Germany’s BayWa AG reported a 52% increase in earnings year on year, up to €16 billion (US$22 billion). CEO Klaus Josef Lutz described the financial year as, “milestone in over 90 years of history at BayWa.”
Earnings before interest and taxes rose almost 19% to €222 million (US$305 million).
Lutz attributed much of the growth to a focus on agriculture and renewable energies.
“Only through the strategy of growth in our core areas of agriculture and renewable energies are we able to record such success today and propose to raise the dividend further,” he said in a company press release.
At the annual shareholder meeting on June 17, the board of management will propose to raise the dividend from €0.10 (US$0.14) to €0.75 (US$1.03) per share.
Within the past year, he said BayWa has successfully integrated Cefetra B.V. and Bohnhorst Agrarhandel GmbH, acquired by the company at the end of 2012. Full integration of New Zealand fruit company Turners & Growers also played a key role in the company’s year-end financial results.
Lutz highlighted what the company described as “promising development” in agricultural trade in the first months of the year. Further acquisitions in the agricultural sector were planned for later in the year.
“As we were quick to adapt to globalised markets, we are able to drive forward the expansion and restructuring of BayWa AG in an extremely targeted and risk-aware manner,” Lutz said.
Agriculture saw its most notable growth in trade, fruit and equipment. Revenue for this sector more than doubled, reaching €10.7 billion (US$14.7 billion). Strong performance in this area was attributed in great part to acquisition of Cefetra and Bohnhorst.
Higher volumes from New Zealand and a good harvest were cited as growth factors in the fruit trading business, with 21% revenue growth to €567.7 million (US$780.2 million).
“All in all, the three major agricultural acquisitions in the last two years have had an extremely positive effect on BayWa’s result,” Lutz said.
Agricultural equipment benefited from farmer willingness to invest. Revenue rose to €1.3 billion (US$1.8 billion), up 8.3%.