Novozymes announces new CEO, releases 2012 financial results

By Erin Voegele | January 23, 2013

Novozymes has appointed a new president and CEO and released its financial results for 2012. On Jan. 21, the company announced its board of directors has appointed Peder Holk Nielsen president and CEO, effective April 1.

Nielsen will replace current President and CEO Steen Riisgaard, who is stepping down after 12 years at the company’s top post and 33 years with Novozymes and Novo Industri/Novo Nordisk.

“Peder Holk Nielsen’s ability to couple market insight and research capabilities is key to deliver innovation and to continue our growth strategy,” said Henrik Gürtler, Novozymes chairman of the board. “He was a clear first choice in our international search process. I thank Steen Riisgaard for his 12 years of successful leadership in building the company, and I am sure that Peder Holk Nielsen will ensure the continued expansion of our position as world leader in bioinnovation.”

Nielsen has served as executive vice president and head of the company’s enzyme business since 2007. He has held other prior positions at Novozymes and Nov Industri/Novo Nordisk in business development, research and development, quality management, sales and marketing.

 “I look forward to leading Novozymes and our 6,000 fantastic colleagues,” said Nielsen. “With our sustainable solutions and close customer relationships, we have a very strong position for expanding our business, and I am convinced we will deliver on our long-term growth targets in the coming years. I am happy that all EVPs in the current executive management will continue in the new leadership team.”

According to Novozymes, Andrew Fordyce, vice president of sales and customer solutions, will take over Nielsen’s current role. He has been with Novozymes since 1993, holding positions in commercial operations, research and development and production.

Regarding financial results for 2012, Novozymes has reported that EBIT increased by 17 percent for the year, increasing the EBIT margin to 24.4 percent. Net profits grew by 10 percent.

Total sales for Novozymes increased by 7 percent compared to 2011, with enzyme business sales also up by 7 percent. According to Novozyme’s financial report, the global market for industrial enzymes grew by 7 percent in 2012, and the company maintained its 47 percent market share. Bioenergy enzymes accounted for 16 percent of its sales in 2012.

Novozymes reported that bioenergy sales were down in 2 percent Danish kroner and 9 percent in local currency when compared to 2011. The company attributes a portion of this decline to decreased U.S. ethanol production, decreases in enzyme content per gallon of ethanol produced and price and product mix changes. However, Novozymes Avantec enzyme, which was released in Oct. 2012, had a minor positive impact on sales growth during the fourth quarter of 2012, said Novozymes in the release. The enzyme enables corn ethanol producers to increase yields by up to 2.5 percent.

The company’s financial release also included an outlook for 2013. Regarding bioenergy enzymes, Novozymes said that it is expecting to see growth this year, with sales in the U.S. positively affected by the availability of Avantec.

While Novozymes previously excluded future sales of enzymes for biomass conversion from its long-term sales targets, the company said in the release that there is now better visibility regarding opportunities in the field. According to the statement, Novozymes expects to sell enzymes to at least 15 biomass conversion plants by 2017, with ramp-up in 2015 and 2016.

A full copy of Novozymes 2012 financial results is available on the company’s website.