Corona does not crush Lotus biscuits

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Lotus Bakeries continued to grow at a strong pace in the first half of the year, despite the hefty bill to keep the twelve factories open.

The cookie baker from Lembeke

does not disappoint. Sales rose in the first half year by more than 8 percent to 323 million euros. By way of comparison: in the first half of 2019 there was 11 percent growth.

Does Lotus – which was still called Corona-Lotus until the 90s – not bothered by Covid-19 at all? Anyway, sales to catering establishments, airlines, events, schools and hospitals came to a halt due to the lockdown. These so-called out-of-home sectors account for 10 percent of the turnover.

However, the ‘out-of-home’ sales were offset by a shift to home consumption. Lotus owes its sales growth in the half-year report to the success of its Biscoff biscuits, speculoos spread and ice cream in the supermarkets.

Significant coronafactuur

Lotus Bakeries warned at the beginning of April that it is not immune to the corona crisis. CEO Jan Boone now adds that the impact was significant, on the factories and the way of working. More than 1 million euros were incurred in order to keep the twelve branches going. They deepen the non-recurring operating loss from 2.4 to 4 million euros.

Recurrently, the picture looks much brighter. Gross operating profit (rebitda) increased 10 percent to EUR 67.07 million. There is a net increase of more than 5 percent to 38.2 million euros.

The net profit per share rose by more than 2 euros, from 44.85 to 47.12 euros – despite the 2.2 million extra shares on which the profit is divided compared to last year.

In the second half of the year, CEO Boone assumes the same trends as Covid-19 is still around. “Out-of-home sales will remain under pressure until the pandemic is fully under control.”

17 on 19

Investors have already anticipated a traditionally strong half-year report. The Lotus share has been listed 10 percent higher since the New Year (see graph) and is an example of stability compared to the extreme saw teeth at the fair. Lotus is so well on its way to beat the Bel20 for the 17th time in 19 years.

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