Sales growth in 2014 was in line with expectations. Organically, sales grew by 7% (6% DKK, 7% LCY) compared with 2013. In the fourth quarter alone, sales grew by 4% organically compared with Q4 2013. EBIT grew by 17% in 2014, and the EBIT margin was 27.2%, up 2.5 percentage points on 2013.
The 2015 outlook is positive. Organic sales growth is expected to be 7-9%. Currencies provide a positive tailwind, and sales in DKK are expected to increase by 13-15%. EBIT growth is expected to be 12-14% and the EBIT margin 26-27%.
Following a strategic business review, Novozymes today launches its new purpose statement, strategy and updated long-term targets. Through 2020, Novozymes targets annual organic sales growth of 8-10% on average, an EBIT margin of ≥ 26% and ROIC incl. goodwill of ≥ 25%. The dividend payout ratio is expected to increase to ~40%. Finally, a new stock buyback program worth up to DKK 2 billion is set to run in 2015.
Peder Holk Nielsen, President and CEO of Novozymes, comments:
“2014 was a good year for Novozymes with 7% organic sales growth and a record EBIT margin. Bioenergy was the strongest growth driver, making up for slower growth in Food & Beverages and Household Care. Our growth platforms showed good progress, and in particular I'm excited about how well The BioAg Alliance has gotten off the ground. Novozymes is in a strong position today. Our technologies and solutions are in high demand. Going forward, we believe partnering will become more important for bringing innovation to customers. This is the outset for our new purpose and strategy – Partnering for impact. In extension of this, we’ve updated our long-term targets. Long-term organic sales growth is expected to be slightly lower than the previous target, whereas we increase the long-term targets for EBIT margin and return on invested capital. In the midst of a slow recovery and volatile markets, we expect 2015 to be another good year for Novozymes.”