Net assets position

Total assets for the Nordzucker Group amounted to EUR 2,336.7 million at the end of the reporting year, a decline of EUR 66.6 million on the previous year’s figure of EUR 2,403.3 million.

Intangible assets of EUR 67.1 million fell by EUR 98.2 million from the previous year’s figure of EUR 165.3 million. Alongside depreciation and amortisation of EUR 11.2 million, this was mainly due to the complete write-off of the goodwill from the acquisition of Nordic Sugar amounting to EUR 89.0 million.

Breakdown of the assets and liabilities
making up the 2013/2014 balance sheet total
Breakdown of the assets and liabilities making up the 2013/2014 balance sheet total (graphic)

In the reporting year, the Nordzucker Group invested EUR 78.7 million in property, plant and equipment. Capital expenditure was offset by current depreciation and amortisation of EUR 70.0 million and impairment losses of EUR 3.3 million. Total property, plant and equipment went down from EUR 853.1 million to EUR 847.9 million.

Financial investments of EUR 26.4 million were roughly the same as in the previous year, whereas deferred tax assets fell from EUR 17.9 million to EUR 1.6 million.

Inventories declined by EUR 15.7 million to EUR 1,012.1 million. This was due to a fall of EUR 33.7 million in stocks of quota and non-quota sugar. A warehouse fire in Sweden shortly before the reporting date destroyed a substantial quantity of quota sugar. Raw materials, consumables and supplies went up by EUR 14.8 million thanks to higher stocks of raw sugar at year-end.

Current receivables and other assets were EUR 24.1 million higher, at EUR 317.3 million compared with EUR 293.1 million in the previous year. Lower revenues meant that trade receivables from third parties and related parties fell by EUR 29.4 million compared with the previous year’s figure. Current income tax receivables rose by EUR 11.0 million.

Consolidated Net debt
Consolidated net debt (graphic)

Financial and other assets were up by EUR 42.5 million overall. The increase was due partly to the recognition of insurance claims following a warehouse fire in Sweden. The EU is also to reimburse the Nordzucker Group for production levies paid in previous years, for which EUR 43.3 million was recognised. This was offset by a decline of EUR 18.8 million in other taxes.

The previous year’s net debt of EUR 59.4 million (financial liabilities less cash and cash equivalents) was paid back in full. Altogether, cash and cash equivalents exceeded financial liabilities by EUR 52.4 million at the end of the period.

Equity went up to EUR 1,385.8 million compared with EUR 1,291.3 million in the previous year. Consolidated net income for the period increased equity by EUR 208.7 million. Dividend payments of EUR 96.4 million to shareholders of Nordzucker AG and minority shareholders had the opposite effect. As total assets remained roughly the same, the equity ratio went up from 53.7 per cent in the previous year to 59.3 per cent. This figure was again well above the Group target of 30 per cent.

Non-current provisions and liabilities fell to EUR 310.8 million (previous year: EUR 378.5 million). The total includes non-current provisions of EUR 172.3 million (previous year: EUR 219.2 million), of which EUR 144.7 million (previous year: EUR 187.5 million) are for pension obligations. The decline of EUR 42.8 million in pension provisions stemmed from transferring some of the pension obligations to a pension fund, accompanied by a one-off payment. This step was taken in order to use the Nordzucker Group’s good liquidity to reduce its biometric risks. Non-current liabilities consist mostly of deferred tax liabilities, which fell from EUR 136.2 million to EUR 116.3 million in the reporting year.

Current provisions and liabilities declined sharply from EUR 733.6 million to EUR 640.1 million. Current financial liabilities were repaid almost in full thanks to the good liquidity. At the same time, current income tax liabilities were paid in the course of the year. Trade payables fell year on year from EUR 465.4 million to EUR 399.3 million, mainly due to much reduced beet deliveries from farmers. Other liabilities went up from EUR 37.6 million to EUR 97.1 million. This increase is mainly related to the receivable for the reimbursement of production levies for previous years. Nordzucker is obliged to pass on a certain percentage of the expected reimbursement to the beet farmers; the corresponding amount of EUR 28.7 million was recognised under other liabilities.