East Capital Awards recognise MHP, Sberbank and Linas Agro

By bne IntelliNews November 12, 2012

bne -

The Central and Eastern European fund manager East Capital on November 12 named Ukraine's MHP, Russia's Sberbank and Lithuania's Linas Agro as the winners of its East Capital Awards 2012. Those companies will receive their prizes at the annual gala awards ceremony in Stockholm, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of East Capital's founding in 1997.

This is the ninth time that the East Capital Awards have recognized what it considers outstanding companies within CEE in three categories: "Best Growth", "Best IPO" and "Discovery of the Year".

"The Awards serve to highlight some of the most outstanding companies in Eastern Europe and also to inspire others," says Peter Elam HÃ¥kansson, chairman of East Capital. "As a core feature of our investment strategy since we founded East Capital 15 years ago, we conduct many company visits - nowadays over 1,200 each year - to seek out this talent, and maintain a wide network of contacts with companies and decision makers in the region. I want to extend my sincere congratulations to this year's award winners on their impressive achievements."

The "Best Growth Award" went to MHP, the largest poultry producer in Ukraine, one of the largest in Europe and one of the most efficient worldwide thanks to a fully vertically integrated business model. From 2007 to 2011, MHP's poultry production volumes, sunflower oil production and land bank almost doubled while grain production increased 3.5-times. In the first half of 2012, the company once again delivered outstanding financial results with a 24% revenue growth and 46% Ebitda growth. As a result, MHP has been one of the best performing Ukrainian stocks year to date, with a return of 42.4% in dollar terms compared with the market decline of 34.4%.

Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia with a nearly 30% market share by assets, has been awarded the "Best IPO Award". The placement of $5.4bn of Sberbank's shares in September by the state became the largest domestic privatisation, the largest transaction in emerging markets and the 10th largest placement globally this year. The placement was fully subscribed in less than a day and was oversubscribed 3-times, attracting bids from more than 300 institutional investors.

Linas Agro, a leading Lithuania-based integrated agro trader, producer and investor in the Baltic States, was awarded the "Discovery of the Year Award". The company has, since its successful IPO on the Vilnius Stock Exchange in February 2010, expanded into grain trading, storage and farming operations in Lithuania, as well as agro machinery and seed trading in the Baltics. Despite turbulent conditions in the agro sector, Linas Agro has remained profitable, whilst growing sales at a compound annual growth rate of 15% to €388m over the last 5 years.

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