As expected, the HOCHDORF Group's half-year result remains unsatisfactory, with a loss of CHF –15.9 million (EBIT) on net sales revenue of CHF 145.7 million (up 3.8% on 2021). The operating revenue position, which was already displeasing in the 2021 annual results, was accentuated by the negative cost developments for raw materials and energy in the first half of the year. The measures immediately introduced by the new management – both product range/customer portfolio streamlining and price adjustments – were unable to impact the first half of 2022 for contractual reasons. The Board of Directors and Group Management have made substantial changes to the structure and organisation in order to accelerate the strategic change.
The first half of 2022 was marked by the continuing challenge of reducing legacy issues while at the same time exploiting new business potential. HOCHDORF conducted intensive price negotiations, adjusted contracts and reorganised its sales and marketing organisation to make it more efficient. Our aim is clear: HOCHDORF must increase its gross margins and productivity to become less dependent on volume business and milk costs. In doing so, the company is transforming itself from a milk processor into a specialist for high-margin “functional foods” – ingredients and milk products for specific nutritional requirements – and alternative protein products. HOCHDORF is retaining a consistent focus on the rapidly changing market and nutrition trends. Based on its proven technological expertise in the Swiss market, the company will also align itself much more closely with the primary milk processors in the future. At the same time, HOCHDORF is creating a corporate culture that promotes innovation and embraces change.
Our greatest challenge in this regard is the prudent use of the scarce resources currently available. Until the restoration of positive operating profitability, the first goal is to secure the financial stability and liquidity that the company needs in this phase of transformation. As our valued shareholders, we are well aware that you have endured many exhortations to bear with us in recent years. We are therefore keen to emphasise at this point that the current restructuring measures will fundamentally change the company; it is no longer a question of optimising what already exists. HOCHDORF is well-placed to meet the future challenges in the market: the company is positioned as a technology competence centre for smart nutrition in a consumer environment that is undergoing very lasting and rapid change. In addition to milk-based specialities, there is also increasing consumer demand for alternatives to milk proteins. HOCHDORF's existing expertise and high capacity for innovation are excellent foundations for a successful transition.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for placing your trust in us, the new management and the new organisation. At the same time, we would like to thank our committed employees, who are actively building the future of the company by embracing its potential.