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Pekka Kuusniemi

Ceo’s review: Raisio concentrating and focusing on growth

The confectionery business divestment in December 2017 was Raisio’s first strategic step towards the focus on its core business, i.e. healthy foods. Together with our already strong balance sheet, the proceeds from the confectionery business deal allow investments in creating organic growth and acquisitions that strategically fit Raisio’s core business.

Raisio at the beginning of the new

By renewing the organisational structure in early 2018, we direct all resources to support the strategic goals of the new Healthy Food Division. Raisio will increase its investment in R&D as well as utilising the potential of its well-known and valued brands. Our growth drivers include new products matching consumer needs, expansion into new product categories and new markets.

Growth both organically and through acquisitions requires long-term work and lays the foundation for shareholder value improvement. Raisio is a net debt free company with net cash of EUR 105 million at the end of 2017.

After the review period, at the end of January 2018, Raisio announced to consider the divestment of its cattle and fish feed businesses as one strategic alternative. Negotiations are ongoing with several operators and we aim to complete them during the spring 2018.

The twofold year 2017

Raisio aims to grow organically and through acquisitions in healthy foods.

In 2017, Raisio’s successes in Finland were its Elovena and Benecol products with sales growth of some 10 per cent and fish feed exports to Russia showing an increase of almost 30 per cent. Good sales development also improved our EBIT.

The Group’s EBIT, including the confectionery business, was clearly down from the comparison period. EBIT decline was mostly due to the challenges in the UK confectionery business. Benecol's EBIT was also significantly down from the comparison period due to higher subcontracting costs of consumer products and the sharp world market price increase of sterols used as raw material in Benecol products, since higher costs could not fully be passed on to end product prices. Raisio has secured the availability and price level of sterols required for its production in the coming years.

Responsibility creates the foundation for our operations

We promote the realisation of Raisio’s strategic goals by operating responsibly. We already had significant results last year: Group carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 45 per cent, healthy foods now account for 65 per cent of our product range and we engaged our suppliers to the revised Group Code of Conduct.

We take responsibility into account in all our operations, since it is the foundation of our existence. We are committed to the implementation of the Group’s current Responsibility Programme and we are setting new goals for the development of our responsibility during 2018.

Pekka Kuusniemi
President and CEO