Edible Nuts, Spices and Vegetable Ingredients overview
The Edible Nuts, Spices and Vegetable Ingredients segment registered a year‑on‑year volume growth of 1.4%, revenue growth of 14.5% and EBITDA growth of 16.3% in 2015.
The increase in volume as compared to the prior corresponding period was primarily on account of higher peanut volumes from the MMI acquisition. This was partly offset by lower tomato paste sales, reduced cashew volumes due to the closure of the processing plant in Nigeria and lower American dehydrated vegetable volumes from the closure of our processing facility in Modesto, California. Segment revenues were higher due to elevated prices of almonds and cashews.
The almonds business continued its strong performance, aided by favourable market conditions and the depreciation of the Australian dollar. Hazelnuts, cashews and the Spices and Vegetable Ingredients businesses in the USA performed well. We also recorded incremental EBITDA from the acquisition of MMI, but this was partially offset by the underperformance in the Argentinean peanut business due to lower peanut prices, and the adverse impact of the Argentinean peso.
Our invested capital in the segment increased by S$124.3 million as compared to 2014 primarily due to the acquisition of MMI, investment in increased acreage of almond and pistachio plantations in the USA and higher inventories of almonds and cashews due to increased prices. The increase was partly offset by a reduction in biological assets due to lower net fair value of our Australian almond plantation assets as most of the estates achieved peak maturity.
EBITDA to average invested capital (EBITDA/IC) for the segment grew from 9.6% in 2014 to 11.4% in 2015, driven by higher segment EBITDA despite higher average invested capital.