1. Above the market growth
AAK has over the past decade been able to grow faster than the underlying markets in our focus areas – speciality and semi-speciality solutions in Food Ingredients and Chocolate & Confectionery Fats. With our new strategic direction, we will continue to support the company’s growth journey. Market data (Transparency market research, IHS Global, 2018) shows that in terms of volumes the oils and fats market in total is growing at approximately 3 percent with the speciality market growing even faster.
With our recent greenfield investments and our latest acquisitions, we have continued to strengthen our geographic footprint. Through this expansion we are represented in regions where both population and urbanization are on the increase – demographic changes that present substantial market opportunities. We also see a growing middle class with a higher income and an increased spending power as well as a growing senior population as people live longer.
2. Average 10 percent year-over-year operating profit improvement
Between 2010 and 2019, AAK has annually increased its operating profit by 11 percent on average. Based on our high go-to-market activity (sales and customer innovation) and new product development, the very solid foundation we have built over time, our strong executive and local management, and our increased focus on mergers and acquisitions, we see no reason to lower that ambition.
3. Strong balance sheet supporting further growth
Despite considerable investments to increase capacity and several acquisitions to add both capacity and new capabilities to AAK, we have over recent years built a very strong balance sheet with an improved equity ratio. Combined with long-term loan agreements and our MTN program (Medium Term Note), this has created a solid foundation and a flexible alternative for further growth, both organically and through selective and strategic acquisitions.
4. Well positioned to benefit from consumer trends
Through our unique customer co-development approach and by focusing on trends and global key drivers, AAK is very well positioned to benefit from current consumer trends such as health and well-being, sustainability, premiumization, convenience, customization, and transparency. An important example is our natural and plant-based solutions that are on trend with consumer demands for health and nutrition. Sustainability is another competitive advantage as AAK is considered a trustworthy partner with focus on traceability and sustainability throughout the value chain. We are furthermore well positioned in the speciality segment in which there is a great demand for co-developed and high-quality premium solutions.