Category Archives: Total Produce

Total Produce (IE00B1HDWM43) 2012 preliminary results – Disappointing

Total Produce is one of the core holdings since the beginnings of this blog. In the beginning, we analysed the stock mostly in German, nevertheless, we finally settled after some back and forth on a fair value range of 0.69-0.83 EUR per share based on a free cash flow analysis, assuming ~8 cent of “adjusted” free cash flow per share (adjusting esp. for minorities.

One of the issues with Total Produce were back then Balance sheet quality (lots of goodwill, leverage) and only average return on equity, which however was set off by a very cheap price, significantly below book value

In between 2 things happened:

1. The price of the stock increased nicely to around 0.61 EUR. resulting in an overall performance of +55% incl. Dividends.
2. The quality of earnings however deteriorated in my opinion.

I think I have to explain point 2 a little bit in more detail. If you read the 2012 premliminary results, everything looks great:

Revenue (1) up 11.2% to €2.8 billion

Adjusted EBITDA(1) up 17.8% to €70.4m

Adjusted EBITA (1) up 21.4% to €54.6m

Adjusted profit before tax (1) up 19.1% to €47.3m

Adjusted EPS (1) up 12.0% to 8.11 cent

Final dividend up 12.0% to 1.512 cent; total 2012 dividend up 10.0% to 2.079 cent
Key performance indicators are defined overleaf

So everything is up double digits, where is the problem ? Well, the problem could be the use of the word “adjusted” in most of the items presented.

If one flips to the next page of the report, we can already see that “unadjusted” EPS declined by -7.5% from 7.11 pence to 6.58 pence per share.

Where does that come from ?

The “explanation” reads as follows:

Adjusted earnings per share excludes acquisition related intangible asset amortization charges, acquisition related costs, exceptional items and related tax on such items.

On the one hand, one could say OK, acquisitions are not part of the operating business, let’s ignore that. However, Total produce does a lot of acquisitions, year after year. Most of their growth actually comes from acquisitions, organic growth seems to be quite limited.

Total Produce, year after year reports those “adjusted” earnings, whereas the “regular earnings” are always lower. Let’s look at the past 4 years:

2012 2011 2010 2009 Avg
“adjusted ” EPS 8.11 7.24 6.84 6.47  
EPS 6.58 7.11 5.25 3.7  
EPS/Adj. EPS 81.1% 98.2% 76.8% 57.2% 78.3%

So not surprisingly, we only see “upside” adjustments, on average the “real” EPS is only ~78% of the adjusted EPS.

But it gets worse. In my opinion, one of the most “underused” pieces of information about the quality of a companies’ accounts is the Comprehensive Income statment.

“Modern” IFRS accounting allows quite a lot of items to be booked directly into equity as those items are considered sort of non-operating as well. Usual suspects in this category are:

– pension revaluation
– fx effects of foreign subsidiaries
– revaluation of fixed assets

In my opinion, one has to look at all those items because all of them influence the value of the equity position. Let’s look again at the last 4 years:

2012 2011 2010 2009
EPS 6.58 7.11 5.25 3.7
EPS “Comprehensive” 5.15 4.21 5.39 7.34

2009 looks better based on comprehensive income, however especially 2011 and 2012 look bad from that perspective. This is mostly the result of pension charges. interestingly, in 2009, they booked a 3 mn EUR pension gain into comprehensive income, since then, Total Produce however had to book in total 30 mn EUR negative charge through comprehensive income.^The discount rates used to discount the liabilities at the end of 2012 are still relatively high at ~4.2% both for EUR and UK. So there will be more charges coming.

Many analysts will tell you that comprehensive income doesn’t matter, because it is not operational, but I have a different view. With regard to pension for instance, an increase in pension liabilities means that you will have higher cash outflows in the future and the shareholder will get less.

Free Cashflow

For 2012, Total Produce reports ~41 mn EUR Free cashflow. That’s about 12.5 pence per share or ~50% higher than in our base case scenario. Again, this has to be taken with a “grain of salt”.

Again, as in the first post about Total Produce, I would eliminate the working capital movement, especially as the improvement only came from higher payables and not a reduction of inventory or receivables.

If we do a quick “proxy” calc I would calculate the following Free Cash flow:

+ 38 mn EUR OpCF
– 13.5 maintanance capex (depreciation)
– 1.1 “net minority dividends
= 23.4 mn EUR or ~7.8 cents per share.

This is only slightly below the initial assumption of 8 cents per share but does not include the various payments for the acquisitions.

The problem I do have is that most of the free cash flow is now used for acquisitions, where I am not sure how “value added” that part is.


In my opinion, Total Produce’s earnings quality deteriorated significantly. The “adjusted” numbers should be ignored, based on comprehensive income the company only earned ~5.15 pence for the shareholder and this is based on quite optimistic assumptions for the pension liabilities.

The company is using the majority of its free cash flow for acquisitions, where due to all those special effects, it is not clear to me if they earn really enough return. The priority seems to be to increase the size of the company. In my initial thesis, I was giving them extra credit for buying back shares but this seems to be no priority any more. Total value creation suffers quite significantly because of all the related expenses etd.

So I do not see much upside from here as the stock is now already close to my (slightly reduced) value range.

As a result, I will in a first step reduce my Total Produce position by 50%. I assume to have executed this end of last week at an average price of 0.61 EUR per share.

The other 50% are “on probation” so to say, I will look at the annual report and maybe 6M numbers in order to decide finally (or something better comes up).

Some half year updates – Poujoulat, Total Produce, Dart Group, Installux


Quite surprisingly, Poujoulat announced a stock split 1:4,, this is the release from Poujoulat:

En date du 21 juin 2012, l’Assemblée Générale de la société POUJOULAT a décidé la division par 4 de la valeur nominale de l’action POUJOULAT négociée sur le marché ALTERNEXT Paris. Cette mesure permettra de fluidifier les échanges et de rendre le titre POUJOULAT plus accessible (son cours étant actuellement supérieur à 130€) En pratique, l’opération de division par 4 sera réalisée sur les soldes EUROCLEAR du vendredi 7 septembre prochain et sera effective le lundi 10 septembre à l’ouverture du marché. Les détenteurs d’actions POUJOULAT se verront attribuer automatiquement 4 actions nouvelles pour une ancienne.
Les droits antérieurs rattachés aux actions ne seront pas modifiés, notamment le bénéficie du droit de vote double pour toute action gérée au nominatif pur depuis plus de 24 mois. Le nombre d’actions POUJOULAT en circulation sur ALTERNEXT Paris sera ainsi porté de 489 750 à 1 959 000.

Let’s wait and see if this somehow helps the stock or not.

Read more

Portfolio updates & ManU short

Draeger Genußscheine

After the dramatic increase in the Draeger Genußscheine, the portfolio weight of this position increased to aropund 11%. As 10% is my maximum treshold, I will sell down to 10% of portfolio weight from today on.

Manchester United short

Manchester United is now avaliable to short at Interactive Brokers. Therefore I will start with a 1% portfolio weight short position as of today as discussed in the post.

On the third trading day, the stock showed already a similar pattern to Facebook after the IPO, with the banks supportiung now at 13,40 USD after the IPO price didn’t hold.

Rebalancing: Total Produce, Hornbach, Vetropack

Due to differences in performance and paid out , some of my core holdings dropped significantly below the 5% target thresholds, among others:

– Total Produce (~4.2%(
– Hornbach (~4.5%)
– Vetropack (4.16%)

For those 3 companies, I will add to a full 5% over the next days depending on volume.


By the way, please do not forget that I might own or buy or sell the mentioned securities privatley and read the disclaimer.

Quick updates: Praktiker, Total Produce and Vivendi


Praktiker just announced that they will delay the AGM until mid of June. The claim to be in “advanced talks” with capital providers and that they need some more time to prepare the necessary approvals from the AGM.

I am pretty sure, we will see a massive diluting capital increase exercise presented in the AGM. However, the Bond now is back into buying levels (<= 41%) and I will increase the position if possible to 2.5% of the portfolio.

Total Produce

Total produce has released its annual report. I have to dig deeper into the report at some point in time.


“Caque”, a French blogger has commented on yesterdays post. He has up a very very good post about Vivendi, including his personal experiences as a customer.

Also his original Vivendi post from 2011 is really worth a read. Seems to be a high quality blog to me and the only French one I know so far.

Total Produce, EMAK, Austostrada

Total Produce

For some reason, the stock price of Total Produce climbed significantly over the last few days. Now a part of this increase seem to be explained: Total Prduce joins the ISEQ 20, the main Irish stock index:

Total Produce plc, Europe’s leading fresh produce company, is pleased to announce that it has been advised by the Irish Stock Exchange that following the quarterly ISEQ 20 review, Total Produce will be joining the ISEQ 20 Indices, (ISEQ 20, ISEQ 20 Capped and ISEQ 20 Leveraged), with effect from close of business on Friday, 16th March 2012.

I don’t know how many index trackers exist and the weight is only 0.29%, but maybe it helps a little bit to attract some new investors.


EMAK released preliminary 2011 results last week.

“Pro forma” results of the combined EMAK would have been 13 mn EUR, a P/E of ~ 7.5. Results of “old” EMAK were surprisingly weak, whereas the “new” EMAK companies were doing a lot better. SO maybe the deal wasn’t such a rip off at all ? Let’s wait and see, but EMAK still looks very cheap at this levels despite the problems in the home market.


What a shame, Autostrada reported really solid numbers for 2011. Interestingly the Impregilo share price rose already above the level of 3 EUR which Autostrada paid for the share from it’s parent. I tios still below the 3.65 for the Fondiaria package, but the “loss” is definitely smaller.

Autostrada, Total Produce, Piquadro


As mentioned yesterday, I sold my full Autostrada position at yesterday’s VWAP of 6.34 EUR per share, resulting in a loss of -7,88%. I will revisit Autostrada and especially SIAS, the operating subisidiary, once the cpaital increase is underway. Looking at EMAK and Unicredit, this could provide a more interesting entry point and compensating for the risk of unexpected transactions…..


Since yesterday, Piquadro trades below 1,50 EUR, which was my threshold for additional purchases. However, as I am currently much more pesimistic about China I will for the time being not purchase more Piquadro shares.

Total Produce

Total Produce issed preliminary annual fugures (thanks for the link to best_choice). Wexboy and Philipp O’Sullivan already commented on the results.

Positives were the turnaround in the Health foods segment, whereas the rest of the business slightly contracted. The “EHEC scare” was most likely contributing significantly to this decline.

What I don’t really like are the debt financed acquisitions. However the guidance for 2012 (7-8 cents a share) still leaves the company in the “dirt cheap” category.

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