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PRESS RELEASE: KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA: KWS aims -2-

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PRESS RELEASE: KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA: KWS aims for further growth after successful fiscal 2018/2019



DGAP-News: KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA / Key word(s): Annual Results
KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA: KWS aims for further growth after successful fiscal
2018/2019

2019-10-23 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Einbeck, October 23, 2019

KWS aims for further growth after successful fiscal 2018/2019

_Growth in all product segments - Net sales rise despite exchange rate
effects - Increase in EBIT and net income for the year - Dividend increase
to EUR0.67 (0.64) proposed - Strong growth in net sales planned in fiscal
2019/2020_

*The KWS Group (ISIN: DE0007074007) achieved a 4.2% increase in net sales to
EUR1.11 billion in fiscal 2018/2019. Operating income (EBIT) rose by around
13% to EUR150.0 million, while earnings per share improved by approximately
4% to EUR3.15.*

"Our business performed well in a challenging environment for agriculture,"
said Eva Kienle, Chief Financial Officer of KWS. "We have shown growth in
all product segments and operating income rose significantly. We expect
further growth in the current fiscal year on the back of a diversified
product portfolio, promising variety approvals and our entry into the
vegetable seed business."

Net sales rose by 4.2% to EUR1,113.3 (1,068.0) million in fiscal 2018/2019.
All product segments contributed to that growth. The decline in value of a
number of local currencies in countries where the KWS Group operates had a
negative impact on net sales, which are consolidated in euros.

The KWS Group's operating income (EBIT) improved by 13.1% to EUR150.0
(132.6) million. The increase in gross profit was partly offset by higher
function costs for research and development, sales and administration. A
positive non-recurring effect of around EUR11 million from the sale of a
company participation contributed to the increase in EBIT. The EBIT margin
was 13.5% (12.4%).

Net financial result was EUR -5.5 million, down from the previous year's
figure of EUR5.4 million. The interest result fell to EUR -15.0 (-8.0)
million due to higher borrowing, while net income from equity-accounted
companies declined to EUR9.4 (13.4) million. Income taxes totaled
EUR -40.4 (-38.3) million.

The result was an improvement in net income for the year to EUR104.0 (99.7)
million and earnings per share of EUR3.15 (3.02).

*Overview of the key figures*

*in EUR million* *2018/2019* *2017/2018* *Change in
%*
Net sales 1,113.3 1,068.0 4.2%
Operating income (EBIT) 150.0 132.6 13.1%
Net financial result -5.5 5.4 -
Result of ordinary 144.5 138.0 4.7%
activities
Income taxes -40.4 -38.3 5.5%
*Net income for the year* *104.0* *99.7* *4.3%*
*Earnings per share (EUR)** *3.15* *3.02* *4.3%*
*EBIT margin (%)* *13.5* *12.4* *-*

* Earnings per share for the previous period have been adjusted to reflect
the share split (1:5)

*Business performance of the segments*

The *Corn Segment* grew its net sales by 0.7% to EUR739.0 (734.2) million in
the year under review. That increase is mainly attributable to a positive
business performance in South America. In North America - and in particular
in the Midwest of the U.S. - wet weather conditions during the sowing season
meant that corn cultivation area fell sharply and resulted in significant
decline in net sales at the joint venture AgReliant. On the other hand,
there were positive exchange rate effects from the increase in the US
dollar's value against the euro. In Europe and China, KWS' business was
overall stable in the course of the year. The segment's income rose by 22%
to EUR57.9 (47.4) million. The EBIT margin rose from 6.5% to 7.8%.

Net sales at the *Sugarbeet Segment *rose slightly to EUR461.2 (455.1)
million. While net sales in the EU declined due to difficult cultivation
conditions, the fall in sugar prices and the removal of surplus capacities
in the sugar industry, net sales grew sharply in Eastern Europe thanks to
the introduction of CONVISO(R) SMART. In North America, net sales benefited
from a slight increase in cultivation area and a stronger US dollar. The
segment's EBIT - including a positive non-recurring effect of EUR11.0
million from the sale of shares in KWS Potato B.V. - increased to EUR179.6
(160.5) million.

Net sales at the *Cereals Segment* rose sharply by 13.0% to EUR170.8 (151.1)
million. Net sales from rye seed grew by 24% thanks to the rise in
cultivation area and higher market share. Revenue from wheat seed and
rapeseed remained stable in the year under review, while barley business
increased sharply. Rye seed is still the main sales driver in the Cereals
Segment, contributing around 39%. EBIT increased by 25% to EUR23.0 (18.4)
million, giving an EBIT margin of 13.5% (12.2%).

Net sales at the *Corporate Segment* were EUR3.9 (4.2) million. They are
mainly generated from KWS' farms. Since all cross-segment costs for the KWS
Group's central functions and basic research expenditure are charged to the
Corporate Segment, its income is usually negative. The costs consolidated in
this segment rose in the year under review, among other things due to the
reorganization project ONEGLOBE, costs for the change in legal form, M&A
activities, and higher IT expenditure. The segment's income was EUR -97.1
(-77.3) million.

The difference from the KWS Group's statement of comprehensive income and
segment reporting is due to the requirements of the International Financial
Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and is summarized for the key indicators of net
sales and EBIT in the reconciliation table below:

*Reconciliation table*

*in EUR million* *Segments* *Reconciliation* *KWS Group1*
Net sales 1,375.0 -261.7 1,113.3
EBIT 163.4 -13.4 150.0

1 Excluding the shares of the equity-accounted companies AGRELIANT GENETICS
LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG - KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

*Capital spending*

KWS' capital spending in fiscal 2018/2019 was consistent with its long-term
growth plans and focused on erecting and expanding production, research and
development capacities. Among other things, the company continued to expand
sugarbeet seed production in Einbeck, a multi-year project with a total
volume of around EUR40 million. KWS expanded its corn seed drying and
production capacities in Brazil and Argentina. Total capital spending in
fiscal 2018/2019 was EUR96.6 (71.7) million.

*Proposed dividend to increase to EUR0.67*

Continuing to grow profitably is one of KWS' core corporate goals. The KWS
Group's net income was EUR104.0 million following EUR97.7 million the year
before, or an increase of 4.3%. The Executive and Supervisory Boards will
therefore propose a dividend of EUR0.67 (0.64) for fiscal year 2018/2019 to
the Annual Shareholders' Meeting on December 17, 2019, which is in line with
the development in earnings. EUR22.1 (21.1) million would thus be
distributed to KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA's shareholders. That would correspond
to a dividend payout ratio of 21.3% (21.2%), in line with the KWS Group's
earnings-oriented policy of paying a dividend of 20% to 25% of its net
income.

*Forecast for the 2019/2020 fiscal year: Strong increase in net sales
planned*

The Executive Board expects the KWS Group to grow net sales significantly by
8% to 12%. The acquisition of the vegetable seed business of Pop Vriend
Seeds and growing corn seed business should make major contributions to
that. As far as can be seen at present, the EBIT margin will be between 11%
and 13%, while the R&D intensity is expected to be in the range of 17% to
19%. Capital spending in fiscal 2019/2020 will again focus on expanding
processing, production and research capacities and is budgeted to be around
EUR100 million.

The Annual Report can be downloaded at www.kws.com

*About KWS**
KWS is one of the world's leading plant breeding companies. In the fiscal
year 2018/19 more than 5,500 employees in 70 countries generated net sales
of EUR 1.1 billion and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 150
million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated
independently for more than 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the
production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, rapeseed,
sunflowers and vegetables. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to
increase farmers' yields and to improve resistance to diseases, pests and
abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested approximately EUR 200
million last fiscal year in research and development.

* All indications excluding the results from the companies accounted for
using the equity method AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and
KENFENG - KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

For more information: www.kws.com [1]. Follow us on Twitter(R) at
https://twitter.com/KWS_Group [2].

2019-10-23 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a
service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements,
Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de
Language: English
Company: KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA
Grimsehlstraße 31
37555 Einbeck
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)5561 311-0
Fax: +49 (0)5561 311-322
E-mail: info@kws.com
Internet: www.kws.de
ISIN: DE0007074007
WKN: 707400
Indices: S-DAX
Listed: Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard), Hanover;
Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg,
Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange
EQS News ID: 894251

End of News DGAP News Service

894251 2019-10-23



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October 23, 2019 01:30 ET ( 05:30 GMT)


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