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Hero posts significantly improved performance in 2012

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013

Hero today announced the Group’s 2012 annual results and communicated substantial improvements versus prior years in its key financial performance indicators. The Group’s profit grew strongly with EBIT accelerating from 32.6m CHF in 2011 to 89.8m CHF in 2012. Operating cash flow increased with 145.3m CHF versus prior year.

Hero managed to grow its net sales organically by 1.7% in 2012 to 1,429m CHF despite harsh trading conditions in many of its core markets in Europe and the USA. Increased focus on innovations and profitable growth were instrumental. Exceptional development in China and robust growth in other markets helped the Group to enlarge its footprint in the emerging world. Net Sales grew organically in all core categories: Infant Nutrition (+1.0%), Fruit (+1.4%) as well as in Specialties (+3.1%). In line with a substantial profit improvement in 2012, the Group achieved a free cash flow of 100m CHF.

After completing its leadership- and organizational changes in 2012, at both the Board and Executive Management levels, Hero redefined the Group’s mission, vision and strategy. The company will focus on increasing the operational performance of its current asset base in the coming years, after having driven aggressive expansion of its geographical- and manufacturing footprint in recent years.

Rob Versloot, Hero’s Chief Executive Officer commented: “For 2013, we aim to accelerate our organic growth whilst at the same time improve our return on sales. We will focus on innovation, profitable growth and our emerging market footprint, in particular China. We expect to increase our cash generation ability due to strict working capital management and reduced capital expenditures”.

Further information available from: 
Hero Rob Versloot, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +41 62 885 53 80
Fax: +41 62 885 54 30