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PHW Group ensures high quality level with extensive investment

Sales up 3.2% from €2.38 billion to €2.46 billion // Investment climbs to €238.7 million // Poultry consumption hits 20 kg per capita for the first time // Number of personnel employed rises to 6,876 // Animal welfare products remain on course for growth // Sustainability certification according to the ZNU Standard for all Wiesenhof chicken and poultry slaughterhouses.


Rechterfeld, February 2017. To continue meeting the growing demand for healthy and high-quality poultry, the PHW Group put itself in a strong position for the future in the previous financial year (key date: 30 June 2016) with a high level of investment totalling more than €238.7 million (previous year: €115.2 million) in its own facilities, a varied product range and the sustainability certification according to the ZNU Standard for all German chicken and turkey slaughterhouses as well as the Wiesenhof poultry sausage.  


PHW Group suffered a drop in sales in the key poultry specialities segment as a result of the two large fires in the slaughterhouses Donautal Geflügelspezialitäten (Bogen) in February 2015 and Oldenburger Geflügelspezialitäten GmbH & Co. KG (Lohne) in March 2016. The volume of sales in this segment fell by 0.9% – from around €1.40 billion to €1.38 billion. The full impact of the loss of production in Lohne will only be felt in the coming financial year since the cut-off date for the financial year is 30 June 2016. The PHW Group made gains with its poultry companies abroad, with the Polish, Bulgarian and Dutch subsidiaries contributing around €471.2 million to the total sales of the PHW Group, which rose overall in the 2015/16 financial year by 3.2% to €2.46 billion (previous year: €2.38 billion).  


Poultry meat is part of a modern diet and demand has risen especially amongst more health-conscious consumers, with the result that in 2016 the consumption of turkey per head continued to rise from 19.8 kg and hit the 20.0 kg mark for the first time, according to information provided by industry analyst Marktinfo Eier & Geflügel (MEG). At the PHW Group, unit sales of poultry specialities for chicken, turkey, duck, convenience and sausage were up slightly overall by 1.7% to 695,075 tons (previous year: 689,609 tons). While sales of chicken fell due to the fires in Bogen and Lohne, this decrease was offset by the positively developing convenience segment and the foreign companies. 


The other divisions of the PHW Group can look back on a satisfactory reporting year. The “Animal Nutrition and Health” segment rose by 1.6%, which is mainly due to the gains made by Lohmann Pharma Herstellung GmbH (Cuxhaven) and the expansion of the pet food operation at PetCom Tierernährung GmbH & Co. KG (Minden). Sales at MEGA Tierernährung GmbH & Co. KG (Rechterfeld) remained at the previous year’s level. A plus was also achieved by the “Human Nutrition and Health” segment with the globally active Cuxhavener Nutrilo GmbH. In particular, the expansion of the national business contributed to sales growth of 2.9% in this area.  


The number of employees also increased again. The PHW Group had a workforce of 6,876 in the past reporting year (previous year: 6,619). Growth was mainly generated from the Convenience segment, with new production lines in Zerbst and Dannenberg, food technology (Cuxhaven) and the foreign companies. 


High level of investment guarantees quality level and conserves resources

The PHW Group made another long-term investment of €238.7 million in its own facilities in the past financial year, thereby making a clear commitment to Germany as a business centre. €110.5 million was spent on rebuilding the Donautal Geflügelspezialitäten facility in Bogen alone. Further large-scale investment in the double-digit million range went into modernising Anhaltinische Geflügelspezialitäten GmbH in Möckern, the new fresh food production plant for Allfein Feinkost GmbH & Co. KG in Zerbst, completion of the construction of Brüterei Süd in Regenstauf and the extension of PetCom Tierernährung GmbH & Co. KG in Minden. The remaining investment was used for maintaining and improving the high quality and safety standards, especially in regard to measures for the protection of resources and sustainability. Since 2012, all the PHW Group’s Wiesenhof sites have been gradually prepared for certification according to the ZNU Standard for “Sustainable Business Food”, and since 2016, all the PHW Group’s German chicken and turkey slaughterhouses and the poultry sausage business in Rietberg have been successfully certified in accordance with the ZNU Standard.  


Growth through diversity 

With its vegetarian/vegan Wiesenhof range and various animal welfare products, the PHW Group offers customers and consumers a variety of alternatives to the traditional assortment from conventional poultry husbandry. This includes the Wiesenhof Privathof-Geflügel brand (ensures higher welfare standards for chickens), which carries the animal welfare label of the German Animal Welfare Association (Deutscher Tierschutzbund e.V.) (entry level). “We give consumers alternatives to conventional husbandry with our various rearing concepts that offer a demonstrable added value for animal protection and see Privathof-Geflügel in particular as a future model. Conversion to Privathof-Geflügel will, however, require a commitment from everyone and is subject to consumers and retailers wanting this form of animal husbandry in Germany and being willing to pay more for animal welfare”, explains Peter Wesjohann, CEO of the PHW Group.  


The production volumes for all animal welfare products within the PHW Group reflect the efforts made in this field. At the beginning of 2016, around 500,000 animals were slaughtered per week from the various animal welfare concepts. Within a year, this production quantity has tripled to around 1.5 million animals a week. 

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