March 12, 2020 / 6:49 PM / 16 days ago

BRIEF-Bel FY Operating Profit Up At 211 Million Euros

March 12 (Reuters) - UNIBEL SA:

* FY REVENUE EUR 3.40 BILLION VERSUS EUR 3.31 BILLION YEAR AGO

* FY OPERATING PROFIT EUR 211 MILLION VERSUS EUR 160 MILLION YEAR AGO

* OVERALL ENVIRONMENT AT START OF 2020 CONTINUES TO BE AFFECTED BY GEOPOLITICAL-RELATED DIFFICULTIES IN NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* FY OPERATING CASH FLOW EUR 310 MILLION VERSUS EUR 251 MILLION YEAR AGO

* TRANSFORMATION WORK STARTED IN 2018 IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN 2020, ENABLING BEL TO DEPLOY ITS STRATEGY IN HEALTHY AND ACCESSIBLE-TO-ALL FOOD UNIVERSE

* ON CORONAVIRUS DEPENDENCY OF BEL’S SUPPLY CHAIN AND PRODUCTION SITE OPERATIONS ON COUNTRIES CURRENTLY MOST AFFECTED IS LOW

* AT DEC 31, 2019, EQUITY TOTALED EUR 1,810 MILLION, COMPARED WITH EUR 1,740 MILLION AT DEC 31, 2018

* ON CORONAVIRUS GROUP PAYS CLOSE ATTENTION TO IMPACTS OF PANDEMIA ON CONSUMER TRENDS IN ITS DIFFERENT MARKETS AND TO POSSIBLE CONTAINMENT MEASURES, POSSIBLY LEADING TO ECONOMIC SLOW DOWNS

* FY NET FINANCIAL DEBT, EXCLUDING RIGHT-OF-USE LEASE LIABILITIES RELATED TO ADOPTION OF IFRS 16(1), CAME TO EUR 582 MILLION AT YEAR-END, VERSUS EUR 654 MILLION AT 31 DECEMBER 2018

* PROPOSED DIVIDEND OF €6.0 PER SHARE

* ON COVID-19: AS OF TODAY, FINANCIAL IMPACT IS NOT CONSIDERED MATERIAL GIVEN GEOGRAPHIC FOOTPRINT OF GROUP MARKETS

* OUTLOOK: TRANSFORMATION WORK EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN 2020, ENABLING BEL TO DEPLOY ITS STRATEGY IN HEALTHY AND ACCESSIBLE-TO-ALL FOOD UNIVERSE

* ON CORONAVIRUS: AS OF TODAY, FINANCIAL IMPACT IS NOT CONSIDERED MATERIAL GIVEN GEOGRAPHIC FOOTPRINT OF GROUP MARKETS

* ON CORONAVIRUS: ALL APPROPRIATE ACTIONS ARE UNDER STUDY TO MINIMIZE SUCH POTENTIAL IMPACT

* INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTIVITY MEASURES SHOULD FULLY BEAR FRUIT IN 2021

* OUTLOOK MULTIYEAR TRANSFORMATION PLAN IS EXPECTED TO GENERATE EUR 120 MILLION IN SAVINGS AFTER COMPLETING ACTIONS TO OPTIMIZE ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL SPENDING

* BEL REMAINS COMMITTED TO ITS GOAL OF ACHIEVING CARBON NEUTRAL OPERATIONS BY 2025, AND HAS DRAFTED ACTION PLANS TO THAT END Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Gdansk Newsroom)

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