DSM underlines personalised nutrition focus and acquisition ambitions

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

DSM intends to increase its acquisitions over the next couple of years, primarily in its nutrition business.
DSM intends to increase its acquisitions over the next couple of years, primarily in its nutrition business.
DSM has underlined personalised nutrition as a major focus under its new strategy, and stated it would continue to seek acquisitions to strengthen its nutrition offerings.

The company said its current 'Strategy 2015 — 2018' had resulted in strong growth and improved financial performance.

CEO and managing board chariman Feike Sijbesma said, "DSM has become a growth company with ambitious sustainability efforts, creating value for all stakeholders across the three dimensions of People, Planet and Profit.

"We have created a strong platform for growth, centred on developing innovative solutions addressing nutrition and health."

Ambitious targets

He added that the firm intended to increase its acquisitions over the next couple of years, primarily in its nutrition business.

Indeed, DSM has set ambitious targets for profit growth and cash generation: for the period from 2019 to 2021, it aims to achieve high single-digit annual percentage growth in adjusted EBITDA, and an approximately 10% average yearly increase in adjusted net operating cash flow.

The company plans to meet these targets with the help of what it calls a "holistic value-creation approach"​, which includes an organic growth target of 5% across all its businesses, with 20% of its sales to come from innovation and 45% to come from high-growth economies.

In addition, it intends to have nutrition account for over 20% in growth by 2021, as part of its new adjusted EBITDA margin.

Personalised focus

A recent presentation on DSM Capital Markets Day 2018 by president of Human Nutrition & Health Jeremy Xu, showed that over the last three years, its human nutrition arm had consistently hit its organic growth targets, seeing an approximate annual CAGR growth of 5% between 2016 and 2018.

This represented an increase from the average annual 1% CAGR growth the business witnessed between 2011 and 2015, during which time it acquired companies in Canada, the US, the UK and Hong Kong; this included Aland (China) a Hong Kong-based vitamin C manufacturer.

Specialty nutrition accounted for about 2% to 3% of the human nutrition business, and Xu also outlined DSM's plans for personalised nutrition.

The firm intends to build on its B2B and B2C strengths in this area, and acquire B2Me learnings from leading start-ups, including Mixfit, Biomarker Labs and Tespo. 

"DSM's nutrition business will focus on human nutrition (ingredients and solutions for F&B, as well as specialty nutrition, nutritional ingredients, consumer branded products and personalised nutrition), animal nutrition (covering all species with premix and specialty solutions) and personal care and aroma ingredients,"​ the firm said in a statement.

DSM is also taking advantage of the rising popularity of personalised nutrition in APAC — in May, it announced its partnership with DeNA Life Sciences​ in Japan to increase its activity in the sector.

Shortly after, the firm's VP for human nutrition and health in APAC, Andre Rhoen, spoke to us​ about the mainstream potential of personalised nutrition in the region, saying DSM had the "science (and) experience"​ needed to deliver the necessary micronutrients and technology in this aspect.

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