In 2014, net financial expense totaled €15 million, flat versus 2013, and reflecting steady average net financial debt over both financial years.
Income tax expense came to €56 million, compared with €88 million in 2013, when the Group recognized approximately €20 million in non-recurring charges for a contested tax assessment.
In 2014, consolidated net profit, Group share, totaled €123 million, versus €126 million in 2013.
The Group’s balance sheet remained very robust. At December 31, 2014, total equity came to €1,299 million, compared with €1,212 million a year earlier. At the same time, net financial debt totaled €67 million, versus €54 million at December 31, 2013.
In March 25, 2015, the Board of Directors voted to propose a dividend of € 6,25 per share, with an ex-dividend date of May 18 and payable as of May 20, 2015. The dividend is subject to the approval of the Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 12, 2015.
Outlook for 2015
The economic and geopolitical uncertainty ushering in the 2015 financial year does not augur well for consumer spending. The monetary environment and raw material supplies are on a more favorable trend but nevertheless remain highly volatile.
In this climate, the Group confirms its goal of advancing its positions sustainably in the world cheese market by building on the commitment of its employees, the strength of its brands and its policy of supporting innovation.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. Such trend and/or target information should in no way be regarded as earnings forecast data or performance indicators of any kind. This information is by nature subject to risks and uncertainties that may be beyond the Company’s control. A detailed description of these risks and uncertainties is provided in the Company’s Registration Document, available at www.groupe-bel.com as of April 2, 2015. More comprehensive information about the Bel Group can be found in the “Regulatory Information” section of the www.groupe-bel.com website.
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