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 substantial costs of keeping 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, the sale to catering establishments, airlines, events, schools and hospitals fell silent due to the lockdown. These so-called out-of-home sectors account for 10 percent of the turnover.

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

Significant coronafactuur

Lotus Bakeries warned at the beginning of April that the is not immune to the corona crisis. CEO Jan Boone now adds that of significant impact was, 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 EUR 2.4 million to EUR 4 million.

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 over which the profit has been divided since last year.

In the second half of the year, CEO Boone assumes the same trends, since 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 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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