/ News / PHW Group records increased turnover and repositions itself as a supplier of premium protein products for the future

PHW Group records increased turnover and repositions itself as a supplier of premium protein products for the future

Turnover grows by 4.1 per cent from €2.48 billion to €2.58 billion // Further increase in investment volume from €191.3 million to €232.5 million predominantly in German locations and new business segments // Poultry consumption increases significantly by almost 1 kg to 21.9 kg per head // Increased production volume of all animal welfare products in Germany to 80 per cent in 2019


Rechterfeld, February 2019. In the past business year (deadline 30.6.2018), the PHW Group recorded a 4.1 per cent increase in turnover, due in particular to the resumption of production at Oldenburger Geflügelspezialitäten in Lohne, increased poultry consumption and strongly developing foreign companies. Furthermore, the family business based in Lower Saxony has taken up a strong position, with high investment of over €232.5 million (compared to €191.3 million in the previous year), primarily at its German locations, in order to meet the continuing increase in demand for healthy, premium poultry meat. According to estimates from the industry service Marktinfo Eier & Geflügel (MEG), per capita consumption of poultry meat rose considerably to 21.9 kg in 2018 (compared to 21 kg in the previous year). It has also increased the production volume of all animal welfare products to 60 per cent. The PHW Group has set itself the target of increasing this to around 80 per cent in the current business year.


Growth through diversity

The PHW Group has also repositioned itself during the past business year and will position itself as a supplier of premium protein products in the future. Through its strategic partnerships with the Israeli start-up SuperMeat, the American companies Beyond Meat and Good Catch Foods, and the Canadian company Enterra Feed Corporation, the PHW Group has strengthened its commitment to the new business area of alternative protein sources. ‘We see our investment in this area as an opportunity to grow through diversity. We want to advance our core business segment by further developing our conventional business and by expanding our animal welfare concepts, while also strongly growing alternative protein sources. Specifically, this means that we do not regard the growth of the plant-based food sector as a threat to our existing core business, but as an opportunity,’ explains Peter Wesjohann, CEO of the PHW Group.


Positive development of core business segment

In its core business area of poultry specialities, the PHW Group has grown by 1.7 per cent from around €1.38 billion to €1.4 billion. The PHW Group also made gains with its poultry companies abroad. The Polish, Bulgarian and Dutch holdings contributed around €523.5 million (compared to €477.6 million in the previous year) to the overall turnover of the PHW Group, which grew by a total of 4.1 per cent to €2.58 billion in 2017/18 (compared to €2.48 billion in the previous year). The sales of poultry specialities for chicken, turkey, duck, convenience and sausage at the PHW Group rose by a total of 8.0 per cent to 782,858 tonnes (compared to 724,609 in the previous year). While sales of chicken rose by over 10 per cent, turkey and duck recorded a slight drop. The convenience segment again achieved positive results.


The number of employees also grew by 207 from 6,772 to 6,979. This is primarily due to the resumption of operations in Lohne, the new Allfein Feinkost production site in Laage and the positive development of Nutrilo in Cuxhaven. Nutrilo, which operates globally in ‘human nutrition and health’, achieved a 9.9 per cent increase in turnover due to high order volumes both within Germany and abroad. The ‘animal nutrition and health’ segment saw a slight drop in turnover of 0.1 per cent. However, MEGA animal nutrition recorded slight growth.


High investment and development of animal welfare programmes

The PHW Group once again invested heavily primarily in its German locations with €232.5 million (compared to €191.3 million in the previous year). €133.4 million was invested in the reconstruction of the facilities in Bogen and Lohne alone. The PHW Group also made notable investments in the expansion of its convenience capacities by acquiring a production site in Laage, the fourth production site for Allfein Feinkost, and by setting up a new production facility for the GEPRO poultry protein distribution company in Bogen. The group’s international locations, Drobimex in Poland, Ameta in Bulgaria and Esbro in the Netherlands, also benefited from modernisation and expansion investments of €32 million.


In terms of research and development, the PHW Group increased its expenditure to €2.8 million (compared to €2.3 million in the previous year) and invested heavily in product development, quality assurance measures and the development of its existing animal welfare programmes. In addition to conventional approaches, the PHW Group’s partner farmers now breed poultry based on six different concepts. These include the Initiative Tierwohl, WIESENHOF Privathof-Geflügel, Beter Leven, Kip van Morgen, Gilde-Huhn and Donautaler Premium Geflügel (Swiss animal welfare standard). In light of this, the company managed to raise around 3.3 million animals per week through its animal welfare programmes by the end of the last business year, almost double the figure of the previous year (1.7 million). ‘Our next goal is to increase the production volume of all animal welfare products to 80 per cent in 2019,’ says Peter Wesjohann.


Committed to sustainability

The PHW Group has been working intensively on sustainability management and establishing the relevant structures at the various locations of the group for the last ten years. The first sustainability report was published at the beginning of 2018, focusing on poultry specialities under the WIESENHOF brand and on upstream stages, including animal welfare and contract farmers, the environment and production, raw materials and animal feed, as well as social responsibility. Furthermore, WIESENHOF has been a partner of the centre for sustainable corporate management (ZNU – Zentrum für nachhaltige Unternehmensführung) at Witten/Herdecke University since 2010 and is the only company in the meat industry to be certified according to the ZNU standard for sustainable food management. WIESENHOF began the process in 2013 with the production site in Holte as a pilot company. By 2019, all chicken and turkey production sites are to be certified in accordance with the ZNU standard. Six sites are currently certified. Another sustainability report is scheduled to be published by the beginning of 2020. 

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