Accordingly, the group of companies generated consolidated sales revenues of EUR 154.6 million last year (2019: EUR 167.4 million). Group operating earnings before interest and taxes (Group EBIT) in fiscal 2020 were expected to be €5.2 million (2019: €9.8 million), while Group operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Group EBITDA) were expected to be €14.1 million (2019: €18.4 million).
"The Group's key performance indicators for the 2020 financial year are thus within the ranges we forecast last July," said Oliver Schwegmann, member of the Executive Board of Berentzen-Gruppe Aktiengesellschaft. For the 2020 financial year, the Berentzen Group had expected consolidated revenues in a range of EUR 153.0 million to EUR 160.0 million, a consolidated EBIT of between EUR 4.0 million and EUR 6.0 million, and a consolidated EBITDA of between EUR 13.0 million and EUR 15.0 million. The Group had withdrawn its original forecast last March against the background of the coronavirus pandemic and was unable to issue a new forecast until July due to the associated uncertainties.
"The coronavirus pandemic did lead to a significant drop in sales and earnings, but in the end we managed to close every single quarter solidly profitable," Schwegmann said. In particular, the almost complete closure of the catering business in the second and fourth quarters, but also the massive curtailment of private and public celebrations throughout the year, had a negative impact on the Berentzen Group's business activities. In this context, the important year-end business with branded spirits in particular suffered from the consequences of the pandemic. "The fact that we achieved a clearly positive result as a Group despite these challenges is thanks to our strategy of broadly positioning the corporate group with the Spirits, Non-alcoholic Beverages and Fresh Juice Systems segments and also covering different distribution channels. This diversification enabled us to somewhat cushion slumps in particularly affected product categories and sales channels through growth in comparatively pandemic-resistant products," says Schwegmann.
Outlook for fiscal 2021
In a capital market announcement today, the Berentzen Group presented a forecast for the 2021 financial year. The corporate group expects consolidated revenues in a range of EUR 152.0 million to EUR 158.0 million, a consolidated EBIT of between EUR 4.0 million and EUR 6.0 million, and a consolidated EBITDA of between EUR 13.0 million and EUR 15.0 million. EBIT and EBITDA are thus forecast in exactly the same range as in the previous year. "The ongoing restrictions on private and social life due to the coronavirus pandemic will continue to have a noticeable impact on our business activities, so that the 2021 financial year as a whole will be under similar auspices to 2020 and a comparable level of sales and earnings can therefore be expected. With the increase in vaccination numbers, we expect a gradual return to public life as the year progresses and are therefore convinced that we will once again operate profitably in the second pandemic year," emphasizes Schwegmann.
He added that the lockdown situation, which has already lasted for many weeks, will mean that the first three months of fiscal 2021 will fall significantly short of the prior-year quarter, which was not marked by massive restrictions until the second half of March. "But we also know that the sociable joie de vivre and celebrating in community will come back into people's lives - even if only in small steps at first. This is precisely what the Berentzen Group stands for with its products. Then we as a group of companies will also return to our growth path that was interrupted by Corona," says Schwegmann.
The preliminary results of Berentzen-Gruppe Aktiengesellschaft are subject to the auditor's certification and the approval of the Supervisory Board. The final business results as well as more detailed information on the 2020 financial year and the 2021 forecast will be published as scheduled on March 25, 2021, together with the 2020 Annual Report.