De Heus

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De Heus achieves record profit and expands further

May 27, 2024 - Wouter Baan

Animal feed company De Heus saw a slight decrease in revenue last year, but the profits increased further. This is evident from the annual report of the group holding company that was deposited with the Chamber of Commerce earlier this month. The increasing profit is remarkable considering that other major feed manufacturers in our country had to incur losses in 2023.

After the revenue in 2022 exploded due to high raw material prices and a major acquisition in Vietnam, this key figure decreased by 7% last year to €6.44 billion. Of this, €3.45 billion is generated within Europe, without indicating the size of the Dutch stake. In the past, De Heus generated approximately one-third of its revenue in the Netherlands, but this is likely to have decreased in recent years.

Interestingly, revenue in Asia remained almost the same at €2.22 billion. Sales in Africa (totaling €458 million) even increased. This indicates that De Heus's portfolio is increasingly gaining global coverage.

Record Profit
The operating profit slightly decreased, but the net profit increased by over 10% to €157 million. This exceeds the previous record profits from 2021 by €10 million. The losses incurred by ForFarmers, Agrifirm, and also Nutreco last year pale in comparison.

The cash flow also improved significantly last year. This is related to the significantly decreased raw material prices that had skyrocketed the previous year due to the war in Ukraine. The dividend paid out last year amounted to €7 million.

In terms of acquisitions, De Heus took a slower pace last year, after acquiring several feed companies in the preceding years both domestically and internationally. However, poultry company Plukon, in which De Heus has a significant but not majority stake - being the largest shareholder - is aggressively expanding. Just this year, Plukon acquired four companies, and it was also active in acquisitions in 2023. The growth strategy is proving successful for Plukon, given the record profit achieved last year.

Management Changes
Two months ago, De Heus announced that the management structure will change from 2025 onwards. Koen and Co de Heus will step down from their respective CEO positions and instead jointly become chairpersons of a newly formed board of directors. Gabor Fluit will assume the role of CEO.

Wouter Baan

Wouter Baan is the editor-in-chief of Farmerbusiness and a market specialist in dairy, pork, and meat at DCA Market Intelligence. He also tracks developments within the agribusiness sector and conducts interviews with CEOs and policymakers.
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