‘Covid hit us like a curve ball’ – gym closures dent Kilkenny nutrition giant’s profits
The closure of gyms and restrictions on sports worldwide as a result of the pandemic significantly dented Glanbia’s profits.
The company’s annual report confirmed profits at the locally based food and nutrition giant dropped by just over 20% last year.
Glanbia’s performance nutrition sector, which produces protein powders to gym-goers and sports people, felt the brunt of the chill winds of the global pandemic.
Glanbia Managing Director Siobhan Talbot admited: “Covid hit us like a curve ball.”
The company confirmed headline revenues fell by 1.4%, from €3.9 billion in 2019, down to €3.8 billion in 2020.
Profits dropped from €180.2 million in 2019 to €143.8 million, a 20.12% decline year-on-year.
Overall, the company said it was a strong performance given the current curcumstances and global trading climate.
Ms Talbot also praised the efforts of Glanbia’s employees in delivering food and keeping supply chains open during the pandemic.
She added: “I am exceptionally proud of how our people responded to the many challenges of Covid-19. Throughout the pandemic, we lived our purpose and our values, delivering essential, nutritious food during the most challenging of circumstances and proving the resilience of our business.
“We delivered on our priorities of protecting our people, continuing the supply of food and maintaining our strong financial position.”
Ms Talbot said Glanbia rapidly adjusted to the challenges of Covid-19, which resulted in an improved performance in the second half of the year.
The Kilkenny woman added: “Our business portfolio delivered a robust operating performance supported by our swift and decisive actions which resulted in improving trends across the Group in the second half of the year.
“Our focused approach to liquidity resulted in cash conversion of over 122% and our financial position has improved materially with net debt reducing by over €120 million during the course of 2020.”
Looking to the future, Ms Talbot expressed confidence that Covid’s grip on the global economy will ease this year – and that the company is well positioned to take advantage of the expected upturn.
She added: “We expect the disruptive impact of Covid-19 will abate during the course of 2021 and based on this we expect adjusted EPS to increase by 6% to 12% on a constant currency basis in FY 2021 with growth driven by both wholly-owned businesses of Glanbia Performance Nutrition and Glanbia Nutrition.
“We anticipate that 2021 will see consumers continue to focus on health and wellbeing and supplementing protein-rich foods to support performance and healthy lifestyle goals.
“This positions Glanbia very well for the future given our core focus on nutrition, health and wellbeing.”