Guidance for 2020 was suspended on 29 April 2020.
Outlook for 2020
The development of the Group’s business operations and profitability are affected by the competitive environment, the overall economic outlook and changes in alcohol taxation and regulation. Uncertainty related to changes in consumer buying behaviour and consumer demand continues. In addition, overall fluctuations of direct product costs affect the Group’s profitability.
COVID-19 update: Uncertainty in the operating environment is high. The recovery of the market depends on the duration of the governmental restrictions, limitations on movement and travelling as well as the recommendations on social distancing. The pace of recovery is difficult to estimate and is expected to vary across sales channels.
There are substantial seasonal fluctuations in the consumption of alcoholic beverages impacting the net sales and cash flow of Altia. The company typically generates large amounts of its revenue and cash flow during the fourth quarter of the year, whereas the first quarter of the year is significantly lower. In addition, excise taxes related to the high season at the end of the year are paid in January, resulting in large cash outflows at the beginning of the year.
Altia suspends its guidance for 2020 due the uncertainties related to COVID-19. A new guidance is provided if the impacts of COVID-19 on the operating environment and business conditions can be assessed in a reliable manner.
The restrictions and instructions from governments and health authorities have a significant impact on Altia’s operating environment. Visibility for the rest of the year is poor and forecasting the COVID-19 impacts on the operating environment reliably is difficult. Uncertainty in the economy remains at a high level and the risk of an economic slowdown is high.
The recovery of the consumer beverage sales depends on the duration of the governmental restrictions, limitations in movement and travelling as well as the recommendations on social distancing. The pace of recovery is difficult to estimate and is expected to vary across sales channels: on-trade channels could be expected to recover faster than travel retail.
Previous guidance published on 13 February 2020:
The continued decline in market volumes in Finland puts pressure on profitability growth. The uncertainties in global travelling impacts border trade and travel retail regionally and in Asia. Guidance assumes a normal barley price level following the 2020 harvest. Industrial services are impacted by phasing of volumes between the years.
The comparable EBITDA is expected to be at the same level as or higher than in 2019 (2019: EUR 44.8 million).