Sugar beet sprouts. (KWS photo)

Further growth anticipated

  • Net sales rise by 18% to €1.82 (1.54) billion on the back of organic growth
  • Sharp improvement in key indicators for operating income: EBITDA: +26% to €318.2 (252.5) million, EBIT: +44% to €222.8 (155.4) million; earnings per share: +18% to €3.85 (3.27)
  • Free cash flow increases to €44.5 (9.5) million
  • Dividend* raised to €0.90 (0.80) per share

*Proposed dividend

Einbeck, Germany (September 27, 2023) - “We concluded fiscal 2022/2023 very successfully with strong double-digit growth in net sales and income. We grew dynamically everywhere in a challenging environment and clearly improved our profitability,” said Eva Kienle, Chief Financial Officer of KWS. “The necessary transformation to more sustainable agriculture offers us great opportunities moving ahead. With our high-performance and low-input varieties, we make a concrete contribution to sustainability and at the same time tap further growth potential for KWS in the medium and long term.”

Business performance in 2022/2023

The KWS Group’s net sales in fiscal 2022/2023 rose sharply by 18% to €1,819.8 (1,539.9) million. Exchange rate effects only had a slight impact of –1.1% on that figure all in all. All the product segments contributed to the buoyant growth in net sales. Operating income (EBIT) increased significantly by 44% to €222.8 (155.1) million, while the EBIT margin likewise improved sharply to 12.2% (10.1%) and was thus above KWS’ guidance (11% to 12%). Earnings per share increased by 18% to €3.85 (3.27). The free cash flow improved to €44.5 (9.5) million.

Overview of the key figures

In € million

FY 2022/2023

FY 2021/2022


Net sales












Net financial income/expenses



Earnings before taxes




Income taxes




Earnings after taxes




Earnings per share

in €




Business performance of the segments

Net sales in the Corn Segment rose sharply by 11.9% to €1,046.8 (935.4) million, in particular as a result of higher sales prices in the core markets of Brazil and Europe. However, the segment’s income fell to €45.8 (57.2) million. That was attributable to negative contributions to earnings from the joint ventures in North America and China, while earnings increased in Europe and Brazil. The segment’s EBIT margin fell accordingly from 6.1% to 4.4%.

Net sales in the Sugarbeet Segment rose sharply by 21.7% to €716.3 (588.4) million. The strong expansion of business is attributable to the market success of innovative KWS varieties (CONVISO® SMART and CR+). The segment’s income was €253.4 (195.0) million thanks to the positive net sales trend and was likewise significantly above the previous year’s figure. The Sugarbeet Segment’s EBIT margin improved to 35.4% (33.1%).

Net sales in the Cereals Segment increased by 19.1% to €257.8 (216.4) million, mainly due to buoyant growth in oilseed rape, wheat and rye seed. The segment’s income rose sharply to €40.1 (29.5) million on the back of the large growth in net sales and a more advantageous product mix, while the EBIT margin improved to 15.6% (13.6%).

Net sales in the Vegetables Segment increased by 21.5% to €66.0 (54.3) million. The growth is mainly attributable to stronger spinach and bean seed business. The segment’s income improved to € –11.8 (–18.5) million as a result of the positive course of business and lower effects from the purchase price allocation as part of company acquisitions. The segment’s income considers significant planned R&D expenditure for the establishment of breeding programs for new vegetables varieties.

Net sales in the Corporate Segment totaled €8.3 (8.3) million. They are mainly generated from KWS’ farms. Since all cross-segment costs for the KWS Group’s central functions and research expenditure that cannot be allocated to the segments are charged to the Corporate Segment, its income is usually negative. The segment’s income declined sharply to € –115.3 (–97.7) million due to higher expenditure on research and administration.

Forecasts for the 2023/2024 fiscal year

The KWS Group expects to grow its net sales by 3% to 5% (on a comparable basis, excluding exchange rate and portfolio effects) and to achieve an EBIT margin between 11% and 13%. The R&D intensity is expected to be in the range of 18% to 19%.

Planned appropriation of profits: Increase in the dividend to €0.90 (0.80) per share

In view of the company’s positive performance, the Executive and Supervisory Boards will propose a dividend of €0.90 (0.80) per share for fiscal year 2022/2023 to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on December 13, 2023. €29.7 (26.4) million would thus be distributed to KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA’s shareholders. That would correspond to a dividend payout ratio of 23.4% (24.5%), once again in line with the KWS Group’s earnings-oriented policy of paying a dividend of 20% to 25% of its net income.

Contracts with Executive Board members Eva Kienle (CFO) and Peter Hofmann extended

The Supervisory Board of the personally liable partner (KWS SE) has made a long-term extension of the contract with Chief Financial Officer Eva Kienle (56) until June 2029. The contract of Peter Hofmann (63) was extended by 15 months. Both contracts were due to end effective June 30, 2024.

“With the extension of Eva Kienle's contract, the Supervisory Board is reaffirming its high level of satisfaction with the Chief Financial Officer and is counting on continuity on the Executive Board in order to successfully support the transformation of KWS that has been initiated. In particular, in order to further advance the development of the vegetable business, we have asked Peter Hofmann to extend his contract until September 2025,” stated Philip von dem Bussche, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board. “We look forward to continuing our successful cooperation to the benefit of KWS.”

Eva Kienle has been a member of the Executive Board since 2013 and is responsible for Finance & Procurement, Controlling, Global Transaction Center, Legal Services & IP, Information Technology, Governance, Compliance & Risk Management and the KWS Digital Innovation Accelerator.

Peter Hofmann was appointed to the Executive Board in 2014 and is responsible for the company’s segments Sugarbeet, Vegetables, Cereals, Oilseed Rape, Special Crops & Organic Seeds and for Global Marketing & Communications.

Annual Report

The Annual Report 2022/2023 (PDF) as well as the Online Annual Report 2022/2023 are available at Investor relations - Corporate - KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA.

About KWS

KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. More than 5,000 employees* in over 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.8 billion in fiscal 2022/2023. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for over 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, oilseed rape and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €300 million last fiscal year in research and development. *excl. seasonal workforce

For more information:

KWS headquarters in Einbeck, Germany. (KWS photo)

Greenhouses from above. (KWS photo)