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HomeValue InvestingRoyal Unibrew (ISIN DK0060634707) – A Excessive High quality Beverage Compounder at...

Royal Unibrew (ISIN DK0060634707) – A Excessive High quality Beverage Compounder at an affordable worth ?

Disclaimer: This isn’t funding recommendation. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH !!!!

The corporate:

Royal Unibrew logo

Royal Unibrew is a Danish Beverage firm that I “found” throughout my journey by all Danish shares some weeks in the past (too costly again then however “watch”). I had additionally seen them some months in the past within the Profitlich&Schmidlin portfolio.

The corporate is generally lively in Scandinavia and the Baltics the place they’ve choices in all areas (together with a contribution settlement with Pepsi), whereas in some nations (France, Germany, Italy), they’re working a centered area of interest technique. Regardless of the identify, Beer is simply round 35% of their choices (as of 2021), the opposite 65% are largely non-alcoholic drinks from gentle drinks to water and power drinks.

In comparison with their giant rivals (Heineken, Carlsberg & Co), they don’t have any dominating manufacturers however appear to concentrate on native manufacturers in every class.

A brief overview of the beverage business

I’m not an professional within the beverage business, however at a excessive stage I feel one can see some comparatively apparent tendencies:

  • Beer will not be a development story in mixture, nonetheless craft beer nonetheless appear to be “sizzling” in addition to alcohol free beer
  • Spirits, particularly Whisky, Tequilla, Gin and many others. are nonetheless rising
  • Traditional Softdrinks with sugar have a problem
  • the expansion stars are power drinks, flavored water and different specialties

Simply out of curiosity, I’ve compiled a small overview over the primary gamers within the classes Beer, spirits, Smooth drink and for comparability causes, diversified meals (numbers from TIKR):

Unibrew - Peers

As a common comment one can see that the the Beer gamers are typically considerably decrease valued in contrast, each, to the spirits and the gentle drink gamers, regardless of exhibiting traditionally the identical or higher development charges and profitability.

Total, all classes look generally fairly engaging which is mirrored within the fairly excessive valuations in comparison with extra cyclical enterprise fashions. I assume that traders total take into account beverage firms as fairly secure companies with first rate development alternatives.

Royal Unibrew – the historical past

Wanting on the share worth, it isn’t to simple to see on this long-term chart, however Royal Unibrew had a “close to demise expertise” in 2008:

royal unibrew lt chart

The issue again then was that their preliminary worldwide growth plans (Caribbean, Poland) didn’t work out and that they roughly ran out of cash throughout the GFC. I discovered this fascinating valuation train from 2009 with a number of background info.

For anybody who purchased again after they had an emergency capital enhance, might expertise a 100 bagger from 2009 to finish of 2021.

Since then nonetheless, Royal Unibrew managed to extend gross sales and earnings at a really first rate price. Even when we use EPS at pre disaster 12 months 2007 as a foundation (5,24 DKK), Royal Unibrew elevated EPS by 12,3% p.a. over these 14 years.

This was achieved by rising the highest line by “solely” ~6% p.a. however particularly EBIT margins greater than tripled from 6% in 2007 to 19% in 2021. Additionally returns on capital elevated from ~8% to round 22%.

Evolution of enterprise mannequin

For rising the highest line, Royal Unibrew made a few smaller acquisitions and one bigger one, the acquisition of Hartwall (from Heineken) in 2013. The rise in profitability is a mix of the disposal of much less worthwhile items after the 2008 disaster (Poland, Caribbean) and an evolution within the enterprise mannequin: In it’s core markets, Royal Unibrew not solely acted as a brewer/producer but additionally as a distributor. Proudly owning the distribution within the beverage enterprise appears to be a recreation change, because it permits significantly better management over the place and at what worth the merchandise are bought.

It additionally permits to “plug in” smaller acquisitions after which distribute them throughout the present community (community impact). Apparently, additionally they distribute different manufacturers, most notably Pepsi in a few of the markets the place they’re lively.

There may be even a pleasant BCG case research on Royal Unibrew and its turnaround to be discovered right here. Apparently, the deal was not seen that favorable by promote aspect analysts when it occurred.


The 12 months 2021 ended and 2022 began with 2 important acquisitions: First, they purchased an organization known as Solera which is a number one distributor/importer of beverage in Norway and Sweden. Secondly, they had been capable of purchase the remaining 75% of Hansa Borg, the second largest brewery in Norway. Solera, with 700 mn DKK was the smaller acquisition, Hansa Borg with ~2,5 bn DKK a lot larger. Apparently, Royal Unibrew was capable of pay 90% of the Hansa Borg buy worth with its personal shares at a really excessive valuation (759 DKK/share).

Each acquisitions are strategically very fascinating, as this opens up two comparatively giant and engaging markets (Norway and Sweden) for them and can enable them to execute their examined enterprise mannequin.

These acquisitions would would have resulted in decrease EBIT margins as normally it takes a while till they get acquired firms as much as their requirements.

To date so good, however throughout 2022 the had been additionally confronted with quick rising prices, each, with inputs, but additionally as a distributor with transport prices, which they couldn’t totally move by to prospects but. Consequently, EBIT margins decreased considerably from ~20% to “solely” 14% within the first 9M 2022.

As a consequence, they needed to decrease their revenue outlook for 2022 2 occasions. Type the Q3 presetnation, they present these 2 bridges which clarify how gross sales have elevated considerably however EBIT margins decreased:

unibrew ebot bridge

A very fascinating chart type the presentation is how they plan to meet up with worth will increase:

Unibrew Price increases

So clearly, inside the subsequent 4 quarters, their profitability will most definitely keep on the present decrease ranges after which hopefully return as much as the previous ranges.

As well as, for the primary 9M 2022, money move technology was considerably beneath earlier years,

Administration, incentives & Capital allocation

The present administration got here into service in 2020, however each, CEO and CFO are firm veterans regardless of being comparatively younger (beneath 50). The CEO personal shares in a worth of 6 mn EUR. The CFO has solely a comparatively small stake.

So this isn’t an proprietor/operator firm, due to this fact you will need to perceive the inducement scheme. That is how their incentives regarded like for 2021:

RU Bonus

It’s a fairly distinctive scheme, particularly the long run scheme that focuses on Organice EBIT and amassed Free Cashflow is sort of fascinating. Personally, I’d have most well-liked a barely extra “per share” orientation however total I feel it’s a good incentive scheme and aligns Administration and share holders properly.

Capital allocation for my part is among the massive strengths of Royal Unibrew no less than for the reason that turnaround 2008/2009. They do have a really clear acquisition technique properly summarized on this chart:

Unibrew M&A

Additionally they talk clear targets for distribution to shareholders. Paying for Hansa Borg with exepnsive personal shares additionally turned out to be good capital allocation.

Different elements

One qualitative side that I like loads at Royal Unibrew is the very clear and simple to grasp reporting. I’ve shared already a number of pages out of their stories, however generally, I’d name it “finest at school” reporting and shareholder communication. For example, they present ROIC excluding Goodwill and together with Goodwill. That is one thing I’ve by no means seen earlier than. Additionally they present 5 12 months numbers for many related gadgets of the P&L and Stability sheet.

One other fascinating characteristic is that the corporate appears to be fairly decentralized. In response to what I heard, the Headquarter in Faxe solely employs 10 folks and appears to focus totally on capital allocation. Operational choices are made at native subsidiary stage. That is how the HQ at 1 Faxe Alle in Faxe seems from Google road view (not very fancy):

Faxe 1

Professionals & Cons

As all the time, I’ll attempt to gather the main Professional’s and con’s at this stage which seems as follows:

+ resilient underlying enterprise in engaging markets
+ excessive margin / excessive return on capital
+ good development report
+ very money generative enterprise
+ good capital allocation (clear targets, dividend/share purchase again, structured M&A)
+ 100% money conversion EBIT to FCF on common
+ decentralized construction with a really lean HQ
+ excellent reporting (ROIC, money move and many others, annual stories on-line since 1999)
+ Royal Unibrew itself could possibly be an acquisition goal for a big participant
+ Additionally they began early to decarbonize by creating a big photo voltaic plant at their Danish manufacturing web site

+/- No house owners however Administration incentives moderately aligned
+/- leverage according to friends

  • nonetheless power intensive in the intervening time (change from fuel to grease already occurred)
  • restricted move by pricing energy in the intervening time
  • Excessive share of intangible (>fairness)
  • no single highly effective World model

Valuation/Funding case:

With a valuation of round 15 EV/EBIT for 2022 (based mostly on 1.600 mn DKK EBIT), Royal Unibrew does’t look low-cost. So why ought to or not it’s a lovely funding nonetheless ?

The reason being comparatively easy: If one assumes that in some unspecified time in the future in time sooner or later, they may once more attain ~20% EBIT margins (from the 14% anticipated in 2022), then there is perhaps a good upside within the present inventory worth.

If for example EBIT margins would attain 19% in 2027 (rising by 1% yearly), 5% prime line development  and a 50% payout ratio, one would underwrite a 13% p.a. return on a 14xEV/EBIT exit a number of over the subsequent 5 years.

A barely extra aggressive case with 20% Margins in 2027 and a 15 EV/EBIT exit a number of would end in a ~16% p.a. return.

Wanting on the firm, the Administration, the enterprise mannequin I do suppose that that is reasonable and engaging as a “boring top quality GARP” inventory.  It’s clearly not a “dust low-cost” firm however I do suppose it might grow to be a really engaging “GARP” funding.

Why the Firm is perhaps undervalued & Sport plan

Current Buyers had been clearly spooked in regards to the revenue warning. After this future of very predictable development, perhaps some more moderen traders acquired chilly ft and needed to take income. Or they’re nervous that this turns into one other 2008 episode after they bungled the Polish market entry. Personally, I do suppose hat the market entry in Norway and Sweden is much less dangerous, as particularly in Norway they owned the 25% in Hansa Borg for fairly a while and can know the market fairly properly.

I’ve additionally the impression that many traders take into account breweries to be generally decline, not understanding that Royal Unibrew is simply 35% beer and there it occupies probably the most fascinating elements of the markets.

As well as, many “shopper staples” traders clearly want the large international manufacturers like Carlsberg or Pepsi, believing that these firms do higher over a downturn/recession which must be seen over the total cycle.

For a lot of “worth traders”, the inventory is most definitely nonetheless too costly, there are a lot of shares on the market who’re technically less expensive with single digit P/Es.

Sport plan

Nevertheless, as for the sport plan, I feel it isn’t reasonable to imagine that the share worth will return rapidly to earlier ATHs both. The corporate clearly must show that they’ll deliver prices below management, elevate costs and efficiently combine the brand new acquisitions. They’ve clearly indicated, that the primary half of 2023 shall be nonetheless troublesome. So endurance shall be essential for this funding. For me, the time horizon is no less than 5 years except the actually don’t handle to succeed in earlier profitability ranges.


In my view, Royal Unibrew is a really top quality firm that has the potential to compound income for a while to return. They’ve a stellar observe report during the last 12-13 years, nonetheless 2022 is clearly difficult.

If one believes that 2022 and perhaps the primary half of 2023 are detrimental exceptions and Royal Unibrew manages to realize its targets of 20% margins within the subsequent few years, then the present valuation can be a really fascinating entry level.

Subsequently I’m “underwriting” an anticipated 13-15% return p.a. over the subsequent 5 years with a 4% place in my portfolio at a median entry worth of 415 DKK/share.

Disclaimer: This isn’t funding recommendation. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH !!!!


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