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Lonza
Divestment of Water Care Business

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News, Water & Waste Water

Lonza announced the completion of the divestment of its former Water Care business and operations to Platinum Equity for USD 630 million. The strategic agreement between both parties was already announced on 1 November 2018.

The company plans to re-invest parts of the proceeds of the Water Care disposal into the Healthcare Continuum and will continue to focus on deleveraging as has already been communicated. Earlier Lonza also announced the internal alignment of its business structure and a new Executive Committee member to further strengthen the company’s position along the Healthcare Continuum.

Food & Beverage News

Agriculture business
G&G partners with Camellia GroupPicture

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Green & Gold Macadamias (G&G) and AIM listed Camellia Group Plc
Picture: Green & Gold Macadamias and AIM listed Camellia Group Plc

Green & Gold Macadamias (G&G) and AIM listed Camellia Group Plc announced their strategic macadamia marketing partnership. This adds to G&G’s extensive processor and producer partner network in key growing territories including Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi and Brazil. Both organisations take a long view of the macadamia market: continued growth in supply, together with changing consumer demands, means planning for the future central to philosophy.

“We are delighted that Camellia has taken the decision to market their macadamia brand, Maclands through G&G. The addition of their produce now makes us responsible for selling 20% of the globe’s kernel crop in all markets around the world. Quality predicates who we do business with, and Camellia represents a trusted partner in this regard. Guaranteed increase in quality supply creates the opportunity to scale vertically into new product markets and horizontally into new geographies.”

Brian Loader, CEO, G&G

A unique aspect to this sector is the parallel rise of both supply and demand for product. Consumer trends around plant based and healthy eating are growing: and they are here to stay. Additionally, today’s customer is discerning and sensitive to sustainable, ethical and traceable food production. Global supply of macadamias has increased over 50% in the last 5 years to 210,000 tonnes in-shell. According to the International Nut Council, the crop is projected to double again by 2023. G&G’s focus is to innovate in how and where this future supply is absorbed into market.

Macadamias, currently predominantly consumed as a snack, hold a premium perception. Prospectively G&G is carving the way for new products in a variety of sweet and savoury foods like butters, milks, cheese and yoghurts to biscuits and ice cream, amongst others. Unilever’s Magnum ice cream brand has recently launched a macadamia ice cream in Australia, Indonesia and Thailand, using G&G’s macadamias. Investment into infrastructure to support these future market changes is ongoing. The nut’s oil is also of interest to the food, cosmetic and health industry.

“G&G is specialist in what they do: a highly professional macadamia marketing company with a large network of reputable producers and an established, strategic customer base, in a variety of segments around the globe. The organisation also has cultivated longstanding direct relationships key customers and leading retailers. This market diversification, together with our aligned vision for value add and vertical integration, places G&G in a strong marketing position for years to come. This partnership allows us to be well placed to market our growth in product over the next ten years.” says Graham Mclean, Managing Director of Agriculture, Camellia.

Camellia has long-standing macadamia operations that started in Malawi in the 1980’s. Over the years the Group has invested in orchard growth and processing infrastructure. Its reach extends, in varying stages of maturity, across 1400 hectares in Malawi, 1100 hectares in South Africa and currently 1000 hectares in Kenya, with plans to increase Kenyan orchards to 1500 hectares over the next ten years. This makes Camellia one of the world’s largest macadamia producers.

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Group increases sales, earnings and employment
Growth spurt for Endress+Hauser

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Headquarters of the Endress+Hauser Group in Reinach, Switzerland.
Headquarters of the Endress+Hauser Group in Reinach, Switzerland. (Picture: Endress+Hauser)

Endress+Hauser’s business developed very positively across all regions and industries in 2018. The Group, one of the world’s leading providers of process and laboratory instrumentation, automation solutions and services, reports new highs in net sales, income and employment.

According to preliminary figures, the company increased net sales by more than 9 percent to over 2.4 billion euros in 2018. Exchange rate effects prevented even better results. “In local currencies, we grew nearly 13 percent,” said Chief Financial Officer Dr Luc Schultheiss. The family-owned company created new jobs primarily in production, research and development and services. At the end of 2018, Endress+Hauser had 13,928 employees worldwide, 629 more than the year before.

“The solid development in sales shows that we have held our ground well in the market. We supported our customers with more than 50 new products, solutions and services. We were able to break new ground through our digitalization strategy, as well as in the measurement and analysis of quality-relevant parameters.”

Matthias Altendorf, CEO Endress+Hauser

Good start to the new year

The company is expecting a somewhat weaker market dynamic for the current year. The Group is anticipating growth in the mid single-digit range, with earnings remaining at a healthy level. “The year has gotten off to a good start so far,” reported Luc Schultheiss. Assuming the business remains well on track, the Group expects to create several hundred new jobs around the world.

Endress+Hauser will present its 2018 audited financial figures on 14 May 2019 in Basel, Switzerland.

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Bilfinger 2018
Strong order book driving profitable revenue growth

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Industrial services provider Bilfinger continued to grow in the financial year 2018. Relevant key figures improved across all business segments, meeting the forecasts and in some instances even outperforming them. The Strategy 2020 stabilization phase has been completed, the set milestones have been reached: Orders received, revenue and earnings developed positively, while the Group’s liquidity and return on capital employed were at levels above those of the previous year.

“We delivered on our 2020 strategy and on our commitments to both internal and external stakeholders. I am particularly pleased with the successful conclusion of the DPA and our Monitor’s Certification that Bilfinger is on an irreversible course towards compliance self-sufficiency. I think we can confidently say that 2018 was a year of achievement for Bilfinger.”

Tom Blades, CEO Bilfinger

The business environment continued to be robust in our six focus industries, particularly in Chemicals & Petrochem, Oil & Gas and Pharma & Biopharma. Demand for engineering and maintenance services continued to build on top of growing mechanical construction opportunities in the United States.

Strengthening the sense of purpose

Bilfinger continues to fine tune and adopt its 2-4-6 Strategy to better serve customers and drive margin development. Its engineering resources delivering both project management consulting and maintenance engineering have now been fully integrated into the regions to enhance Bilfingers end-to-end EMC capabilities. Consequently, the divisions are renamed E&M effective January 1, 2019. The technology companies delivering Energy & Emissions, Biopharma and Automation products remain grouped together and serve Bilfinger customers globally from their European manufacturing base. Together they form the Technologies division also effective January 1, 2019.

Outlook 2019

In connection with the described adjustment to its organizational structure, Bilfinger is also adjusting its reporting segments as of the beginning of 2019. The forecasts and statements related to the expected development of the Group are made within the scope of these reporting structures.

In the Technologies segment, a significant increase in revenue (2018: €499 million) is expected as a result of growth in order backlog. This is subject to continued and anticipated strong orders received in the course of the year. Bilfinger expects stable revenue development in the Engineering & Maintenance Europe segment (2018: €2,732 million). At Engineering & Maintenance International, the Group sees positive momentum in the markets and therefore expects significant revenue growth (2018: €763 million).

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