consumers enjoy life’s everyday moments, as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Healthy nutrition is at the core of Plenish’s brand with a range of products containing the highest quality natural ingredients with low calories, that are certified organic by the Soil Association. As an accredited B-Corporation and a certified carbon negative business, Plenish’s approach to environment will contribute positively to Britvic’s Healthier Planet commitments.