Italy: the "Top Ten" of organic companies according to their turnover (IT)


The first "Pambianco Strategie di Impresa" study  on the turnover of the ten leading Italian companies in the organic sector was recently published. Organic consumption in 2018 has grown double-digit (+ 14% in the first seven months of the year in large-scale retailing alone, according to the latest surveys by Osservatorio Sana), but the benefit deriving from this boom, for companies specialized in processing of products from organic farming,  is limited. This was stated by the Pambianco study indicating that, put together, the companies earned over 400 million euros last year, achieving a progression slightly higher than 1%. A small step forward compared to the great step taken by the organic sector, which certainly does not satisfy those directly involved, as the result linked to profitability in general and even more if compared with that of the previous year does not satisfy them: the percentage of gross operating margin on turnover in 2018 was 6% compared to 7% in 2017.

The explanation for this slowdown, according to the companies specialized in the organic sector, is to be found in the competition implemented by the generalist producers, some of which broke through to an increasingly promising market, opening a part of organic processing (although without abandoning the conventional) just to satisfy the demand of the final consumers. In this context, beyond the individual cases, the slight overall growth was achieved by the specialists precisely by sacrificing margins, a necessary choice to be able to compete with companies that also operate in the conventional sector and which, in terms of size, concentrate on price.

The Italian organic leader is Rigoni di Asiago, with 112.5 million in revenues realized at the end of a year characterized by a slight drop in sales, but during which the Vicenza-based company managed by Andrea Rigoni laid the foundations for its own future growth, including the new shareholder Kharis Capital (with a minority stake strengthened) to replace the Italian Investment Fund and then obtain, in March 2019, a loan of 50 million euros from a pool of banks that will be used to upgrade the export, which is currently worth almost 40% of total turnover.

In second and third place, divided by less than a million euros, we find Alce Nero and Brio. The first, a historic name for organic made in Italy, grossed 74.3 million euros with an increase of around 2% which, after two turbocharged years, concluded respectively + 25% in 2017 and + 45% in 2016, can be interpreted as an excellent consolidation.

Absolutely significant is also the result of Brio, the third Italian organic player, which closed at 73.5 million in revenues with a leap of 11.5% year on year, but achieving growth without margins.

At the fourth place of the ranking is the company protagonist of the most important "good shot" of the year,  the Sicilian Damiano, specialized in the processing of organic dried fruit, thanks to a turnover of over 45 million euros. At the end of July, Damiano was acquired by Progressio Investimenti III, a fund managed by Progressio sgr, and somehow represents the exception to the rule not only for its attractiveness to investors, but also because, in a complex year, it obtained an increase of 16.5% in turnover with a margin close to 10% of revenues.

In fifth place is Probios, a consolidated reality in the distribution of organic vegetarian food, also present in Germany with the subsidiary Probios Deutschland, which closed the year with just over 25 million in revenues. Next, the ranking is completed by Natura Nuova, Sarchio, Scaldasole, Germinal Italia and Poggio del Farro. Among these companies, Poggio del Farro stands out as a result, a company based in Firenzuola (Florence) specialized in spelt-based organic foods, which was able to achieve a growth of almost 20% while achieving the most important percentage of the sector (18% on turnover).


Source: Informacibo