Very high net income, in line with the change in dimension at METEX
> Consolidated annual revenue of €170m
> EBITDA improved compared with expectations: -€6.7m
> Net income of €82m including goodwill of €89m
> A strong balance sheet: net cash position of €15m
2022 – major strengths in an uncertain environment
> Increased interest in amino acids in a context of exceptional price increases for agricultural raw materials for animal nutrition
> METEX’s introduction of innovative solutions for animal nutrition
> Decreased visibility due to the sharp increase in certain inputs (energy, ammonia, crude glycerine)
Continuation of 2022 guidance
> Consolidated revenue of €350m
> EBITDA rate/revenue of around 8%
Clermont-Ferrand, 31 March 2022 – (FR0004177046 METEX), METabolic EXplorer (METEX), the leader in industrial fermentation for the production of ingredients of natural origin for the cosmetics, animal nutrition and biopolymer markets, publishes its consolidated and audited annual results for 2021.
The elements detailed in this communication include the respective contributions of METEX NØØVISTATA and METEX NØØVISTAGO, the two operating subsidiaries now fully integrated and 100% owned. METEX NØØVISTAGO, previously known as Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition Europe (AANE), has been consolidated into the Group since the end of April and contributes eight months to its annual financial performance.
Consolidated annual revenue in line with forecasts
At the end of December 2021, METabolic EXplorer generated consolidated revenue of €169.7m, in line with the projected results announced previously. This level of activity was driven both by the dynamism of METEX NØØVISTAGO activities (€168.3m in revenue between 1 May 2022 and 31 December 2022) and the gradual start-up of METEX NØØVISTA (€1.3m)
In line with the acquisition of METEX NØØVISTAGO finalised on 30 April 2021, the Group benefited from a favourable trend in the price of amino acids, particularly at the end of the year.
The Group also benefited from the successful commissioning of the METEX NØØVISTA production unit and the marketing of PDO (1,3-Propanediol) and BA (butyric acid). The first deliveries were made to customers such as COVESTRO and VAUDE for the production of sports shoe soles and DSM for cosmetic applications.
On a pro forma basis of consolidation of METEX NØØVISTAGO as of 1 January 2021, METEX Group’s annual pro forma revenue would have been €270m.
EBITDA of -€6.7m – improved compared with expectations
In 2021, the Group faced industrial events that weighted its performance over the financial year:
These two incidents were perfectly managed, allowing safe restarting of the production units for METEX NØØVISTAGO, in line with METEX NØØVISTA’s industrial ramp-up programme.
The Group also faced an increase in commodity prices, notably including a sharp and steady increase in energy and sugar costs during the last quarter of 2021, both of which accounted for the majority of the Group’s purchasing costs over the year.
Against this backdrop, EBITDA stood at -€6.7m compared with -€8.6m in 2020. It also incorporates non-recurring income and expenses, including reversal of a provision for €2.3m corresponding to the supreme court judgement in favour of METEX on the dispute in Malaysia.
Operating income amounted to €74.5m in 2021, recording badwill of €89m relating to the acquisition of METEX NØØVISTAGO in H1 2021.
Net income includes the recognition of a deferred tax asset amounting to €8.5m. It stands at €82.0m.
A robust financial structure to finance its development
Consolidated gross cash-flow, under IFRS amounts to €27.4m versus €18.2m at 31 December 2020. It notably includes gross income of €25.1m corresponding to the contribution in cash from the capital increase via a private placement, for a total amount of €56.6m, carried out in July, €31.5m of which was paid up by offsetting of receivables by Bpifrance. This transaction enabled the SPI fund, operated by Bpifrance on behalf of the French State, to become METEX’s leading shareholder, with 25.9% of METEX’s capital.
Consolidated gross cash-flow also includes gross proceeds from issuing equity warrants (BSAs), amounting to €2.8m and contributing to financing the acceleration in industrialisation of processes developed in the ALTANØØV® platform. The Group also holds €15.6m in financial investments, recognised as current financial assets under IFRS.
In the end, the Group’s financial position shows a net debt of €14.9m at 31 December 2021, with Group shareholders’ equity of €154.8m.
The Group states that it does not have any direct commercial or industrial exposure related to the armed conflict, the zone representing less than 1% of total revenue for the Group. On the other hand, it faces an increase in the price of some of its inputs linked to this conflict, particularly energy resources. On the other hand, the increase in the price of raw materials used in animal feed (soybeans and grains) is boosting the interest of Livestock sector customers in amino acids, which enable them to optimise the composition of cattle feed. The impact on the Group’s financial performance is currently difficult to assess, as the economic environment is particularly fluctuating.
Glycolic Acid (GA)
As a reminder, in February 2021 the Group received a subsidy of €9.6m from Bpifrance to support industrialisation of Glycolic Acid. A decision to industrialise after taking into account the conclusions of the engineering studies and validation of the commercial offer is expected by the end of Q2 2022.
The Group reiterates that GA is currently produced exclusively by American and Asian petrochemical companies and that METEX’s natural GA production will be the world’s first industrial unit.
A new amino acid resulting from METEX’s capacity for innovation: L-Valine
In December 2021, the second process from the ALTANØØV® platform for the production by fermentation of L-Valine for the animal nutrition market was validated at the pre-pilot level. This process shows significantly improved competitiveness of the strain compared with current technologies. The purification process, being developed in parallel, aims to obtain a functional ingredient rich in L-Valine. This ingredient will strengthen METEX NØØVISTAGO’s commercial offering.
Accelerated development of innovative solutions
These developments will ultimately strengthen METEX NØØVISTAGO’s commercial offering. They are part of the approach of developing functional and innovative solutions for animal health and well-being, reducing the use of soy proteins in the manufacture of animal feed and reducing the carbon footprint of meat production.
The Amiens site transformation plan, refined by the first engineering studies carried out since the acquisition, will give the Group new production capacity for amino acids and other speciality products from the ALTANØØV® platform.
As a reminder, this plan has been estimated by the company at €70 million over 4 years and will be financed partly by the €9.6 million subsidy from the France Recovery Plan, partly by the net proceeds of the private placement completed in July 2021, partly by METEX NØØVISTAGO’s self-financing and partly by recourse to bank debt.
For 2022, the Group reiterates its ambition of strong revenue growth, driven by the integration of METEX NØØVISTAGO over 12 months, the continuation of favourable trends in sales prices for amino acids, the expansion of the range of speciality amino acids produced in Amiens, particularly Arginine, and ramp-up of the METEX NØØVISTA plant in Carling. This should amount to €350m over the year.
In light of the inflationary environment, in terms of operating profitability METEX confirms its target of achieving EBITDA on revenue of around 8% in 2022, with the prospect of achieving EBITDA on revenue of over 14% in the medium term.
5 May 2022 – Q1 2022 revenue
18 May 2022 – Capital Market Day
About METabolic EXplorer – www.metabolic-explorer.com
Using renewable raw materials, the company develops and industrialises innovative and competitive industrial fermentation processes as alternative to petrochemical processes to meet consumers’ new societal expectations and the objectives of the energy transition. Its functional ingredients of natural origin are used in the formulation of cosmetic products, nutrition-animal health or as intermediates for the synthesis of biomaterials.
The METEX NØØVISTA production unit, located in Carling (Moselle), allows the METEX Group to bring 1.3 propanediol (PDO) and butyric acid (BA) on the market.
The acquisition of AANE, which has become METEX NØØVISTAGO, the leading European producer of amino acids for animal nutrition, enables the METEX Group to realize its ambition to become one of the world market leaders in functional ingredients produced by fermentation.
Based at the Clermont Limagne technology park, near Clermont-Ferrand, METabolic EXplorer is listed on Euronext in Paris (Compartment B, METEX) and is included in the CAC Small Index.
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