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Hochland Group: Two new pillars in USA and Australia

Sales up, turnover down – Hochland strengthened market position in Germany, Russia, Poland and Romania – Vegan products started successfully
In 2015, the volume of cheese sold by the Group increased to roughly 295,000 tonnes. The revenue from sales, on the other hand, fell by 7% to € 1.19 billion €. Price cuts due to the fall of raw material prices and the weakness of the rouble led of this decrease in revenue.

Hochland was able to increase significantly their result from ordinary business activities. All business units contributed to this development. The EBT margin was at 7.8%, which is above the previous year´s margin. The operating result reflected the program for improving efficiency and saving costs that was launched in all Hochland subsidiaries at the beginning of 2014. The closure of sites and a restructuring of the product range also contributed to the improvement in the result. Additionally, it is on account of lower raw material costs.

The main brand business countries Germany, Russia, Poland and Romania were able to defend their market position or even expand it. Especially the development in Russia is very positive: Despite of a profound economic crisis, the loss of sales Hochland Russia registered were small. The market share even saw further expansion: Thanks to domestic production Hochland was hardly influenced by the import ban.

In their home market in Germany, Hochland were able to slightly increase their market share to 4.3%, thus being the No. 3 branded cheese company in Germany.

In 2015, Hochland parted with their production plant in Baranowo, Poland. It was taken over by a Polish partner. Hochland is convinced of having found a good solution for the future of both the plant and the workforce.
In 2015, the company invested in new markets: After first establishing a US branch, the mechanical engineering subsidiary Hochland Natec GmbH then took over the Australian firm of Gold Peg at the end of the year. With its continuous processed cheese cookers this small mechanical engineering firm is an ideal complement for Natec. E.V.A. GmbH in Germany is a further subsidiary founded in 2015. The company is engaged in the development, production and sale of vegan products which can be used similar to cheese. The first vegan spreads started very successfully. In 2016, the distribution and product range are planned to be enlarged.

The advertising expenditure in the Group reached almost € 35 million €. This is an increase of € 3.2 million Euro compared to 2014.

The company once again was one of the winners of the company ranking established by the German news magazine “Focus”. The results of this survey were published in January 2016. A total of 2,000 companies has been analyzed and Hochland staff voted their firm on the 60th place (Previous year: 73rd). In their area of business, Hochland is on the 6th place and is therefore the best employer in Bavaria within its sector.