DEEN
23.02.2001

Major growth of PHW Group: ON COURSE FOR CONTINUING GROWTH WITH WIESENHOF

DM 1.75 billion turnover 1999/2000 / Over DM 100 million investment / Ecoconcept for products and plants / No genetically modifi ed soya in feed / 10 percent growth 2000/2001

 

Rechterfeld/Hamburg, 23 February 2001. The PHW Group (Rechterfeld, Germany) enjoyed considerable growth in the last fi nancial year 1999/2000 (30.06.): With a turnover of DM 1.75 billion (previous year DM 1.63 billion) the company achieved a growth in turnover of DM 120 million - an increase of around 7.5%. The growth was mainly due to the success of its leading German poultry brand ‘Wiesenhof‘: the DM 933 million turnover in the last fi nancial year (previous year: DM 830 million) represents an increase of over DM 100 million. The investment volume of the PHW Group was DM 101 million in the report year, and a further DM 15.1 million went into research and development - mostly in the areas of animal nutrition and animal health, human nutrition and human health. The number of employees also rose: In the last fi nancial year, 1999/2000, a total of 2,860 people were employed by the PHW Group, 110 more than in the previous year. For the current year 2000/2001 the company is again forecasting a major increase in turnover of 10 percent to around DM 1.93 billion – the DM 2 billion turnover marker is forecast for the following fi nancial year at the latest.

 

Wiesenhof: ‘ Better and more successful’

The ‘quality competition instead of price competition’ announced years ago by Paul-Heinz Wesjohann - majority shareholder in the PHW Group and Chairman of the Group company Lohmann & Co. AG - is paying off. In collaboration with around 700 farming partner enterprises, the origin and quality concept of the ‘Wiesenhof’ brand has been put into effect over the last few years. In the last fi nancial year alone, almost DM 70 million for further expansion of production and product quality and safety was invested in the production stages structured according to the ‘single source‘ principle. All the production stages are in Germany, the feed from the company’s own mills has, since 1996, been guaranteed to contain no animal proteins (meat and bone meal) and has since 1997 also been free of antibiotic performance enhancers. The farms where the animals are bred are mentioned by name on the origin labels. And in a recent innovation praised publicly by Greenpeace, the brand now also guarantees that no genetically modifi ed soya is used in the feed produced in the company’s own mills. All poultry slaughterhouses and other Group operations are now eco-certifi ed. Paul-Heinz Wesjohann confi rms that clear standards of environmental protection and ecology today form ‘a substantial part of our company strategy’. The Group has set up its own technical centre for product development in Lohne, where – partly in conjunction with the food trade – new chicken specialities and convenience products are created as well as poultry fi nger food - everything according to the same ‘Wiesenhof’ quality principle.

 

‘Larger enterprises can implement quality concepts too’

With their origin and quality concept, the PHW Group aim to expand again in the current fi nancial year 2000/2001 with their ‘Wiesenhof’ brand: at least 10 percent growth is possible according to Paul-Heinz Wesjohann. The brand has shown, he says, that products which the consumer recognises as better and safer can even be a little more expensive and still succeed - in his view, specifi c proof that even larger enterprises in the agricultural industry and in cooperation with farming enterprises can implement quality concepts and make them work.

 

Further growth in the areas of animal nutrition and health and human nutrition and health 

Following the stagnation last year in the two business areas of animal nutrition/animal health and human nutrition/human health with turnovers of DM 600 million and just under DM 100 million respectively, the management - PaulHeinz Wesjohann together with Harm Specht and son Peter Wesjohann – are confi dent that in these areas too they can expect ‘percentage growth into double fi gures’ for the current fi nancial year 2000/2001. Lohmann Animal Health GmbH (Cuxhaven, Germany) achieved a turnover of DM 217 million in the last fi nancial year. The sale of its veterinary medicine business - around 10 percent of the company’s turnover - is deemed to enable Lohmann Animal Health to concentrate even more on its core competences. Currently the company is engaged in an DM 18 million investment program for a new feed additive plant in Cuxhaven. 

 

Strategic signifi cance of feed plants 

The management is of the opinion that the PHW Group feed plants, with a turnover of around DM 330 million, have ‘enormous strategic signifi cance for the quality guarantee of the Wiesenhof brand’ - one after the other they are to be converted to feed mills exclusively for poultry feed. The Group’s ban on the use of animal proteins - including meat and bone meal, poultry meal and fi sh meal – and on antibiotic performance enhancers and its guarantee of non genetically modifi ed soya has established a standing among poultry producers which is almost without competition.

 

‘Pleasing results’

The Cuxhaven companies TAD Pharma GmbH – one of the leading German producers of generic drugs – and Nutrilo GmbH, producing vitamin mixtures for the food industry, together achieved a turnover of just under DM 100 million and a ‚pleasing profi t situation’. In the case of TAD Pharma, its strong position especially in the fi elds of urology and cardiac/circulatory conditions is expected to result in substantial growth in the current fi nancial year - provided the continuing debate about a so-called ‘positive list’ of drugs for which the health insurers will pay doesn’t restrict the prescribing habits of doctors. 

 

A further DM 60 million investment in 2000/2001

The good turnover and profi t fi gures in the current fi nancial year have enabled the PHW Group to once again devote an extraordinarily large amount of around DM 60 million to investments - besides the new feed additive plant, a large proportion of this sum will once again be devoted to production of the ‘Wiesenhof’ brand. The enormous increase in poultry turnover in the last few months as a result of the BSE crisis has - according to Paul-Heinz Wesjohann –again boosted the brand to an above-average extent. It is the guarantee offered to consumers concerning the animal feed used that is recognised more than ever today as an additional virtue - it is no longer price but rather origin and feeding which are decisive for the consumer‘s decision to buy. For the PHW Group - according to the Board of Directors - this heralds a ‘successful year’. 

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