14/03/2022 | Ingredients

Hochdorf: Pleasing balance sheet improvement and difficult milk year

The Hochdof Group took important steps towards financial recovery and strategic transformation in 2021. With the receipt of a repayment of CHF 30 m from customer Pharmalys Laboratories SA and the proceeds of CHF 50.2 m from the sale of the Hochdorf site, net debt fell significantly to CHF 32.7 m. Despite the Covid pandemic, sales of CHF 303.5 m were generated, 1 % below the previous year’s figure. Operating activities resulted in a negative operating result due to higher milk prices and lower sales in the Baby Care division, while the reported Ebit of CHF 6.5 m benefited from special effects. The consolidated profit amounted to CHF 2.6 m, after a loss of CHF 70.3 m in the previous year. Hochdorf intends to accelerate the implementation of its strategy, focusing on Smart Nutrition and the streamlining of its product portfolio, to move into higher value-added areas.

The Swiss chocolate industry recovered from its Covid-19 low. The volumes sold in the second half of 2021 reached and partially surpassed pre-pandemic levels. This is mainly due to warehouse restocking due to transport bottlenecks and the development of new sales markets. As a result, Food Solutions achieved sales of CHF 219 m, which represents an increase of 6 % compared to the previous year. The positive sales for lactose-free milk powder are particularly noteworthy, as is the substantial interest from the chocolate industry in the vegan whole-milk powder alternative for “milk chocolate”.