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D.E Master Blenders - Negative volume surprise in 1Q12/13

D.E Master Blenders - Negative volume surprise in 1Q12/13

23.10.2012 10:07

DEMB’s group sales fell by € 1.5% to € 645m (KBCS € 664m and CSS € 663m). Segment sales (excluding green coffee export sales) rose by 2.0% (KBCS and CSS +4.0%) to € 639m. The main disappointment came from W Europe where sales came out 3.9% below expectations. On a l-f-l basis segment sales rose by 1.1% (KBCS 4.0% and CSS 4.7%). We are negatively surprised by the 2.7% (KBCS +1.0% and CSS +1.1%) decline in volumes. The impact from prices declined sequentially from +10.8% in 3Q11/12 and +7.4% in 4Q11/12 to 2.0% (KBCS +2.0%, CSS +2.6%). On the positive side, the mix effect amounted to +1.8% (CSS +1.1%), a significant improvement versus 4Q11/12 (-1.7%).

Retail – W Europe: volumes impacted by price hikes
Reported sales rose by 0.9% to € 292m (3.9% below CSS) or by 0.4% on al-f-l basis. The key markets continued to perform well. In the Netherlands (28% of total sales in FY11/12) and France (13% of total), the value market share improvements of the preceding six months were sustained. Spain achieved a record-high market share of 26%. In Germany, sales volumes were negatively impacted by the recent price increase that has proven to be too aggressive. Corrective measures, including a price decrease have been implemented in Germany to reverse the negative trend.

Retail – Rest of World: remedial actions in Brazil
Reported sales increased by 3.2% to € 196m (1.5% below CSS) or by 4.0% on a l-f-l basis. Growth was predominantly driven by Brazil despite the fact that sales were dampened by the implementation of remedial actions. The new CEO for Brazil will start on 1 November. The Polish operations faced tough comparables because in 1Q11/12 sales were spurred by increased trade orders ahead of price increases.

Out of Home: trading down
Sales were up 2.9% to € 151m (2.0% above CSS) but down 1.3% on a l-f-l basis. Slightly lower volumes and a negative mix effect was largely offset by higher prices. New leadership was installed and various initiatives were implemented to improve the performance.

Outlook: confirmed guidance
The guidance for the first 12 months of FY12/13 remains unchanged. Segment sales are expected to rise by 3-5% on a l-f-l basis and the underlying EBIT margin is expected to improve by 150-200bps. Our forecast is in the middle of this guidance.

Conclusion: unchanged HOLD
We were negatively surprised by the volume decline. This was partly offset however by a better-than-expected mix effect. Innovation and premiumization should continue to gain momentum during the coming quarters. The guidance was confirmed. We’ll fine-tune our forecasts but don’t expect major changes. We maintain our Hold rating as the stock is trading at high valuation multiples compared to the peer group.

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