While turnover fell slightly (1.8 per cent), the manufacturer of one of the world’s best-selling omega-3 products, Puleva Omega-3 milk, also managed to reduce its consolidated debts by 53.4 per cent to €582m.
The innovation-driven company maintained its commitment to exposing its brands by increasing its advertising spend by 10 per cent to €49m.
Ebro Puleva said its focus on non-cyclical, value-added products was delivering healthy results.
“The company has, in these times of severe crisis, revealed a very healthy financial position, a major increase in yield and a sturdy resistance to the boom of private label brands,” it said, noting its rice and pasta businesses had performed particularly strongly, on the back of stabilisation of raw material markets.
The stratification of the dairy market also benefitted the company, with increasing consumer preferences for health and wellness products being manifested in boosted sales for “high value added”, often functional products such as Puleva Omega-3 milk and those aimed at infants.
“The constant launching of new references and the continuous segmentation of markets by Puleva is being rewarded by consumers, who have stood by our high value added products,” the company said.
“The division has thus steered clear of the current trend on a market dominated by the low prices of the private label brands. With this and the excellent performance of the infant nutrition range, the division has completed a remarkable first half of the year.”
The division had turnover of €222m and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of €31m – up 34.7 per cent on the first half of 2008.
Puleva Omega-3 milk is a pioneer in the area and has been on the Spanish market for more than ten years where it has captured two per cent of the milk market and notches annual sales of more than €110m.
Ebro Puleva acquires much of its omega-3 fatty acids from its subsidiary, Puleva Biotech, which also produces probiotic strains.