UK- Global specialty food ingredients distributor, Azelis, has reported a robust financial performance for the fiscal year 2023, showcasing resilience and achieving record-breaking free cash flow despite challenging market conditions.

According to the company’s financial report released by the CEO, Anna Bertona, revenue reached EUR 4.2 billion, demonstrating a year-on-year growth of 1.0% (or 5.3% on a constant currency basis).

Anna attributed the success to the strong performance in Life Sciences, effectively offsetting weaknesses in the Industrial Chemicals sector.

The report also revealed a significant boost in Azelis’ gross profit, reaching EUR 984.1 million, marking a 2.4% increase compared to the previous year.

The gross profit margin expanded by 32 basis points to 23.7%, driven by positive mixed effects observed across the various business segments.

The adjusted EBITA for the year stood at EUR 466.3 million, showcasing a commendable 2.1% year-on-year increase.

“The robust conversion margin of 47.4% underscores Azelis’ ability to sustain profitability in the face of a challenging economic landscape. This financial strength positions the company well for future endeavours and growth opportunities.”

In addition, Azelis recorded a remarkable surge in free cash flow, soaring by 37.3% to EUR 601.2 million, reflecting an impressive cash conversion ratio of 127.4%.

Despite facing headwinds, the reported net profit of EUR 189.3 million is noteworthy. This figure includes EUR 21 million in non-cash financial charges related to hyperinflation accounting impact and adjustments in the fair value of certain derivative instruments.

Throughout 2023, Azelis completed seven strategic acquisitions across its three regions, representing a combined prior-year revenue of over EUR 400 million.

Additionally, three acquisitions with a combined prior-year revenue exceeding EUR 30 million were announced in the fourth quarter, expected to conclude in Q1 2024.

Furthermore, Azelis maintained its strong Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standing, confirming its industry-leading ESG ranking in the recent Sustainalytics assessment.

Looking ahead, Azelis remains steadfast in its focus on cost control, cash conversion, and growth according to the CEO.

“The company anticipates returning to organic growth in 2024, although the timing of the recovery remains uncertain. The leadership, resilience, and dedication of Azelis’ teams have been crucial in achieving the remarkable results outlined in the 2023 financial report.”

In a statement, Anna Bertona expressed satisfaction with the company’s achievements, emphasizing the resilience and cash-generative nature of the business.

She highlighted the successful execution of the company’s long-term strategy and its commitment to becoming the reference solutions provider in the industry.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. HERE