EkoNiva-APK Holding

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EkoNiva announces operating results over Q1 2024

Press-centre / News,

EkoNiva Group, Russia's largest dairy holding, has announced its operating results over January-March 2024 covering its core business segments: dairy farming, milk processing, crop growing and seed production.

Dairy farming

In January-March 2024, EkoNiva Group's dairies produced about 325,700 tonnes of raw milk (2023: over 304,000 tonnes). Compared to the same period last year, the growth was around 21,700 tonnes, or 7%. The average milk yield in the reporting period reached 3,578 tonnes per day against 3,378 tonnes in January-March 2023 (+6%). The mean output per dairy cow was 31.3 kg per day (Q1 2023: 30 kg). The work on improving the milking herd productivity is still underway. At the same time, the performance boost comes with increased cost of production of both raw milk and finished dairy products.

The average herd size at the Group’s farming enterprises over the reporting period amounted to around 246,400 head, including 114,500 dairy cows (Q1 2023: 233,400 and 112,700, respectively).

Milk processing

In January-March 2024, the output of EkoNiva's milk processing plants totalled 83,600 tonnes of finished dairy products, which is 40% more than in the same period last year (Q1 2023: 59,600 tonnes). The production of drinking milk and conventional dairy items (cream, kefir, sour cream, curds, butter, etc.) grew by 37% year-on-year to 79,240 tonnes (Q1 2023: 57,640 tonnes), yoghurts and desserts, including ice cream – by 32% to 2,060 tonnes (Q1 2023: 1,560 tonnes), cheeses – 6-fold to 2,300 tonnes (Q1 2023: 365 tonnes).

EkoNiva has been stepping up its production, in line with the trend towards growing consumption of dairy products, especially cheese, in Russia. The Group is currently enhancing cooperation with partner cheese-making enterprises and expanding its product range.

In February 2024, sales of new EKONIVA Professional Line UHT cream with a fat content of 33% were launched. Perfect for preparing sauces, creams and confectionery, this product is primarily designed for chefs and professionals in the hospitality industry.

To sell its products, the Group is exploring various sales channels. During the reporting period, it opened branded retail shops in Voronezh, Moscow and Ryazan oblasts and started exports to Kyrgyzstan and Abkhazia. Besides, the holding’s enterprises – MosMedynagroprom in Kaluga oblast, Anna dairy plant and Shchuchye cheese plant in Voronezh oblast – received halal certificates and were audited for compliance with the requirements of the Customs Union countries, thus opening up opportunities for extending the export range.

At the end of the reporting period, the number of outlets in Russia offering the Group's products totalled 65,100 (Q1 2023: 40,700; +60% year-on-year).

Crop growing

In 2024, EkoNiva planted over 480,000 hectares of land in 13 regions of its operation – more than 215,000 hectares with cash crops and about 44,000 hectares with seeds. Around 195,000 hectares was allocated for growing forage crops. The Group's key objective is to fully meet the needs of its herd for succulent and rough fodder. The spring sowing on EkoNiva's farms is nearing completion.

Plant breeding and seed production

EkoNiva proceeds with advancing its seed production and in-house plant breeding programmes. In Q1 2024, EN Altais, EN Isida winter wheat varieties and EN Avior soya bean variety developed at the Group's Plant Breeding and Seed Maintenance Centre were entered into the State Register of Plant Breeding Achievements. They are approved for use in the Central Black Soil and Middle Volga regions. Several more varieties are currently undergoing state trials. In addition to winter wheat and soya bean breeding programmes, breeding of lentils, spring soft wheat, lupin and chickpeas is underway.