Company Quick10K Filing
Nomad Foods
20-F 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-02-25
20-F 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-27
20-F 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-28
20-F 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-03-22
20-F 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-03-30
20-F 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-04-01

NOMD 20F Annual Report

Part I
Item 1: Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2: Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3: Key Information
Item 4. Information on The Company
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
Item 8. Financial Information
Item 9. The Offer and Listing
Item 10. Additional Information
Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities
Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
Item 15. Controls and Procedures
Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert
Item 16B. Code of Ethics
Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Item 16D. Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Item 16F. Change in Registrants' Certifying Accountant
Item 16G. Corporate Governance
Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure
Item 17. Financial Statements
Item 18. Financial Statements
Item 19. Exhibits
EX-4.8 a48settlementagreementda.htm
EX-4.9 a49settlementagreementad.htm
EX-8.1 significantsubsidiariesofn.htm
EX-12.1 a121certification20181231.htm
EX-12.2 a122certification20181231.htm
EX-13.1 a131certification20181231.htm
EX-13.2 a132certification20181231.htm
EX-15.1 a151consentofindependentre.htm

Nomad Foods Earnings 2018-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 nomd-20181231x20f.htm 20-F Document

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 20-F
(Mark One)
o
Registration Statement Pursuant to Section 12(b) or (g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
x
Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2018
o
Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
o
Shell Company Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
 
Commission file number 001-37669
Nomad Foods Limited
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
British Virgin Islands
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
No. 1 New Square
Bedfont Lakes Business Park
Feltham, Middlesex TW14 8HA
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Samy Zekhout
No. 1 New Square
Bedfont Lakes Business Park
Feltham, Middlesex TW14 8HA
Telephone:+(44) 208 918 3200
Facsimile:+(44) 208 918 3491
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile Number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
  
Name of Each Exchange on which Registered
Ordinary Shares, no par value
  
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: Preferred Shares, no par value
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report. 174,229,051 Ordinary Shares and 1,500,000 Preferred Shares
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  xYes    o  No
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  o  Yes    x  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  x  Yes     o  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  x  Yes    o  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer, accelerated filer, and emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.:
Large accelerated filer        x            Accelerated filer      o               Non-accelerated filer     o    Emerging growth company o
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standardsprovided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
   U.S. GAAPo
 
 
  
International Financial Reporting Standards as Issued
by the International Accounting Standards Boardx
 
 
 
      Othero
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.  o  Item 17    o  Item 18
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  o  Yes    x  No




TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


i


TERMS USED IN THIS REPORT
Unless the context otherwise requires, in this annual report, the term(s) (1) “we,” “us,” “our,” “Company,” “Nomad” and “our business” refer to Nomad Foods Limited (formerly known as Nomad Holdings Limited) and its consolidated subsidiaries and (2) “Iglo” and “the Iglo Group” refer solely to Nomad Foods Europe Holdings Limited (previously named Iglo Foods Holdings Limited) and its consolidated subsidiaries which we purchased on June 1, 2015. All references in this annual report to the “Predecessor” refer to Iglo for all periods prior to its acquisition by the Company (the “Iglo Acquisition”) and all references to the “Successor” refer to the Company for all periods after the Iglo Acquisition.
PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION
In this annual report, references to “Euro” and “€” are to the single currency adopted by participating member states of the European Union ("EU") relating to Economic and Monetary Union, references to “$”, “US$” and “U.S. Dollars” are to the lawful currency of the United States of America, and references to “Pound Sterling”, “Sterling” and “£” are to the lawful currency of the United Kingdom ("UK").
The historical financial information for the Company and the Predecessor has been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (“IFRS IASB”) and International Financial Reporting Standards as endorsed by the European Union (together “IFRS”) which can differ in certain significant respects from U.S. GAAP.
Unless otherwise noted, all financial information for the Company and the Predecessor provided in this annual report is denominated in Euros.
Historical Financial Information
This annual report includes our consolidated financial statements at and as of the years ended December 31, 2018 (the “Fiscal 2018 Period”), December, 31, 2017 (the “Fiscal 2017 Period”) and December 31, 2016 (the “Fiscal 2016 Period”).
Non-IFRS Financial Measures
In this annual report, we present certain supplemental financial measures that are not recognized by IFRS. These financial measures are unaudited and have not been prepared in accordance with IFRS, SEC requirements or the accounting standards of any other jurisdiction. The non-IFRS financial measures used in this annual report are Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin. For additional information on why we present non-IFRS financial measures, the limitations associated with using non-IFRS financial measures and reconciliations of our non-IFRS financial measures to the most comparable applicable IFRS measure, see Item 5: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.
INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA
We obtained the industry, market and competitive position data throughout this annual report from our own internal estimates and research as well as from industry and general publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by Euromonitor. Industry surveys and publications generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in industry publications is not guaranteed. While we believe that each of these studies and publications is reliable, we have not independently verified market and industry data from third-party sources. While we believe our internal company research is reliable and the definitions of our market and industry are appropriate, neither this research nor these definitions have been verified by any independent source. Further, while we believe the market opportunity information included in this annual report is generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise. In addition, projections, assumptions and estimates of the future performance of the industry in which we operate and our future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in Item 3D: Key Information - Risk Factors. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by the independent parties and by us. See Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.
Market share data presented throughout this annual report is measured by retail sales value. The frozen food market data we refer to throughout this annual report includes the following categories: Frozen Processed Meat, Frozen Processed Seafood, Frozen Meat Substitutes, Frozen Pizza, Frozen Ready Meals, Frozen Noodles, Frozen Soup, Frozen Baked Goods and Processed Frozen Vegetables.

1


TRADEMARKS
We operate under a number of trademarks, including, among others, “Iglo,” “Birds Eye”, “Goodfella's”, “Aunt Bessie's” and “Findus”, all of which are registered under applicable intellectual property laws. This annual report contains references to our trademarks and service marks and to those belonging to other entities. Solely for convenience, trademarks and trade names referred to in this annual report may appear without the ® or TM symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent possible under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensor to these trademarks and trade names. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trade names, trademarks or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Some of the statements in this annual report constitute forward-looking statements that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. You should not place undue reliance on such statements because they are subject to numerous uncertainties and factors relating to our operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Forward-looking statements include information concerning our possible or assumed future results of operations, including descriptions of our business strategy. These statements often include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements included in this annual report include statements regarding:
our beliefs and intentions regarding our strategic initiatives and their impact on the growth and
profitability of our business;
our intent to profitably grow our business through our strategic initiatives;
our intent to seek additional acquisition opportunities in food products and our expectation regarding competition for acquisitions;
our preparations for the impending exit by the UK from the EU ("Brexit") and our beliefs regarding the anticipated impact on our business;
our expectations concerning our ability to fund our liquidity requirements and to raise cash through equity and debt offerings;
our expectations concerning our capital expenditures in 2019;
our beliefs regarding our competitive strengths and ability to successfully compete in the markets in which we participate;
our expectations concerning consumer demand for our products, our future growth opportunities, market share and sales channels, including online channels;
our beliefs and intentions regarding the impact of key industry trends on our business, our actions in response to such trends and the resulting impact on our profitability and competitive position;
our future operating and financial performance;
our intent to settle any Founder Preferred Shares Annual Dividend Amount (as defined herein) with equity;
our belief that we have sufficient spare capacity to accommodate future growth in our main product categories and to accommodate the seasonal nature of some of our products;
our beliefs and intentions regarding our sustainability program;
our expectations regarding the impact of the adoption of IFRS 16 Leases on our financial results;
our intent to rely on some of the available foreign private issuer exemptions to the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) corporate governance rules; and
the accuracy of our estimates and key judgments regarding certain tax matters and accounting valuations.

2


The forward-looking statements contained in this annual report are based on assumptions that we have made in light of our management’s experience in the industry as well as our perceptions of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors that we believe are appropriate under the circumstances. As you read and consider this annual report, you should understand that these statements are not guarantees of performance or results. They involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although we believe that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, you should be aware that many factors could affect our actual financial results or results of operations and could cause actual results to differ materially from those in these forward-looking statements. These factors include but are not limited to:
our ability to successfully implement our strategic initiatives;
the anticipated benefits from the acquisition of the Aunt Bessie's and Goodfella's brands may take longer to realize and may cost more to achieve than expected;
uncertainty about the terms and timing of Brexit, as well as the potential adverse impact of Brexit on currency exchange rates, global economic conditions and cross-border agreements that affect our business;
the loss of any of our executive officers or members of our senior management team or other key employees;
the loss of any of our major customers or a decrease in demand for our products;
our ability to effectively compete in our markets;
changes in consumer preferences and our failure to anticipate and respond to such changes or to successfully develop and renovate products;
our ability to successfully interpret and respond to key industry trends and to realize the expected benefits of our responsive actions;
our ability to protect our brand names and trademarks;
economic conditions that may affect our future performance including exchange rate fluctuations;
fluctuations in the availability of food ingredients and packaging materials that we use in our products;
our ability to effectively mitigate factors that negatively impact our supply of raw materials, including pea supply;
disruptions in our information technology systems, supply network, manufacturing and distribution facilities or our workforce or the workforce of our suppliers;
our ability to continue to comply with covenants and the terms of our credit instruments and our ability to obtain additional financing, as needed, to fund our liquidity requirements and capital expenditures;
availability of debt and equity financing under favorable terms;
increases in operating costs, including labor costs, and our ability to manage our cost structure;
the occurrence of liabilities not covered by our insurance;
our ability to successfully implement, and engage other stakeholders in implementing, our sustainability program;
the loss of our financial arrangements with respect to receivables factoring;
the loss of our foreign private issuer status;
the effects of reputational damage from unsafe or poor quality food products, particularly if such issues involve products we manufactured or distributed;
our failure to comply with, and liabilities related to, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations; and
changes in applicable laws or regulations.
These and other factors are more fully discussed in Item 3D: Key Information - Risk Factors and elsewhere in this annual report. These risks could cause actual results to differ materially from those implied by forward-looking statements in this annual report.

3


All information contained in this annual report is materially accurate and complete as of the date of this annual report. You should keep in mind, however, that any forward-looking statement made by us in this annual report, or elsewhere, speaks only as of the date on which we make it. New risks and uncertainties come up from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect us. We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date of this annual report, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. In light of these risks and uncertainties, you should keep in mind that any event described in a forward-looking statement made in this annual report or elsewhere might not occur.

4


PART I
Item 1:
Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
A.
Directors and Senior Management
Not applicable.
B.
Advisers
Not applicable.
C.
Auditors
Not applicable.
Item 2:
Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
A.
Offer Statistics
Not applicable.
B.
Method and Expected Timetable
Not applicable.
Item 3:
Key Information
A.
Selected Financial Data
The following table sets forth selected historical consolidated financial and other data for the Company and Iglo for the periods presented. The selected historical consolidated financial data below should be read in conjunction with our Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes (Item 18), as well as Item 4: Information on the Company and Item 5: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects of this annual report.
Following the Iglo Acquisition, Iglo is considered to be our Predecessor under applicable SEC rules and regulations.
In June 2015, the Board of Directors approved a change in Nomad’s fiscal year end from March 31 to December 31 in order to align Nomad’s fiscal year with the Iglo Group’s historical reporting calendar. As a result of this change, the selected historical consolidated financial data includes financial information for the Successor for the twelve month periods ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 and the nine month period from April 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.
The statement of income data for the Fiscal Period 2018, Fiscal Period 2017 and Fiscal Period 2016 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report. The statement of income data for the nine months ended December 31, 2015, for the twelve months ended March 31, 2015, and for the Predecessor, for the five months ended May 31, 2015, balance sheet information for Nomad as of December 31, 2015 and financial information for Iglo for the year ended December 31, 2014 have been derived from audited financial statements not included elsewhere in this annual report.
Neither the Successor nor the Predecessor declared or paid cash dividends in the periods presented. All results are continuing.



 
 
Successor
 
Successor
 
Successor
 
Successor
 
Successor
 
 
Predecessor
 
Predecessor
 
 
Year
ended
Dec 31 2018
 
Year
ended
Dec 31 2017
 
Year
ended
Dec 31 2016
 
9 months
ended
Dec 31 2015
 
Year
ended
Mar 31 2015
 
 
5 months
ended
May 31 2015
 
Year ended
Dec 31 2014
 
 
€m
 
€m
 
€m
 
€m
 
€m
 
 
€m
 
€m
Statement of Income data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
 
2,172.8

 
1,956.6

 
1,927.7

 
894.2

 

 
 
640.3

 
1,500.9

Cost of sales
 
(1,519.3
)
 
(1,357.2
)
 
(1,356.7
)
 
(663.0
)
 

 
 
(417.9
)
 
(970.9
)
Gross profit
 
653.5

 
599.4

 
571.0

 
231.2

 

 
 
222.4

 
530.0

Other operating expenses
 
(352.7
)
 
(319.3
)
 
(298.4
)
 
(138.6
)
 
(0.7
)
 
 
(109.5
)
 
(254.2
)
Exceptional items
 
(17.7
)
 
(37.2
)
 
(134.5
)
 
(58.1
)
 
(0.7
)
 
 
(84.3
)
 
(52.9
)
Charge related to Founder Preferred Shares Annual Dividend Amount
 

 

 

 
(349.0
)
 
(165.8
)
 
 

 

Credit/(Charge) related to Warrant Redemption Liability
 

 

 

 
0.4

 
(0.4
)
 
 

 

Operating profit/(loss)
 
283.1

 
242.9

 
138.1

 
(314.1
)
 
(167.6
)
 
 
28.6

 
222.9

Net finance (costs)/income
 
(56.0
)
 
(74.4
)
 
(62.1
)
 
(35.5
)
 
0.1

 
 
(115.7
)
 
(290.2
)
Profit/(loss) before tax
 
227.1

 
168.5

 
76.0

 
(349.6
)
 
(167.5
)
 
 
(87.1
)
 
(67.3
)
Taxation
 
(56.6
)
 
(32.0
)
 
(39.6
)
 
12.3

 

 
 
(40.9
)
 
(41.8
)
Profit/(loss) for the period
 
170.5

 
136.5

 
36.4

 
(337.3
)
 
(167.5
)
 
 
(128.0
)
 
(109.1
)
Basic weighted number of shares
 
175,622,538

 
176,080,272

 
183,518,743

 
145,590,810

 
50,025,000

 
 
n.p.

 
n.p.

Diluted weighted number of shares
 
175,793,631

 
184,786,162

 
183,528,621

 
145,590,810

 
50,025,000

 
 
n.p.

 
n.p.

Basic earnings/(loss) per share
 
0.97

 
0.78

 
0.20

 
(2.32
)
 
(3.35
)
 
 
n.p.

 
n.p.

Diluted earnings/(loss) per share
 
0.97

 
0.74

 
0.20

 
(2.32
)
 
(3.35
)
 
 
n.p.

 
n.p.

Balance Sheet data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
 
5,340.8

 
4,601.7

 
4,709.5

 
4,929.7

 
447.4

 
 
n.p.

 
3,543.4

Total equity
 
2,059.1

 
1,852.6

 
1,902.5

 
1,888.1

 
274.9

 
 
n.p.

 
(657.5
)
Share capital
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
n.p.

 
0.1

n.p. not presented
B.
Capitalization and Indebtedness
Not applicable.
C.
Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.

6


D.
Risk Factors
An investment in our ordinary shares carries a significant degree of risk. You should carefully consider the following risks and other information in this annual report, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this annual report, before you decide to purchase our ordinary shares. Additional risks and uncertainties of which we are not presently aware or that we currently deem immaterial could also affect our business operations and financial condition. If any of these risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects could be materially affected. As a result, the trading price of our ordinary shares could decline and you could lose part or all of your investment.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
We operate in a highly competitive market and our failure to compete effectively could adversely affect our results of operations.
The market for frozen food is highly competitive, and further consolidation in the industry would likely increase competition. Our competitors include retailers who promote private label products and well-established branded producers that operate on both a national and an international basis across single or multiple frozen food categories. We also face competition more generally from chilled food, distributors and retailers of fresh products, baked goods and ready-made meals. Our competitors generally compete with us on the basis of price, actual or perceived quality of products, brand recognition, consumer loyalty, product variety, new product development, customer service and improvements to existing products. We may not successfully compete with our existing competitors and new competitors may enter the market. Discounters are supermarket retailers which offer a narrow range of food and grocery products at discounted prices and which typically focus on non-branded rather than branded products. The increase in discounter sales may adversely affect the sales of our branded products. Further, we are increasing our investment in online sales (sales made through retailers’ online platforms). However, there is no guarantee we will achieve our expected return on investment from this strategy. The growth of online retailers, and the corresponding growth in our online sales, may also adversely affect our competitive position.
In addition, we cannot predict the pricing or promotional actions of our competitors or their effect on consumer perceptions or the success of our own advertising and promotional efforts. Our competitors develop and launch products targeted to compete directly with our products. Our retail customers, most of which promote their own private label products, control the shelf space allocations within their stores. As a result, they may allocate more shelf space to private label products or to our branded competitors’ products in accordance with their respective promotional strategies. Decreases in shelf space allocated to our products, increases in competitor promotional activity, aggressive marketing strategies by competitors or other factors may require us to reduce our prices or invest greater amounts in advertising and promotion of our products to ensure our products remain competitive.
Furthermore, some of our competitors may have substantially greater financial, marketing and other resources than we have. This creates competitive pressures that could cause us to lose market share or require us to lower prices, increase advertising expenditures or increase the use of discounting or promotional campaigns. These competitive factors may also restrict our ability to increase prices, including in response to commodity and other cost increases. If we are unable to continue to respond effectively to these and other competitive pressures, our customers may reduce orders of our products, may insist on prices that erode our margins or may allocate less shelf space and fewer displays for our products. These or other developments could materially and adversely affect our sales volumes and margins and result in a decrease in our operating results, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

7


Sales of our products are subject to changing consumer preferences and trends; if we do not correctly anticipate such changes, our sales and profitability may decline.
There are a number of trends in consumer preferences which have an impact on us and the frozen food industry as a whole. These include, among others, preferences for speed, convenience and ease of food preparation; natural, nutritious and well-proportioned meals; and products that are sustainably sourced and produced and are otherwise environmentally friendly. Concerns as to the health impacts and nutritional value of certain foods may increasingly result in food producers being encouraged or required to produce products with reduced levels of salt, sugar and fat and to eliminate trans-fatty acids and certain other ingredients. Consumer preferences are also shaped by concern over waste reduction and the environmental impact of products. The success of our business depends on both the continued appeal of our products and, given the varied backgrounds and tastes of our customer base, our ability to offer a sufficient range of products to satisfy a broad spectrum of preferences. Any shift in consumer preferences in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden or any other material market in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business. Consumer tastes are also susceptible to change. In addition, consumers with increasingly busy lifestyles are choosing the online grocery channel as a more convenient and faster way of purchasing their food products, and are also increasingly using the internet for meal ideas. Our competitiveness therefore depends on our ability to predict and quickly adapt to consumer preferences and trends, exploiting profitable opportunities for product development without alienating our existing consumer base or focusing excessive resources or attention on unprofitable or short-lived trends. All of these efforts require significant research and development and marketing investments. If we are unable to respond on a timely and appropriate basis to changes in demand or consumer preferences and trends, our sales volumes and margins could be adversely affected.
Our future results and competitive position are dependent on the successful development of new products and improvement of existing products, which is subject to a number of difficulties and uncertainties.
Our future results and ability to maintain or improve our competitive position depend on our capacity to anticipate changes in our key markets and to successfully identify, develop, manufacture, market and sell new or improved products in these changing markets. We aim to introduce new products and re-launch and extend existing product lines on a timely basis in order to counteract obsolescence and decreases in sales of existing products as well as to increase overall sales of our products. The launch and success of new or modified products are inherently uncertain, especially as to the products’ appeal to consumers, and there can be no assurance as to our continuing ability to develop and launch successful new products or variations of existing products. The failure to launch a product successfully can give rise to inventory write-offs and other costs and can affect consumer perception of our other products. Market factors and the need to develop and provide modified or alternative products may also increase costs. In addition, launching new or modified products can result in cannibalization of sales of our existing products if consumers purchase the new product in place of our existing products. If we are unsuccessful in developing new products in response to changing consumer demands or preferences in an efficient and economical manner, or if our competitors respond more effectively than we do, demand for our products may decrease, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The nature of the exit of the UK from the EU could adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
On June 23, 2016 the UK electorate voted in favor of leaving the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”), and on March 29, 2017 the UK government formally initiated the withdrawal process. The terms of any withdrawal are subject to a negotiation period that could last at least two years, or longer, if the European Council unanimously agrees to extend the negotiation period. Without any such extension or agreement on the term of the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the UK's membership in the EU will end automatically on March 29, 2019, the expiration of the two-year period. On January 15, 2019, the draft Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by the UK parliament creating significant uncertainty about the terms and timing under which the UK will leave the EU. This continues to create political and economic uncertainty, which has affected, and may continue to affect, market and macro-economic conditions in both the UK and EU economies. Current discussions may result in any number of outcomes, the consequences of which are unpredictable, including an extension or delay of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

8


For the year ended December 31, 2018, 94% of our revenue was derived from the EU as a whole and 27% was derived from the UK, which increased from the prior year due to the acquisitions of Goodfella's and Aunt Bessie's. In addition, we have manufacturing facilities and employees in both the UK and other European countries. As a result of Brexit, we may experience adverse impacts on consumer demand and profitability in the UK and other markets. Depending on the terms of Brexit, the UK could also lose access to the single EU market, or specific countries in the EU, resulting in a negative impact on the general and economic conditions in the UK and the EU. Changes may occur in regulations that we are required to comply with as well as amendments to treaties governing tax, duties, tariffs, etc. which could adversely impact our operations and require us to modify our financial and supply arrangements. For example, the imposition of any import restrictions and duties levied on our products may make our products more expensive and less competitive from a pricing perspective. To avoid such impacts, we may have to restructure or relocate some or all of our operations which would be costly and negatively impact our profitability and cash flow.
Additionally, political instability in the European Union as a result of Brexit may result in a material negative effect on credit markets, currency exchange rates and foreign direct investments in the EU and UK. This deterioration in economic conditions could result in increased unemployment rates, increased short and long term interest rates, adverse movements in exchange rates, consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings, a decline in the strength of national and local economies, and other results that negatively impact household incomes. Further, a number of our employees in the UK are not UK citizens and, depending on the terms negotiated, may no longer have the right to work in the UK following the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU.
Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are exposed to economic and other trends that could adversely impact our operations in our key geographies.
We conduct operations in our key markets of the UK, Italy, Germany, Sweden, France, and Norway, from which approximately 81% of our revenue was generated during the year ended December 31, 2018. We are particularly influenced by economic developments and changes in consumer habits in those countries.
The geographic markets in which we compete have been affected by negative macroeconomic trends which have affected consumer confidence. For example, Brexit has created political and economic uncertainty both in the UK and the other EU member states. A deterioration in economic conditions could result in increased unemployment rates, increased short and long term interest rates, consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings, a decline in the strength of national and local economies, and other results that negatively impact household incomes. This can result in consumers purchasing cheaper private label products instead of equivalent branded products. Such macroeconomic trends could, among other things, negatively impact global demand for branded and premium food products, which could result in a reduction of sales or pressure on margins of our branded products or cause an increasing transfer to lower priced product categories.
Our inability to source raw materials or other inputs of an acceptable type or quality, could adversely affect our results of operations.
We use significant quantities of food ingredients and packaging materials and are therefore vulnerable to fluctuations in the availability and price of food ingredients, packaging materials, other supplies and energy costs. In particular, raw materials such as fish, livestock and crops have historically represented a significant portion of our cost of sales, and accordingly, adverse changes in raw material prices can impact our results of operations.
Specifically, the availability and the price of fish, vegetables and other agricultural commodities, including poultry and meat, can be volatile. We are also affected by the availability of quality raw materials, most notably fish, which can be impacted by the fishing and agricultural policies of the European Union including national or international quotas that can limit volume of raw materials. General economic conditions, unanticipated demand, problems in manufacturing or distribution, natural disasters, weather conditions during the growing and harvesting seasons, plant, fish and livestock diseases and local, the impact of Brexit, national or international quarantines can also adversely affect availability and prices of commodities in the long and short term.
While we attempt to negotiate fixed prices for certain materials with our suppliers for periods ranging from one month to a full year, we cannot guarantee that our strategy will be successful in managing input costs if prices increase for extended periods of time. Additionally, by entering fixed price agreements we may potentially be limiting our ability to benefit from possible price decreases. Moreover, there is no market for hedging against price volatility for certain raw materials and accordingly such materials are bought at the spot rate in the market.

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Our ability to avoid the adverse effects of a pronounced, sustained price increase in raw materials is limited. Any increases in prices or scarcity of ingredients or packaging materials required for our products could increase our costs and disrupt our operations. If the availability of any of our inputs is constrained for any reason, we may not be able to obtain sufficient supplies or supplies of a suitable quality on favorable terms or at all. Such shortages could materially adversely affect our market share, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our inability to pass on price increases for materials or other inputs to our customers could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our ability to pass through increases in the prices of raw materials to our customers depends, among others, on prevailing competitive conditions and pricing methods in the markets in which we operate, and we may not be able to pass through such price increases to our customers. Even if we are able to pass through increases in prices, there is typically a time lag between cost increases impacting our business and implementation of product price increases during which time our profit margin may be negatively impacted. Recovery of cost inflation, driven by both commodity cost increases or changes in the foreign exchange rate of the currency the commodity is denominated in, can also lead to disparities in retailers’ shelf-prices between different brands which can result in a competitive disadvantage and volume decline. During our negotiations to increase our prices to recover cost increases, customers may take actions which exacerbate the impact of such cost increases, for example by ceasing to offer our products or deferring orders until negotiations have ended. Our inability to pass through price increases in raw materials and preserve our profit margins in the future could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on sales to a limited number of large food retailers and should they perform poorly or give higher priority to private label or other brands or products or if the concentration and buying power of these large retailers increase, our business could be adversely affected.
Our customers include supermarkets and large chain food retailers in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Norway. Throughout our markets, the food retail segments are highly concentrated. For the year ended December 31, 2018, our top 10 customers account for 42% of sales. In recent years, the major multiple retailers in those countries have increased their share of the grocery market and price competition between retailers has intensified. This price competition has led the major multiple retailers to seek lower prices from their suppliers, including us. The strength of the major multiple retailers’ bargaining position gives them significant leverage over their suppliers in negotiating pricing, product specification and the level of supplier participation in promotional campaigns and offers, which can reduce our margins. International alliances among retailers continue to become stronger, and the trend for consolidation in Europe at a local level and across borders is ongoing. Further consolidation among the major multiple retailers or disproportionate growth in relation to their competitors could increase their relative negotiating power and allow them to force a negative shift in our trade terms. Our results of operations could also be adversely affected if these retailers suffer a significant deterioration in sales performance, if we are required to reduce our prices or increase our promotional spending activity as a consequence, if we are unable to collect accounts receivable from our customers, if we lose business from a major customer or if our relationship with a major customer deteriorates.
Our retail customers also offer private label products that compete directly with our products for retail shelf space and consumer purchases. Private label products typically have higher margins for retailers than other branded products. Accordingly, there is a risk that our customers may give higher priority to private label products or the branded products of our competitors, which would adversely affect sales of our products. Our major multiple retail customers are also expanding into non-food product lines in their stores, thereby exerting pressure on available shelf space for other categories such as food products. We may be unable to adequately respond to these trends and, as a result, the volume of our sales may decrease or we may need to lower the prices of our products, either of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Increased distribution costs or disruption of transportation services could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Distribution costs have historically fluctuated significantly over time, particularly in connection with oil prices, and increases in such costs could result in reduced profits. In addition, certain factors affecting distribution costs are controlled by our third party carriers. To the extent that the market price for fuel or freight or the number or availability of carriers fluctuates, our distribution costs could be affected. Furthermore, temporary or long-term disruption of transportation services due to weather-related problems, strikes or other events could impair our ability to supply products affordably and in a timely manner or at all. Failure to deliver our perishable food products promptly could also result in inventory spoilage. These factors could impact our commercial reputation and result in our customers reducing their orders or ceasing to order our products. Any increases in the cost of transportation, and any disruption in transportation, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We require the use of refrigerated vehicles to ship our products and such distribution costs represent an important element of our cost structure. We are dependent on third parties for almost all of our transportation requirements. In Italy, our distribution network is shared with Unilever’s ice cream business, which provides us with an advantage over smaller market participants. Our arrangement with Unilever is governed by a distribution agreement which expires in 2022. If we change the transportation services we use, we could face logistical difficulties that could delay deliveries, and we could incur costs and expend resources in connection with such change.
We do not have long-term contractual agreements with our key customers, which exposes us to increased risks with respect to such customers.
As is typical in the food industry, sales to our key customers in our major markets are made on a daily demand basis. We generally do not have long-term contractual commitments to supply such customers and must renegotiate supply and pricing terms of our products on a regular basis. Customarily, trade terms are renegotiated annually; however, ad-hoc changes are often made on an informal basis, such as by email, to reflect discounts and promotional arrangements. Amounts paid are subject to end of period reconciliations to reflect these informal arrangements. In some cases, our customers have claimed reimbursement for informal discount arrangements going back multiple periods. In addition, we do not have written contractual arrangements with a number of our other customers. Most of our customer relationships or arrangements could be terminated or renegotiated at any time and, in some cases, without reasonable notice.
Our customers may not be creditworthy.
Our business is subject to the risks of nonpayment and nonperformance by our customers. We manage our exposure to credit risk through credit analysis and monitoring procedures, and sometimes use letters of credit, prepayments and guarantees. However, these procedures and policies cannot fully eliminate customer credit risk, and to the extent our policies and procedures prove to be inadequate, it could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, some of our customers may be highly leveraged and subject to their own operating and regulatory risks and, even if our credit review and analysis mechanisms work properly, we may experience financial losses in our dealings with such parties. Any future financial market disruptions or tightening of the credit markets could result in some of our customers experiencing a significant decline in profits and/or reduced liquidity. A significant adverse change in the financial position of a customer could require us to assume greater credit risk relating to that customer and could limit our ability to collect receivables. We do not maintain credit insurance to insure against customer credit risk. If our customers fail to fulfill their contractual obligations, it may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.
Failure to protect our brand names and trademarks could materially affect our business.
Our principal brand names and trademarks (such as Birds Eye, Iglo, Findus, Aunt Bessie's and Goodfella's) are key assets of our business and our success depends upon our ability to protect our intellectual property rights. We rely upon trademark laws to establish and protect our intellectual property rights, but cannot be certain that the actions we have taken or will take in the future will be adequate to prevent violation of our proprietary rights. Litigation may be necessary to enforce our trademark or proprietary rights or to defend us against claimed infringement of the rights of third parties. In addition, the Birds Eye brand, which we use in the UK, is used by other producers in the United States and Australia. Even though the brands have different logos, adverse publicity from such other markets may negatively impact the perception of our brands in our respective markets. Adverse publicity, legal action or other factors could lead to substantial erosion in the value of our brands, which could lead to decreased consumer demand and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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There is also a risk that other parties may have intellectual property rights covering some of our brands, products or technology. If any third parties bring a claim of intellectual property infringement against us, we may be subject to costly and time-consuming litigation, diverting the attention of management and our employees. If we are unsuccessful in defending against such claims, we may be subject to, among other things, significant damages, injunctions against development and sale of certain products, or we may be required to enter into costly licensing agreements, any of which could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We are exposed to risks related to our financial arrangements with respect to receivables factoring.
We enter into factoring arrangements with financial institutions to sell certain of our accounts receivables from customers without recourse. If we were to stop entering into these factoring arrangements, our operating results, financial condition and cash flows could be adversely impacted by delays or failures in collecting accounts receivables. However, by entering into these arrangements we are exposed to additional risks. If any of these financial institutions experiences financial difficulties or is otherwise unable to honor the terms of our factoring arrangements, we may experience material financial losses due to the failure of such arrangements which could have an adverse impact upon our operating results, financial condition and cash flows.
Health concerns or adverse developments with respect to the safety or quality of products of the food industry in general, or our own products specifically, may damage our reputation, increase our costs of operations and decrease demand for our products.
Food safety and the public’s perception that our products are safe and healthy are essential to our image and business. We sell food products for human consumption, which subjects us to safety risks such as product contamination, spoilage, misbranding or product tampering. Product contamination, including the presence of a foreign object, substance, chemical or other agent or residue or the introduction of a genetically modified organism, could require product withdrawals or recalls or the destruction of inventory, and could result in negative publicity, temporary plant closures and substantial costs of compliance or remediation. For example, while it did not significantly impact our Predecessor’s business, many food companies including our Predecessor had to deal with the reputational impact of the industry-wide horsemeat contamination issue that arose across most European food markets in January 2013. In addition, food producers, including us, have been targeted by extortion attempts that threatened to contaminate products displayed in supermarkets. Such attempts can result in the temporary removal of products from shelf displays as a precautionary measure and result in lost revenue. We may also be impacted by publicity concerning any assertion that our products caused illness or injury. In addition, we could be subject to claims or lawsuits relating to an actual or alleged illness stemming from product contamination or any other incidents that compromise the safety and quality of our products. Any significant lawsuit or widespread product recall or other events leading to the loss of consumer confidence in the safety and quality of our products could damage our brand, reputation and image and negatively impact our sales, profitability and prospects for growth. We could also be adversely affected if consumers lose confidence in the safety and quality of certain food products or ingredients, or the food safety system generally. If another company recalls or experiences negative publicity related to a product in a category in which we compete, consumers might reduce their overall consumption of products in this category. Adverse publicity about these types of concerns, whether valid or not, may discourage consumers from buying our products or cause production and delivery disruptions. In addition, product recalls are difficult to foresee and prepare for and, in the event we are required to recall one or more of our products, such recall may result in loss of sales due to unavailability of our products and may take up a significant amount of our management’s time and attention. We maintain systems designed to monitor food safety risks and require our suppliers to do so as well. However, we cannot guarantee that our efforts will be successful or that such risks will not materialize. In addition, although we attempt, through contractual relationships and regular inspections, to control the risk of contamination caused by third parties in relation to the several manufacturing and distribution processes we outsource, we cannot guarantee that our efforts will be successful or that contamination of our products by third parties will not materialize.
We are also subject to further risks affecting the food industry generally, including risks posed by widespread contamination and evolving nutritional and health-related concerns. Regulatory authorities may limit the supply of certain types of food products in response to public health concerns and consumers may perceive certain products to be unsafe or unhealthy. In addition, governmental regulations may require us to identify replacement products to offer to our customers or, alternatively, to discontinue certain offerings or limit the range of products we offer. We may be unable to find substitutes that are as appealing to our customer base, or such substitutes may not be widely available or may be available only at increased costs. Such substitutions or limitations could also reduce demand for our products.

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We could also be subject to claims or lawsuits relating to an actual or alleged illness or injury or death stemming from the consumption of a misbranded, altered, contaminated or spoiled product, which could negatively affect our business. Awards of damages, settlement amounts and fees and expenses resulting from such claims and the public relations implications of any such claims could have an adverse effect on our business. The availability and price of insurance to cover claims for damages are subject to market forces that we do not control, and such insurance may not cover all the costs of such claims and would not cover damage to our reputation. Even if product liability claims against us are not successful or fully pursued, these claims could be costly and time consuming, increase our insurance premiums and divert our management’s time and resources towards defending them rather than operating our business. In addition, any adverse publicity concerning such claims, even if unfounded, could cause customers to lose confidence in the safety and quality of our products and damage our reputation and brand image.
Potential liabilities and costs from litigation could adversely affect our business.
There is no guarantee that we will be successful in defending ourselves in civil, criminal or regulatory actions, including under general, commercial, employment, environmental, food quality and safety, anti-trust and trade, advertising and claims, and environmental laws and regulations, or in asserting our rights under various laws. For example, our marketing or claims could face allegations of false or deceptive advertising or other criticisms which could end up in litigation and result in potential liabilities or costs. In addition, we could incur substantial costs and fees in defending ourselves or in asserting our rights in these actions or meeting new legal requirements. Even when not merited, the defense of these lawsuits may divert our management’s attention, and we may incur significant costs in defending these lawsuits. The costs and other effects of potential and pending litigation and administrative actions against us, and new legal requirements, cannot be determined with certainty and may differ from expectations.
We are exposed to local business and tax risks in many different countries.
We operate in various countries in Europe, predominantly in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Norway. As a result, our business is subject to risks resulting from differing legal, political, social and regulatory requirements, economic conditions and unforeseeable developments in these markets, all or any of which could result in disruption of our activities. These risks include, among others, political instability (including the impact of Brexit), differing economic cycles, tariffs, duties and adverse economic conditions, unexpected changes in regulatory environments, currency exchange rate fluctuations, inability to collect payments or seek recourse under or comply with ambiguous or vague commercial or other laws, changes in distribution and supply channels, foreign exchange controls and restrictions on repatriation of funds, and difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified management and employees. Our overall success in the markets in which we operate depends, to a considerable extent, on our ability to effectively manage differing legal, political, social and regulatory requirements, economic conditions and unforeseeable developments. We cannot guarantee that we will succeed in developing and implementing policies and strategies which will be effective in each location where we do business.
We must comply with complex and evolving tax regulations in the various jurisdictions in which we operate, which subjects us to international tax compliance risks. Some tax jurisdictions in which we operate have complex and subjective rules regarding income tax, value-added tax, sales or excise tax, tariffs, duties and transfer tax. From time to time, our foreign subsidiaries are subject to tax audits and may be required to pay additional taxes, interest or penalties should the taxing authority assert different interpretations, or different allocations or valuations of our services which could be material and could reduce our income and cash flow from our international subsidiaries. We currently have several pending tax assessments and audits in various jurisdictions including Germany, France and Italy. The agreements by which we acquired certain businesses provide for certain indemnifications of tax liabilities which may arise in certain jurisdictions which we believe are sufficient to address these specific tax matters as far as they relate to those businesses. We have also established, where appropriate, reserves and provisions for tax assessments which we believe to be adequate to address potential tax liabilities. However, it is possible that the tax audits referred to above could result in the volatility of timings of cash tax payment and recoveries.

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Our business is dependent on third-party suppliers and changes or difficulties in our relationships with our suppliers may harm our business and financial results.
We outsource some of our business functions to third-party suppliers, such as the processing of certain vegetables and other products, the manufacturing of packaging materials and distribution of our products. Our suppliers are subject to their own unique operational and financial risks, which are out of our control. Our suppliers may fail to meet timelines or contractual obligations or provide us with sufficient products, which may adversely affect our business. Certain of our contracts with key suppliers, such as for the raw materials we use in our products, are short term, can be terminated by the supplier upon giving notice within a certain period and restrict us from using other suppliers. Also, a number of our supply contracts, including for fish and vegetables, may be terminated by the supplier upon a change in our ownership. Failure to appropriately structure or adequately manage our agreements with third parties may adversely affect our supply of products. We are also subject to credit risk with respect to our third-party suppliers. If any such suppliers become insolvent, an appointed trustee could potentially ignore the service contracts we have in place with such party, resulting in increased charges or the termination of the service contracts. We may not be able to replace a service provider within a reasonable period of time, on as favorable terms or without disruption to our operations. Any adverse changes to our relationships with third-party suppliers could have a material adverse effect on our image, brand and reputation, as well as on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, to the extent that our creditworthiness is impaired, or general economic conditions decline, certain of our key suppliers may demand onerous payment terms that could materially adversely affect our working capital position, or such suppliers may refuse to continue to supply to us. A number of our key suppliers have taken out trade credit insurance on our ability to pay them. To the extent that such trade credit insurance becomes unobtainable or more expensive due to market conditions, we may face adverse changes to payment terms by our key suppliers or they may refuse to continue to supply us.
The price of energy we consume in the manufacture, storage and distribution of our products is subject to volatile market conditions.
The price of electricity and other energy resources required in the manufacture, storage and distribution of our products is subject to volatile market conditions. These market conditions are often affected by political and economic factors beyond our control, including, for instance, the energy policies of the countries in which we operate. For example, the German government’s decision to phase out nuclear power generation by 2022 could cause electricity prices and price volatility in Germany to increase. Any sustained increases in energy costs could have an adverse effect on the attractiveness of frozen food products for our customers and consumers and could affect our competitive position if our competitors’ energy costs do not increase at the same rate as ours. In addition, disruptions in the supply of energy resources could temporarily impair our ability to manufacture products for our customers. Such disruptions may also occur as a result of the loss of energy supply contracts or the inability to enter into new energy supply contracts on commercially attractive terms. Furthermore, natural catastrophes or similar events could affect the electricity grid. Any such disruptions, or increases in energy costs as a result of the aforementioned factors or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Any disruptions, failures or security breaches of our information technology systems could harm our business and reduce our profitability.
We rely on our information technology systems for communication among our suppliers, manufacturing plants, distribution functions, headquarters and customers. Our performance depends on the availability of accurate and timely data and other information from key software applications to aid day-to-day business and decision-making processes. We may be adversely affected if our controls designed to manage information technology operational risks fail to contain such risks. If we do not allocate and effectively manage the resources necessary to build and sustain the proper technology infrastructure and to maintain the related automated and manual control processes, we could be subject to adverse effects including billing and collection errors, business disruptions, in particular concerning our manufacturing and logistics functions, and security breaches. Any disruption caused by failings in our information technology infrastructure equipment or of communication networks, could delay or otherwise impact our day-to-day business and decision-making processes and negatively impact our performance. In addition, we are reliant on third parties to service parts of our IT infrastructure. Failure on their part to provide good and timely service may have an adverse impact on our information technology network. Furthermore, we do not control the facilities or operations of our suppliers. An interruption of operations at any of their or our facilities or any failure by them to deliver on their contractual commitments may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Although our information technology systems are protected through physical and software safeguards, it is difficult to protect against the possibility of damage or breach created by cyber-attacks or other security attacks in every potential circumstance that may arise. As cyber-attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication it becomes even more difficult to protect against a breach of our information technology systems. Cybersecurity incidents that impact the availability, reliability, speed, accuracy, or other proper functioning of these information technology systems could have a significant impact on our operations. If we are unable to prevent physical and electronic break-ins, cyber-attacks and other information security breaches, we may suffer financial and reputational damage, be subject to litigation or incur remediation costs or penalties because of the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information belonging to us or to our customers, suppliers or employees. The mishandling or inappropriate disclosure of non-public sensitive or protected information could lead to the loss of intellectual property, negatively impact planned corporate transactions or damage our reputation and brand image. Misuse, leakage or falsification of legally protected information could also result in a violation of data privacy laws and regulations and have a negative impact on our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in the European regulatory environment regarding privacy and data protection regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), could expose us to risks of noncompliance and costs associated with compliance.
On May 25, 2018, the EU’s GDPR became enforceable. The GDPR relates to the collection, use, retention, security, processing and transfer of personally identifiable information of residents of EU countries, and because of our operations in the EU, including in the UK, we are subject to these heightened standards. The GDPR created a range of new compliance obligations, and imposes significant fines and sanctions for violations. As a result of legislative and regulatory rules, we may be required to notify the owners of the personal information together with the relevant regulatory authorities of any data breaches, which could harm our reputation and financial results, as well as subject us to litigation or actions by such regulatory authorities.
Our supply network and manufacturing and distribution facilities could be disrupted by factors beyond our control such as extreme weather, fire, terrorist activity and natural disasters.
Severe weather conditions and natural disasters, such as storms, floods, droughts, frosts, earthquakes or pestilence, may affect the supply of the raw materials that we use for the manufacturing of our products. For example, changing climate may cause flooding and drought in crop growing areas or changes in sea temperatures affecting marine biomass, fishing catch rates and overall fishing conditions. In addition, drought or floods may affect the feed supply for red meat and poultry, which in turn may affect the quality and availability of protein sources for our products. Competing food producers can be affected differently by weather conditions and natural disasters depending on the location of their supply sources. If our supplies of raw materials are reduced, we may not be able to find adequate supplemental supply sources, if at all, on favorable terms, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.
In addition, our manufacturing facilities may be subject to damage or disruption resulting from fire terrorist activity, natural disasters or other causes. For example, our Lowestoft and Bremerhaven manufacturing facilities are situated in regions which have historically been prone to flooding. Extensive damage to any of our thirteen major manufacturing facilities as a result of any of the foregoing reasons, could, to the extent that lost production could not be compensated for by unaffected facilities, severely affect our ability to conduct our business operations and, as a result, adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Furthermore, as we lease parts of our Boulogne, Bremerhaven, Lowestoft, and Tonsberg sites, the use of these properties is subject to certain terms and conditions, the breach of which could affect our ability to continue use of these properties which in turn may disrupt our operations and may materially adversely affect our results of operations.

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We may be unable to realize the expected benefits of actions taken to align our resources, operate more efficiently and control costs.
When required we take actions, such as workforce reductions, plant closures and consolidations, and other cost reduction initiatives, such as our factory optimization program, to align our resources with our growth strategies, operate more efficiently and control costs. As these plans and actions are complex, unforeseen factors could result in expected savings and benefits to be delayed or not realized to the full extent planned, could negatively impact labor relations, including causing work stoppages, and could lead to disruptions in our business and operations and higher short-term costs related to severance and related capital expenditures. In 2016, we announced the closure of our factory and pea processing operations in Bjuv, Sweden, and operations ceased in the first half of 2017 with production transferred to other factories in the Group’s network. In March 2018, we sold the factory building and parts of the premises. We may be unable to realize the expected benefits of these actions which could potentially adversely affect our profitability and operations.
Significant disruption in our workforce or the workforce of our suppliers could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As of December 31, 2018, we employed approximately 4,813 employees, of which approximately 1,394 were located in Germany, 1,223 were located in the UK, 346 were located in France, 456 were located in Italy, 467 were located in Sweden/Norway and 927 employees in other locations. As of December 31, 2018, approximately 72% of our employees worked in our manufacturing operations. We have in the past, and may in the future, experience labor disputes and work stoppages at one or more of our manufacturing sites due to localized strikes or strikes in the larger retail food industry sector. We have also been involved in negotiations on collective bargaining agreements. A labor stoppage or other interruption at one of our thirteen manufacturing sites would impact our ability to supply our customers and could have a pronounced effect on our operations. Further, a number of our employees in the UK are not UK citizens and, depending on the terms negotiated, may no longer have the right to work in the UK following the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU. Future labor disturbance or work stoppage at any of our or our suppliers’ facilities in Germany, the UK, Italy or elsewhere may have an adverse effect on such facility’s operations and, potentially, on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Higher labor costs could adversely affect our business and financial results.
We compete with other producers for good and dependable employees. The supply of such employees is limited and competition to hire and retain them may result in higher labor costs. Furthermore, a substantial majority of our employees are subject to national minimum wage requirements. If legislation is enacted in these countries that has the effect of raising the national minimum wage requirements, requires additional mandatory employee benefits or affects our ability to hire or dismiss employees, we could face substantially higher labor costs. In the UK, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increased in April 2018. High labor costs could adversely affect our profitability if we are not able to pass them on to our customers.
We are dependent upon key executives and highly qualified managers and we cannot assure their retention.
Our success depends, in part, upon the continued services of key members of our management. Our executives’ and managers’ knowledge of the market, our business and our company represents a key strength of our business, which cannot be easily replicated. The success of our business strategy and our future growth also depend on our ability to attract, train, retain and motivate skilled managerial, sales, administration, development and operating personnel.
There can be no assurance that our existing personnel will be adequate or qualified to carry out our strategy, or that we will be able to hire or retain experienced, qualified employees to carry out our strategy. The loss of one or more of our key management or operating personnel, or the failure to attract and retain additional key personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Costs or liabilities relating to compliance with applicable directives, regulations and laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a producer of food products for human consumption, we are subject to extensive regulation in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway and other countries in which we operate, as well as the European Union, that governs production, composition, manufacturing, storage, transport, advertising, packaging, health, quality, labeling, safety and distribution standards. In addition, national regulations that have implemented European directives applicable to frozen products establish highly technical requirements regarding labeling, manufacturing, transportation and storage of frozen food products. For example, regulations of the European Parliament and Council published in October 2011 changed rules relating to the presentation of nutritional information on packaging and other rules on labeling. It is unclear how this will be impacted under Brexit but there may be changes and further regulations that the company has to adhere to. Local governmental authorities also set out health and safety related conditions and restrictions. Any failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to civil remedies, including fines, injunctions, product recalls or asset seizures, as well as potential criminal sanctions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, our facilities and our suppliers’ facilities are subject to licensing, reporting requirements and official quality controls by numerous governmental authorities. These governmental authorities include European, national and local health, environmental, labor relations, sanitation, building, zoning, and fire and safety departments. Difficulties in obtaining or failure to obtain the necessary licenses or approval could delay or prevent the development, expansion or operation of a given production or warehouse facility. Any changes in those regulations may require us to implement new quality controls and possibly invest in new equipment, which could delay the development of new products and increase our operating costs.
All of our products must comply with strict national and international hygiene regulations. Our facilities and our suppliers’ facilities are subject to regular inspection by authorities for compliance with hygiene regulations applicable to the sale, storage and manufacturing of foodstuffs and the traceability of genetically modified organisms, meats and other raw materials. Additionally, in certain jurisdictions, food business operators, including those in the food storage, processing and distribution sectors, are required to trace all food, animal feed, and food-producing animals under their control using registration systems that track the source of the products through the supply chain. Despite the precautions we undertake, should any non-compliance with such regulations be discovered during an inspection or otherwise, authorities may temporarily shut down any of our facilities and levy a fine for such non-compliance, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We could incur material costs to address violations of, or liabilities under, health, safety and environmental regulations.
Our facilities and operations are subject to numerous health, safety and environmental regulations, including local and national laws, and European directives and regulations governing, among other things, water supply and use, water discharges, air emissions, chemical safety, solid and hazardous waste management and disposal, clean-up of contamination, energy use, noise pollution, and workplace health and safety. Health, safety and environmental legislation in Europe and elsewhere have generally become more comprehensive and restrictive and more rigid over time and enforcement has become more stringent. Failure to comply with applicable requirements, or the terms of required permits, can result in penalties or fines, clean-up costs, third party property damage and personal injury claims, which could have a material adverse effect on our brand, business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if health, safety and environmental laws and regulations in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the other countries in which we operate or from which we source raw materials and ingredients become more stringent in the future, the extent and timing of investments required to maintain compliance may exceed our budgets or estimates and may limit the availability of funding for other investments.
Furthermore, under some environmental laws, we could be liable for costs incurred in investigating or remediating contamination at properties we own or occupy, even if the contamination was caused by a party unrelated to us or was not caused by us, and even if the activity which caused the contamination was legal at the time it occurred. The discovery of previously unknown contamination, or the imposition of new or more burdensome obligations to investigate or remediate contamination at our properties or at third-party sites, could result in substantial unanticipated costs which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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In certain jurisdictions, we are also subject to legislation designed to significantly reduce industrial energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and the emission of ozone depleting compounds more generally. If we fail to meet applicable standards for energy use reduction or are unable to decrease, and in some cases eliminate, certain emissions within the applicable period required by relevant laws and regulations, we could be subject to significant penalties or fines and temporary or long-term disruptions to production at our facilities, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to a variety of regulatory schemes; failure to comply with applicable rules and regulations could adversely affect our business, results of operations and reputation.
Our operations are subject to a variety of regulatory schemes which require us to implement processes, procedures and controls to provide reasonable assurance that we are operating in compliance with applicable regulations, including the UK Bribery Act, the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, the Trade Sanctions and Export Controls and the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Failure to comply (or any alleged failure to comply) with the regulations referenced above or any other regulations could result in civil and criminal, monetary and non-monetary penalties, and any such failure or alleged failure (or becoming subject to a regulatory enforcement investigation) could also damage our reputation, disrupt our business, result in loss of customers and cause us to incur significant legal and investigatory fees. In addition, our business, including our ability to operate and continue to expand internationally, could be adversely affected if local and foreign laws or regulations are adopted, interpreted, or implemented in a manner that is inconsistent with our current business practices and that require rapid changes to these practices or our products, services, policies and procedures.  If we are not able to adapt our business practices or strategies to changes in laws or regulations, it could subject us to liability, increased costs and reduced product demand. Additionally, the costs of compliance with laws and regulations may increase in the future as a result of changes in interpretation.  Any failure by us to comply with applicable laws and regulations may subject us to significant liabilities and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and reputation.
A failure in our cold chain could lead to unsafe food conditions and increased costs.
“Cold chain” requirements setting out the temperatures at which our ingredients and products are stored are established both by statute and by us to help guarantee the safety of our food products. Our cold chain is maintained from the moment the ingredients arrive at, or are frozen by, our suppliers, through our manufacturing and transportation of products and ultimately to the time of sale in retail stores. These standards ensure the quality, freshness and safety of our products. A failure in the cold chain could lead to food contamination, risks to the health of consumers, fines and damage to our brands and reputation, each of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Seasonality impacts our business, and our revenue and working capital levels may vary quarter to quarter.
Our sales and working capital levels have historically been affected to a limited extent by seasonality. In general, sales volumes for frozen food are slightly higher in cold or winter months, partly because there are fewer fresh alternatives available for vegetables and because our customers typically allocate more freezer space to the ice cream segment in summer or hotter months. In addition, variable production costs, including costs for seasonal staff, and working capital requirements associated with the keeping of inventories, vary depending on the harvesting and buying periods of seasonal raw materials, in particular vegetable crops. For example, stock (and therefore net working capital) levels typically peak in August to September just after the pea harvest. If seasonal fluctuations are greater than anticipated, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We have risks related to our indebtedness, including our ability to withstand adverse business conditions and to meet our debt service obligations.
Our ability to make payments on and to refinance our indebtedness, and to fund our operations, working capital and capital expenditures, depends on our ability to generate cash. To a certain extent, our cash flow is subject to general economic, industry, financial, competitive, operating, legislative, regulatory and other factors, many of which are beyond our control.
We cannot assure you that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations or that future sources of cash will be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay amounts due on our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs.

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Additionally, if we incur additional indebtedness in connection with any future acquisitions or development projects or for any other purpose, our debt service obligations could increase. We may need to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness before maturity. Our ability to refinance our indebtedness or obtain additional financing will depend on, among other things:
• our financial condition and market conditions at the time;
• restrictions in the agreements governing our indebtedness;
• general economic and capital market conditions;
• the availability of credit from banks or other lenders;
• investor confidence in us; and
• our results of operations.
In addition, a significant part of our indebtedness includes provisions with respect to maintaining and complying with certain financial and operational covenants. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control. A breach of one or more of these covenants could result in an event of default and may give rise to an acceleration of the debt. In the longer term, such breach of covenants could have a material adverse effect on our operations and cash flows.
Our variable rate indebtedness subjects us to interest rate risk, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase significantly.
An increase in market interest rates would increase our interest expense arising on our existing and future floating rate indebtedness. Pursuant to the terms of our Senior Facilities Agreement, the interest rate that we pay on indebtedness incurred under our term loan facilities or revolving credit facility varies based on a fixed margin over a base rate which references the LIBOR or EURIBOR rates. As a result, we are exposed to interest rate risk. If interest rates increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness will increase even though the amount borrowed remained the same, and our net income and cash flows, including cash available for servicing our indebtedness, will correspondingly decrease. Pursuant to the Company interest rate hedging policy, we may enter into interest rate derivatives that may involve the exchange of floating for fixed rate interest payments in order to reduce interest rate volatility. However, we may not maintain interest rate swaps with respect to all of our variable rate indebtedness, and any swaps we enter into may not fully mitigate our interest rate risk.
Our indebtedness is subject to changes in interest reference rates
Pursuant to the terms of the current Senior Facilities Agreement, the interest rate paid on indebtedness incurred under our term loan facilities or revolving credit facility varies based on a fixed margin over a base rate which references the LIBOR or EURIBOR rates. As a result of decisions taken by national regulators, LIBOR and EURIBOR may become phased out and replaced by a replacement reference index. If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate our Senior Credit Agreement with our lenders. As a result of changes to underling interest reference rates, the Company may be exposed to volatility with regard to interest cost on indebtedness or linked interest rate hedging arrangements.
We are exposed to exchange rate risks and such rates may adversely affect our results of operations.
We are exposed to exchange rate risk. Our reporting currency is the Euro and yet a significant proportion of our sales and EBITDA are in Pound Sterling through our UK based business, and Norwegian Krone and Swedish Krona through our Norwegian and Swedish based businesses. We are exposed to foreign exchange translation risk as we convert the Pound Sterling results of our UK business and the Norwegian Krone and Swedish Krona results of our Norwegian and Swedish business into our reporting currency of Euro. Pursuant to Company foreign exchange hedging policy, we have converted a portion of our USD term loan to GBP using cross currency interest rate swaps that act as a Net Investment hedge for our UK business. We are exposed to transactional exchange rate risk as a significant portion of our raw material purchases are denominated in non-functional currencies of the purchasing entity, predominantly U.S. Dollars and Euro. Company policy is to reduce this risk by using foreign exchange forward contracts that are designated as cash flow hedges. However, such hedging arrangements may not fully protect us against currency fluctuations and may or not be deemed to be cash flow hedge effective. Fluctuations and sustained strengthening of non-functional currencies against the functional currency of the operating entities may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Changes to our payment terms with both customers and suppliers may materially adversely affect our operating cash flows.
We may experience significant pressure from our key suppliers to reduce trade payable terms. At the same time, we may experience pressure from our customers to extend trade receivable terms. Any such changes in commercial arrangements regarding trade payable and trade receivable payment terms, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in accounting standards and subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments by management related to complex accounting matters could significantly affect our financial results.
Generally accepted accounting principles and related accounting pronouncements, implementation guidelines and interpretations with regard to a wide range of matters that are relevant to our business, including but not limited to revenue recognition, leases, estimating valuation allowances and accrued liabilities (including allowances for returns, doubtful accounts and obsolete and damaged inventory), accounting for income taxes, valuation of long-lived and intangible assets and goodwill, stock-based compensation and loss contingencies, are highly complex and involve many subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments by our management. Changes in these rules or their interpretation or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates or judgments by our management could significantly change our reported or expected financial performance, and could have a material adverse effect on our business. For example, we expect that the impact of the adoption of IFRS 16 ‘Leases’, which is effective from January 1, 2019, will add net liabilities of approximately €36.0 million to the Statement of Financial Position, with a corresponding increase to the accumulated deficit reserve. Furthermore, we expect that profit before tax will be negatively affected by approximately €5.0 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019. In addition, we expect that Adjusted EBITDA will increase approximately €15.0 million, with lease costs being replaced by additional depreciation and interest charges.
Management continues to assess new accounting pronouncements and their impact on the Company prior to their adoption dates.
We may incur liabilities that are not covered by insurance.
While we seek to maintain appropriate levels of insurance, not all claims are insurable and we may experience major incidents of a nature that are not covered by insurance. Our insurance policies cover, among other things, employee-related accidents and injuries, property damage and liability deriving from our activities. In particular, our Lowestoft and Bremerhaven manufacturing facilities are situated in regions that have historically been affected by flooding. We may not be able to obtain flood insurance on reasonable terms or at all with respect to those facilities. We maintain an amount of insurance protection that we believe is adequate, but there can be no assurance that such insurance will continue to be available on acceptable terms or that our insurance coverage will be sufficient or effective under all circumstances and against all liabilities to which we may be subject. We could, for example, be subject to substantial claims for damages upon the occurrence of several events within one calendar year. In addition, our insurance costs may increase over time in response to any negative development in our claims history or due to material price increases in the insurance market in general.
An impairment of the carrying value of goodwill or other intangible assets could negatively affect our consolidated operating results and net worth.
Goodwill represents amounts arising from acquisitions and is the difference between the cost of the acquisition and the fair value of the net identifiable assets acquired. Intangible assets can include computer software, brands, customer relationships and other acquired intangibles as of the acquisition date. Goodwill and other intangibles expected to contribute indefinitely to our cash flows are not amortized, but must be evaluated by management at least annually for impairment. If carrying value exceeds its recoverable amount, the intangible is considered impaired and is reduced to fair value via a charge to earnings. Factors outside of our control which could result in an impairment include, but are not limited to: (i) reduced demand for our products; (ii) higher commodity prices; (iii) lower prices for our products or increased marketing as a result of increased competition; and (iv) significant disruptions to our operations as a result of both internal and external events. Should the value of one or more of the acquired intangibles become impaired, our consolidated profit or loss and net assets may be materially adversely affected. As of December 31, 2018, the carrying value of intangible assets totaled €3,948.2 million, of which €1,861.0 million was goodwill and €2,087.2 million represented brands, computer software, customer relationships and other acquired intangibles compared to total assets of €5,340.8 million.

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We face risks associated with certain pension obligations.
The Company has a mixture of partially funded and unfunded post-employment defined benefit plans in Germany, Sweden and Austria as well as defined benefit indemnity arrangements in Italy and France. Deterioration in the value or lower than expected returns on investments may lead to an increase in our obligation to make contributions to these plans.
The obligations that arise from these plans are calculated using actuarial valuations which are based on assumptions linked to the performance of financial markets, interest rates and legislation which changes over time. Adverse changes to these assumptions will impact the obligations recognized and would lead to higher cash payments in the long term.
Our obligation to make contributions to the pension plans could reduce the cash available for operational and other corporate uses and may have a materially adverse impact on our operations, financial condition and liquidity.
If we fail to or are unable to implement and maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting, the accuracy and timeliness of our financial reporting may be adversely affected.
We are subject to reporting obligations under U.S. securities laws. The SEC, as required under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, has adopted rules requiring every public company to include a report of management on the effectiveness of such company's internal control over financial reporting in its annual report. In addition, an independent registered public accounting firm must issue an attestation report on the effectiveness of the company's internal control over financial reporting.
We recognize that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives, and our management necessarily applies its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. If we fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting in the future, we and our independent registered public accounting firm may not be able to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting at a reasonable assurance level. This could in turn result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements. Furthermore, we have incurred and anticipate that we will continue to incur considerable costs and use significant management time and other resources in an effort to comply with Section 404 and other requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If we are not able to continue to meet the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner or with adequate compliance, we might be subject to sanctions or investigation by the SEC, the NYSE or other regulatory authorities. Any such action could adversely affect the accuracy and timeliness of our financial reporting.
Risks Related to Our Structure and Acquisition Strategy
We may not be able to consummate future acquisitions or successfully integrate acquisitions into our business, which could result in unanticipated expenses and losses.
Our strategy is largely based on our ability to grow through acquisitions of additional businesses to build an integrated group. Consummating acquisitions of related businesses, or our failure to integrate such businesses successfully into our existing businesses, could result in unanticipated expenses and losses. Furthermore, we may not be able to realize any of the anticipated benefits from acquisitions, including the Goodfella's Pizza and Aunt Bessie's acquisitions.
We anticipate that any future acquisitions we may pursue as part of our business strategy may be partially financed through additional debt or equity. Any future financial market disruptions or tightening of the credit markets may make it more difficult for us to obtain financing for acquisitions or increase the cost of obtaining financing. If new debt is added to current debt levels, or if we incur other liabilities, including contingent liabilities, in connection with an acquisition, the debt or liabilities could impose additional constraints and requirements on our business and operations, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operation. In addition, to the extent our ordinary shares are used for all or a portion of the consideration to be paid for future acquisitions, dilution may be experienced by existing shareholders.

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In connection with our completed and future acquisitions, the process of integrating acquired operations into our existing group operations may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and may require significant financial resources that would otherwise be available for the ongoing development or expansion of existing operations. Some of the risks associated with acquisitions include:
unexpected losses of key employees or customers of the acquired company;
conforming the acquired company’s standards, processes, procedures and controls with our operations;
coordinating new product and process development;
hiring additional management and other critical personnel;
negotiating with labor unions; and
increasing the scope, geographic diversity and complexity of our current operations.
We may encounter unforeseen obstacles or costs in the integration of businesses that we may acquire. In addition, general economic and market conditions or other factors outside of our control could make our operating strategies difficult or impossible to implement. Any failure to implement these operational improvements successfully and/or the failure of these operational improvements to deliver the anticipated benefits could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
We may be subject to antitrust regulations with respect to future acquisition opportunities.
Many jurisdictions in which we operate have antitrust regulations which involve governmental filings for certain acquisitions, impose waiting periods and require approvals by government regulators. Governmental authorities may seek to challenge potential acquisitions or impose conditions, terms, obligations or restrictions that may delay completion of the acquisition or materially reduce the anticipated benefits (financial or otherwise). Our inability to consummate potential future acquisitions or to receive the full benefits of such acquisitions because of antitrust regulations could limit our ability to execute on our acquisition strategy which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may face significant competition for acquisition opportunities.
There may be significant competition in some or all of the acquisition opportunities that we may explore. Such competition may for example come from strategic buyers, sovereign wealth funds, special purpose acquisition companies and public and private investment funds, many of which are well established and have extensive experience in identifying and completing acquisitions. A number of these competitors may possess greater technical, financial, human and other resources than us. We cannot assure investors that we will be successful against such competition. Such competition may cause us to be unsuccessful in executing any acquisition or may result in a successful acquisition being made at a significantly higher price than would otherwise have been the case.
Any due diligence by us in connection with potential future acquisition may not reveal all relevant considerations or liabilities of the target business, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
We intend to conduct such due diligence as we deem reasonably practicable and appropriate based on the facts and circumstances applicable to any potential acquisition. The objective of the due diligence process will be to identify material issues which may affect the decision to proceed with any one particular acquisition target or the consideration payable for an acquisition. We also intend to use information revealed during the due diligence process to formulate our business and operational planning for, and our valuation of, any target company or business. While conducting due diligence and assessing a potential acquisition, we may rely on publicly available information, if any, information provided by the relevant target company to the extent such company is willing or able to provide such information and, in some circumstances, third party investigations.

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There can be no assurance that the due diligence undertaken with respect to an acquisition will reveal all relevant facts that may be necessary to evaluate such acquisition including the determination of the price we may pay for an acquisition target or to formulate a business strategy. Furthermore, the information provided during due diligence may be incomplete, inadequate or inaccurate. As part of the due diligence process, we will also make subjective judgments regarding the results of operations, financial condition and prospects of a potential target. If the due diligence investigation fails to correctly identify material issues and liabilities that may be present in a target company or business, or if we consider such material risks to be commercially acceptable relative to the opportunity, and we proceed with an acquisition, we may subsequently incur substantial impairment charges or other losses.
In addition, following an acquisition, including the Goodfella's Pizza and Aunt Bessie's acquisitions, we may be subject to significant, previously undisclosed liabilities of the acquired business that were not identified during due diligence and which could contribute to poor operational performance, undermine any attempt to restructure the acquired company or business in line with our business plan and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We are a holding company whose principal source of operating cash is the income received from our subsidiaries.
We are dependent on the income generated by our subsidiaries in order to make distributions and dividends on the ordinary shares. The amount of distributions and dividends, if any, which may be paid to us from any operating subsidiary will depend on many factors, including such subsidiary’s results of operations and financial condition, limits on dividends under applicable law, its constitutional documents, documents governing any indebtedness, and other factors which may be outside our control. If our operating subsidiaries do not generate sufficient cash flow, we may be unable to make distributions and dividends on the ordinary shares.
The Founders and/or the Founder Entities may in the future enter into related party transactions with us, which may give rise to conflicts of interest between us and some or all of the Founders and/or the Directors.
Our founders, Martin Franklin and Noam Gottesman (the “Founders”) and/or one or more of their affiliates, including Mariposa Acquisition II, LLC and TOMS Acquisition I LLC (the “Founder Entities”) may in the future enter into agreements with us that are not currently under contemplation. While we have implemented procedures to ensure we will not enter into any related party transaction without the approval of our Audit Committee, it is possible that the entering into of such an agreement might raise conflicts of interest between us and some or all of the Founders and/or the directors.
Risks Related to our Ordinary Shares
We have various equity instruments outstanding that would require us to issue additional ordinary shares. Therefore, you may experience significant dilution of your ownership interests and the future issuance of additional ordinary shares, or the anticipation of such issuances, could have an adverse effect on our share price.
We currently have various equity instruments outstanding that would require us to issue additional ordinary shares for no or a fixed amount of additional consideration. Specifically, as of February 25, 2019, we had outstanding the following: 
1,500,000 Founder Preferred Shares held by the Founder Entities, which are controlled by the Founders. The preferred shares held by the Founder Entities (the “Founder Preferred Shares”) will automatically convert into ordinary shares on a one for one basis (subject to adjustment in accordance with our Memorandum and Articles of Association) on the last day of the seventh full financial year following completion of the Iglo Acquisition and some or all of them may be converted following written request from the holder;
115,625 options held by certain current and former of our Directors which are exercisable to purchase ordinary shares, on a one-for-one basis, at any time at the option of the holder; and
4,572,721 equity awards issued under the LTIP, which may be converted into ordinary shares subject, in most cases, to meeting certain performance conditions.
We also have 12,872,486 ordinary shares currently available for issuance under our LTIP.

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Holders of the Founder Preferred Shares are entitled to receive annual dividend amounts subject to certain performance conditions (the “Founder Preferred Shares Annual Dividend Amount”). The payment of the Founder Preferred Shares Annual Dividend Amount became mandatory after January 1, 2015 if certain share price performance conditions are met for any given year. At our discretion, we may settle the Founder Preferred Shares Annual Dividend Amount by issuing shares or by cash payment, but we intend to equity settle. On December 31, 2018, we approved a 2018 Founder Preferred Share Dividend in an aggregate of 171,092 ordinary shares. The dividend price used to calculate the 2018 Founder Preferred Shares Annual Dividend Amount was $16.7538 (calculated based upon the volume weighted average price for the last ten trading days of 2018) and the Ordinary Shares were issued on January 2, 2019. In subsequent years, the Annual Dividend Amount will be calculated based upon the volume weighted average share price for the last ten trading days of the financial year and the resulting appreciated average share price compared to the highest price previously used in calculating the Annual Dividend Amount. The issuance of ordinary shares pursuant to the terms of the Founder Preferred Shares will reduce (by the applicable proportion) the percentage shareholdings of those shareholders holding ordinary shares prior to such issuance which may reduce your net return on your investment in our ordinary shares.
Our ordinary share price may be volatile, and as a result, you could lose a significant portion or all of your investment.
The market price of the ordinary shares on the NYSE may fluctuate as a result of several factors, including the following:
variations in our quarterly operating results;
volatility in our industry, the industries of our customers and suppliers and the global securities markets;
risks relating to our business and industry, including those discussed above;
strategic actions by us or our competitors;
reputational damage from unsafe or poor quality food products;
actual or expected changes in our growth rates or our competitors’ growth rates;
investor perception of us, the industry in which we operate, the investment opportunity associated with the ordinary shares and our future performance;
addition or departure of our executive officers;
changes in financial estimates or publication of research reports by analysts regarding our ordinary shares, other comparable companies or our industry generally;
trading volume of our ordinary shares;
future sales of our ordinary shares by us or our shareholders;
domestic and international economic, legal and regulatory factors unrelated to our performance; or
the release or expiration of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding ordinary shares.
Furthermore, the stock markets often experience significant price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. These fluctuations often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations, as well as general economic, political and market conditions such as recessions or interest rate changes may cause the market price of ordinary shares to decline.

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If securities or industry analysts do not publish or cease publishing research reports about us, if they adversely change their recommendations regarding our ordinary shares or if our operating results do not meet their expectations, the price of our ordinary shares could decline.
The trading market for our ordinary shares will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. Securities and industry analysts currently publish limited research on us. If there is limited or no securities or industry analyst coverage of our company, the market price and trading volume of our ordinary shares would likely be negatively impacted. Moreover, if any of the analysts who may cover us downgrade our ordinary shares, provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors or if our operating results or prospects do not meet their expectations, the market price of our ordinary shares could decline. If any of the analysts who may cover us were to cease coverage or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our share price or trading volume to decline.
As a foreign private issuer, we are subject to different U.S. securities laws and NYSE governance standards than domestic U.S. issuers. This may afford less protection to holders of our ordinary shares, and you may not receive corporate and company information and disclosure that you are accustomed to receiving or in a manner in which you are accustomed to receiving it.
As a foreign private issuer, the rules governing the information that we disclose differ from those governing U.S. corporations pursuant to the Exchange Act. Although we report quarterly financial results and certain material events, we are not required to file quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or provide current reports on Form 8-K disclosing significant events within four days of their occurrence and our quarterly or current reports may contain less information than required for domestic issuers. In addition, we are exempt from the SEC’s proxy rules, and proxy statements that we distribute will not be subject to review by the SEC. Our exemption from Section 16 rules regarding sales of ordinary shares by insiders means that you will have less data in this regard than shareholders of U.S. companies that are subject to the Exchange Act. As a result, you may not have all the data that you are accustomed to having when making investment decisions with respect to U.S. public companies.
As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt from complying with certain corporate governance requirements of the NYSE applicable to a U.S. issuer, including the requirement that a majority of our board of directors consist of independent directors. As the corporate governance standards applicable to us are different than those applicable to domestic U.S. issuers, you may not have the same protections afforded under U.S. law and the NYSE rules as shareholders of companies that do not have such exemptions. See Item 16G: Corporate Governance.
We may lose our foreign private issuer status in the future, which could result in significant additional costs and expenses.
We could cease to be a foreign private issuer if a majority of our outstanding voting securities are directly or indirectly held of record by U.S. residents and we fail to meet additional requirements necessary to avoid loss of foreign private issuer status. The regulatory and compliance costs to us under U.S. securities laws as a U.S. domestic issuer may be significantly higher than costs we incur as a foreign private issuer, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.
As the rights of shareholders under British Virgin Islands law differ from those under United States law, you may have fewer protections as a shareholder.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our Memorandum and Articles of Association, the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004 (as amended, the “BVI Act”) and the common law of the British Virgin Islands. The rights of shareholders to take legal action against our directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under British Virgin Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the British Virgin Islands and by the BVI Act. The common law of the British Virgin Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the British Virgin Islands as well as from English common law, which has persuasive, but not binding, authority on a court in the British Virgin Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under British Virgin Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the British Virgin Islands has a less developed body of securities laws as compared to the United States, and some states (such as Delaware) have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law. As a result of the foregoing, holders of our ordinary shares may have more difficulty in protecting their interests through actions against our management, directors or major shareholders than they would as shareholders of a U.S. company. See Item 16G: Corporate Governance.

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The laws of the British Virgin Islands provide limited protection for minority shareholders, so minority shareholders will have limited or no recourse if they are dissatisfied with the conduct of our affairs.
Under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, there is limited statutory law for the protection of minority shareholders other than the provisions of the BVI Act dealing with shareholder remedies (as summarized under Item 16G: Corporate Governance). The principal protection under statutory law is that shareholders may bring an action to enforce the constituent documents of the company and are entitled to have the affairs of the company conducted in accordance with the BVI Act and the memorandum and articles of association of the company. As such, if those who control the company have persistently disregarded the requirements of the BVI Act or the provisions of the company’s memorandum and articles of association, then the courts will likely grant relief. Generally, the areas in which the courts will intervene are the following: (i) an act complained of which is outside the scope of the authorized business or is illegal or not capable of ratification by the majority; (ii) acts that constitute fraud on the minority where the wrongdoers control the company; (iii) acts that infringe on the personal rights of the shareholders, such as the right to vote; and (iv) acts where the company has not complied with provisions requiring approval of a special or extraordinary majority of shareholders, which are more limited than the rights afforded minority shareholders under the laws of many states in the United States.
To the extent allowed by law, the rights and obligations among or between us, any of our current or former directors, officers and employees and any current or former shareholder will be governed exclusively by the laws of the British Virgin Islands and subject to the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands courts, unless those rights or obligations do not relate to or arise out of their capacities as such. Although there is doubt as to whether United States courts would enforce these provisions in an action brought in the United States under United States securities laws, these provisions could make judgments obtained outside of the British Virgin Islands more difficult to enforce against our assets in the British Virgin Islands or jurisdictions that would apply British Virgin Islands law.
British Virgin Islands companies may not be able to initiate shareholder derivative actions, thereby depriving shareholders of one avenue to protect their interests.
British Virgin Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States. The circumstances in which any such an action may be brought, and the procedures and defenses that may be available in respect of any such action, may result in the rights of shareholders of a British Virgin Islands company being more limited than those of shareholders of a company organized in the United States. Accordingly, shareholders may have fewer alternatives available to them if they believe that corporate wrongdoing has occurred. The British Virgin Islands courts are also unlikely to recognize or enforce judgments of courts in the United States based on certain liability provisions of United States securities law or to impose liabilities, in original actions brought in the British Virgin Islands, based on certain liability provisions of the United States securities laws that are penal in nature. There is no statutory recognition in the British Virgin Islands of judgments obtained in the United States, although the courts of the British Virgin Islands will generally recognize and enforce the non-penal judgment of a foreign court of competent jurisdiction without retrial on the merits. This means that even if shareholders were to sue us successfully, they may not be able to recover anything to make up for the losses suffered.
Dividend payments on our ordinary shares are not expected.
We do not currently intend to pay dividends on our ordinary shares. We intend only to pay such dividends at such times, if any, and in such amounts, if any, as the board determines appropriate and in accordance with applicable law, and then only if we receive dividends on shares held by us in our operating subsidiaries. Therefore, we cannot give any assurance that we will be able to pay or will pay dividends going forward or as to the amount of such dividends, if any.
Shareholders may experience a dilution of their percentage ownership if we make non-pre-emptive offers of ordinary shares in the future.
We have opted-out of statutory pre-emptive rights pursuant to the terms of our Memorandum and Articles of Association. No pre-emption rights therefore exist in respect of future issuance of ordinary shares whether or not for cash. Should we decide to offer additional ordinary shares on a non-pre-emptive basis in the future, this could dilute the interests of shareholders and/or have an adverse effect on the market price of the ordinary shares.

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Risks Related to Taxation
Changes in tax law and practice may reduce any net returns for shareholders.
The tax treatment of the Company, our shareholders and any subsidiary of ours (including Iglo and its subsidiaries), any special purpose vehicle that we may establish and any other company which we may acquire are all subject to changes in tax laws or practices in the British Virgin Islands, the UK, the U.S. and any other relevant jurisdiction. Any change may reduce the value of your investment in our ordinary shares.
Failure to maintain our tax status may negatively affect our financial and operating results and shareholders.
If we were to be considered to be resident in or to carry on a trade or business within the United States for U.S. taxation purposes or in any other country in which we are not currently treated as having a taxable presence, we could be subject to U.S. income tax or taxes in such other country on all or a portion of our profits, as the case may be, which may negatively affect our financial and operating results.
Taxation of returns from subsidiaries may reduce any net return to shareholders.
We and our subsidiaries are subject to taxes in a number of jurisdictions. It is possible that any return we receive from any present or future subsidiary may be reduced by irrecoverable withholding or other local taxes and this may reduce the value of your investment in our ordinary shares.
If any dividend is declared in the future and paid in a foreign currency, U.S. holders may be taxed on a larger amount in U.S. Dollars than the U.S. Dollar amount actually received.
U.S. holders will be taxed on the U.S. Dollar value of dividends at the time they are received, even if they are not converted to U.S. Dollars or are converted at a time when the U.S. Dollar value of the dividends has fallen. The U.S. Dollar value of the payments made in the foreign currency will be determined for tax purposes at the spot rate of the foreign currency to the U.S. Dollar on the date the dividend distribution is deemed included in such U.S. holder’s income, regardless of whether or when the payment is in fact converted into U.S. Dollars.
We may be a “passive foreign investment company” for U.S. federal income tax purposes and adverse tax consequences could apply to U.S. investors.
The U.S. federal income tax treatment of U.S. holders will differ depending on whether or not the Company is considered a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”).
In general, we will be considered a PFIC for any taxable year in which: (i) 75 percent or more of our gross income consists of passive income; or (ii) 50 percent or more of the average quarterly market value of our assets in that year are assets that produce, or are held for the production of, passive income (including cash). For purposes of the above calculations, if we, directly or indirectly, own at least 25 percent by value of the stock of another corporation, then we generally would be treated as if we held our proportionate share of the assets of such other corporation and received directly our proportionate share of the income of such other corporation. Passive income generally includes, among other things, dividends, interest, rents, royalties, certain gains from the sale of stock and securities, and certain other investment income.
We do not believe that we will be a PFIC for the current year. However, because the composition of the Company's income and assets will vary over time, we can provide no assurance that we will not be a PFIC for any taxable year. See item 10.E., U.S. Federal Income Taxation, Passive Foreign Investment Company ("PFIC") Considerations.
Item 4.
Information on the Company
A.
History and Development of the Company
We are the leading manufacturer and distributor of branded frozen foods in Western Europe based on net sales value. We were incorporated with limited liability under the laws of the British Virgin Islands under the BVI Companies Act on April 1, 2014 under the name Nomad Holdings Limited by the Founder Entities. We were formed to undertake an acquisition of a target company or business. We completed our initial public offering in the UK on April 15, 2014.

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On June 1, 2015, we consummated our initial acquisition by purchasing Iglo Foods Holdings Limited, a leading frozen food company in Europe from a private equity fund advised by Permira Advisers LLP (the "Permira Funds") and subsequently changed our name to Nomad Foods Limited. The Iglo Group traces its roots back to the 1920s when Clarence Birdseye patented the Birds Eye Plate Froster for freezing fish. After the acquisition of the Birds Eye patents by General Foods in the 1930s, the Birds Eye brand was launched. In the 1940s, Unilever acquired the rights to the Birds Eye brand throughout the world, except for the United States, and in the 1950s Birds Eye became 100% Unilever owned. The Iglo brand was launched in Belgium in 1956 and was introduced by Unilever in Germany in 1961. In the 1960s, Unilever acquired the Findus brand in Italy and San Marino. In 2006, the Permira Funds acquired the Birds Eye and Iglo brands and frozen foods businesses from Unilever, which, at the time, retained the Italian frozen food business under the Findus brand. Following the buyout, the Iglo Group refocused its business on its main product categories, initiated improvements in its supply chain and implemented cost savings. In October 2010, the Iglo Group acquired C.S.I. Compagnia Surgelati Italiana S.p.A., the owner of the Findus brand in Italy and San Marino, from Unilever.
On November 2, 2015, we purchased Findus Sverige AB (and its consolidated subsidiaries) which we refer to as "Findus" or "the Findus Group" (the "Findus Acquisition") which comprises the continental European businesses of the Lion/Gem Luxembourg 3 S.a.r.l. in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, France, Spain and Belgium relating to the Findus, Lutosa and La Cocinera brands. This transaction allowed us to unify the Findus brand (excluding Switzerland), and together with the strong Iglo platform, further our efforts to drive innovation, introduce new meal options, and conduct marketing initiatives aimed at bringing more consumers across Europe to the frozen foods aisles. In addition, the geographic footprint of the operations included in the Findus Acquisition complements and extends our footprint throughout Europe.

On April 21, 2018 we completed the acquisition of Green Isle Foods Ltd. (the "Goodfella's Acquisition") including the Goodfella's and San Marco brands, in an all cash deal valued at £209.7 million (€239.0 million). This has enlarged our portfolio of brands to include the number one and number two market share positions within the frozen pizza category in Ireland and the UK, a successful frozen private label pizza business, and two frozen pizza manufacturing facilities.

On July 2, 2018 we completed the acquisition of Aunt Bessie’s Limited (the "Aunt Bessie’s Ltd. Acquisition”) for a purchase price of £209.0 million (€235.9 million).  Aunt Bessie’s is a leading frozen food company based in the UK where it manufactures, distributes and sells a range of branded frozen food products. The Aunt Bessie’s brand holds number one and number two market share positions, respectively, within frozen Yorkshire puddings and frozen potatoes, which combine to represent the majority of its revenues. As a brand closely identified with roast dinners, Aunt Bessie’s will expand Nomad Foods’ portfolio into this major eating occasion. The acquisition also included a production facility in Hull, England.

Our principal executive offices are located at No. 1 New Square, Bedfont Lakes Business Park, Feltham, Middlesex, TW14 8HA. Our telephone number is +(44) 208 918 3200 and our fax number is +(44) 208 918 3491. Our registered office is located at Nemours Chambers, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and its telephone number is (284) 852-7900. Our registered agent in the United States is Mariposa Capital, LLC, 500 South Pointe Drive, Suite 240 Miami Beach, Florida 33139.

The SEC maintains an Internet website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding the Company and other issuers that file electronically with the SEC. The SEC's Internet website address is http://www.sec.gov. Our Internet website can be found at www.nomadfoods.com.

See Item 5B: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Liquidity and Capital Resources for information regarding our capital expenditures for the past three fiscal years and principal capital expenditures currently in progress.

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B.    Business Overview
Our Company
We are the leading branded frozen food player in Western Europe with a portfolio of best-in-class food brands within the frozen category, including fish, vegetables, poultry and meals (excluding ice cream). Our products are sold primarily through large grocery retailers under the brand “Birds Eye”, “Aunt Bessie's” and “Goodfella's” in the UK and Ireland, “Findus” in Italy, San Marino, France, Spain, Sweden and Norway, “Iglo” in Germany and other continental markets and “La Cocinera” in Spain. According to Euromonitor, our share of the frozen food market in Western Europe stood at 14.2% in 2018 (2.5 times greater than the nearest competitor). We maintain the number one position in ten European geographies, namely the UK, Italy, Germany, Sweden, France, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, and Hungary. The countries representing our top six markets, collectively-UK, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway and France, represented approximately 69% of the total Western European frozen food markets. For a description of the principal markets in which we compete and related revenue, see Note 5 “Segment reporting” to our audited consolidated financial statements which appear elsewhere in this annual report.
Frozen Food Market
The European frozen food market is served by a number of national and international producers, both with branded and private label offerings, and within single or multiple product categories. We have the broadest participation by category and geography in Europe.
According to Euromonitor, the total frozen food market in Western Europe is estimated to have generated €26 billion in retail sales value in 2018. The frozen food business requires specialized manufacturing, logistics and distribution functions. There is also a high cost associated with building brand health, brand awareness and consumer trust. As a result, there are high barriers for profitable entry into the frozen food market in general and the branded segment in particular.
Frozen food products are particularly attractive because they address important global food trends. Consumers increasingly prefer products that allow them to prepare meals quickly and with confidence, and expect products to be healthy and good value for money. In addition, consumers are increasingly focused on reducing food waste. Frozen food products can have all of these characteristics. They are easy to prepare, they reduce the need for artificial preservatives, they are often better value for money than chilled alternatives and they reduce waste at all points in the supply chain and also in-home (due to the long shelf life, and the ease of portionability).
Over the last five years, notwithstanding the volatile macro-economic environment, the Western European frozen food market has grown on average 1.2% per year, driven by the aforementioned ability to address global food consumption trends. Furthermore, the amount of space that frozen food as a category occupies within the grocery retail environment is relatively stable due to the fixed amount of freezer space at the retailer that is not exposed to reductions in shelf space in favor of other categories or formats, as can be the case in shelf-stable parts of the retailer.
Our Brands
Our brands are household names with long histories and local heritage in their respective markets.  Our Birds Eye brand was established in 1922 and is primarily marketed in the UK and Ireland, and the Aunt Bessie's brand was established in 1974 in the UK. The Goodfella's brand was established in Ireland in 1993 and is marketed also in the UK. The San Marco brand was established in 2003. The Findus brand, which is marketed in Italy, France, Spain, Sweden and Norway, was formed in Italy in 1941 and has a loyal following in each of its respective geographies. Iglo, founded in 1956, has a long-standing history and is marketed in Germany and other continental European countries. La Cocinera has allowed us to establish ourselves in Spain through a brand that was founded in 1962.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe the following competitive strengths differentiate us from our competitors and contribute to our ongoing success.

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Market leader with solid European platform and strong acquisition opportunities.
As the leading branded frozen food producer in Western Europe, we benefit from economies of scale and have developed a strong platform for our products throughout Europe, resulting in leadership positions in ten geographies and a 14.2% market share of the total Western European frozen food market. We benefit from longstanding relationships with our customers which provide access to our diversified distribution channels, including supermarkets, discount retailers, the foodservice channel and other food retailers that sell directly to consumers. We benefit from a diverse category and geographic mix and believe our strong existing platforms facilitate our expansion within a large addressable market and provide a broad set of potential acquisition targets in various food categories and geographic markets.
Effective brand equity strategy to leverage and expand well-known brands.
Our brands are well-established household names with long histories and local heritage in their respective markets. We possess several iconic brand assets and focus on our local hero platforms that are designed to leverage these iconic assets such as the “Captain”. Each of the Birds Eye, Goodfella's, Iglo and Findus brands holds a leading position in terms of spontaneous brand awareness in several European markets. Our leading brand recognition, broad product offering, and local provenance of these brands are key drivers of consumer trust and result in demand for our products.
Experienced management team and Board with a proven track record.
Our management team has extensive experience in the food industry and other fast moving consumer goods markets and has worked with leading multinational consumer goods companies globally. Our management team is complemented by an experienced Board of Directors, and collectively, they have a proven track record of successfully acquiring, integrating and managing consumer businesses. We believe our management team and Board of Directors’ collective industry knowledge, coupled with our track record of achieving growth and responding to challenging market conditions, will enable us to continue to generate profitable growth.
Optimized sourcing through established platform and diversified supplier base.
We operate an efficient and centralized procurement and supply chain function which is closely aligned with our geographic footprint, allowing us to optimize our supply arrangements and reduce distribution costs. We source our products globally from a diverse supplier base and, as a result, we minimize our dependency on any one supplier. Our relationships with diverse suppliers enable us to safeguard the security of our supply and raw materials as well as enhance the quality and sustainability of such materials, while also delivering competitive pricing and limiting exposure to geographic risk and adverse currency movements.
Strategic and geographically diversified manufacturing facilities.
We own and operate an efficient network of thirteen manufacturing facilities with low capital expenditure requirements, all of which are located near the major markets we serve, providing for a balance between manufacturing and logistics costs and allowing for high levels of customer service. These facilities produce approximately 547 kilo tonnes of frozen product per year and have what we believe to be sufficient spare capacity to accommodate future growth in our main product categories.
Commitment to innovation and research and development.
We focus our new product efforts and our investment in market research on our Core products -- fish, vegetables, meals and poultry -- to ensure that the products we launch and re-launch overcome penetration barriers and win with Consumers. For example, we recently introduced a range of new vegetable products across a number of markets to help consumers add more vegetables and pulses into their diet. To ensure the development and introduction of successful products, we follow a structured process through which we move from idea generation, through concept screening, concept/product development and early volume sizing, to scale up and final validation.

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Our Strategy
We have developed and made significant progress in implementing the following strategic initiatives:
Build an integrated group of best-in-class food companies and brands within existing and related food categories and expand our geographic footprint through strategic acquisitions.
Our goal is to transform our company into an integrated best-in-class, global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of food products, within and outside of the frozen food category and the broader food sector. We believe there are significant growth opportunities in the European and North American markets and that our acquisitions provide a strong platform on which to grow our business and expand and enhance our market share in the food industry in key geographic markets.
Focus on “Core” products as a foundation for long-term growth.
We continue our strategy which is rooted in relentless focus on our Core products which currently represent approximately 70% of our sales. These strategies include improving product quality, packaging renovation and executing in-store initiatives such as ensuring the right product assortment, display strategies and promotional efficiencies. We believe focusing on these Core product initiatives will accelerate growth, lead to margin expansion and improve our return on investment. To further accelerate growth, we will also turn our attention to innovation which leverage consumer trends such as health, wellness and convenience, but which are anchored in our core categories.
Align our business with consumer preferences and trends.
Our goal is to create and acquire food businesses and brands that strongly align with consumer needs and preferences that have high growth and margin potential and that leverage our existing portfolio of brands.  In addition, we seek to align our product innovation strategies with consumer trends such as increased demand for nutrition-packed meals that can be prepared in shorter times, vegetarian options and sustainably sourced and produced food.
Leverage our acquisition expertise, strong management team and access to capital to identify and evaluate attractive growth opportunities.
Our Founders and CEO have significant experience and expertise, and have been highly successful, in identifying, acquiring and integrating value-added businesses. We believe that this expertise, our access to capital and the deep industry knowledge of our management team will position us to acquire related and complementary food businesses that can enhance our market position, create synergies and fully leverage our existing marketing, manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, which we believe will allow us to deliver sustained profitable growth and maximize shareholder value. For example, on April 21, 2018 we completed the Goodfella's Acquisition including the Goodfella's and San Marco brands, in an all cash deal valued at £209.7 million (€239.0 million). This has enlarged our portfolio of brands to include the number one and number two market share positions within the frozen pizza category in Ireland and the UK, a successful frozen private label pizza business, and two frozen pizza manufacturing facilities. Also, on July 2, 2018 we completed the Aunt Bessie’s Ltd. Acquisition for a purchase price of £209.0 million (€235.9 million).  Aunt Bessie’s is a leading frozen food company based in the UK where it manufactures, distributes and sells a range of branded frozen food products. The Aunt Bessie’s brand holds number one and number two market share positions, respectively, within frozen Yorkshire puddings and frozen potatoes, which combine to represent the majority of its revenues. As a brand closely identified with roast dinners, Aunt Bessie’s will expand Nomad Foods’ portfolio into this major eating occasion. The acquisition also included a production facility in Hull, England.

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Respond to changing consumer shopping habits.
We are responding to the growing consumer shift to digital and mobile technologies, particularly in the UK, by investing in technology platforms and partnering with retailers that are executing their own e-commerce strategies to meet changing consumer habits. Online sales represented approximately 4% of our total sales as of December 31, 2018. We believe that the online sales channel will continue to provide further opportunities to drive market share gains through improved product content and upselling of our mealtime solution programs. In addition, our strategies are evolving in response to other consumer shopping trends such as increased purchases through the hard discounter channel, which has been growing significantly in the UK and Southern Europe.
Generate strong margins and cash flow through disciplined net revenue management, supply chain optimization and disciplined cost management.
We continue to increase our margins and cash flows by strengthening our net revenue management capabilities and focusing on supply chain optimization and disciplined cost management. These efforts, which will be implemented over time, will include developing stronger promotional programs, price pack architecture and trade terms as well as continuing our focus on lean manufacturing, factory footprint optimization, and procurement productivity.
Products
We manufacture, market and distribute the following frozen food products:
Fish: includes frozen fish products such as fish fingers, coated fish and natural fish. These products were the largest contributor to our revenues in 2018.
Vegetables: includes ready to cook vegetable products such as peas and spinach.
Meals: includes ready to cook noodles, pasta, lasagne, pancakes and other ready-made meals under the Iglo, Findus and La Cocinera brand names.
Poultry: includes frozen poultry and meat products such as nuggets, grills and burgers.
Others: includes a variety of other offerings such as soups, pizza and bakery goods.
We now place a strong emphasis on renovation of our existing Core products, which include fish, vegetables, meals and poultry, in order to overcome penetration barriers and continue to build loyalty. We manage renovation and innovation centrally on European common product platforms and have more local involvement where products are differentiated and country specific. Our research and development continues to be centralized, allowing us to leverage our research and development investment across our markets and focus on our largest Core products.
Customers
Our customers are typically supermarkets and large food retail chains supplying food products directly to consumers. Each key market in which we operate has its own distinct retail landscape. We consider our key retailer clients to be, in the UK, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s; in Italy, Coop, Auchan and L5 Esselunga; in Germany, Rewe and Edeka; in Sweden, ICA, Axfood and Coop; and in France, Carrefour, Auchan and E.Leclerc. For the year ended December 31, 2018, our top ten customers (in terms of revenue) accounted for 42% of revenues.
The majority of our sales are to traditional retailers and we expect this channel to remain our most significant channel for the foreseeable future. We partner with traditional retailers when we identify commercial or marketing opportunities that can be of interest for both businesses. We continue to review the presence and impact of the discounter channel, particularly the hard discounters, in each of our key geographic markets and will pursue opportunities to increase our presence in the discounter channel.
We are increasing our investment in online sales which represented approximately 4% of our total sales as of December 31, 2018. The online grocery retail channel is growing faster than traditional grocery retail formats across developed markets. Frozen foods particularly benefit from the online channel as the advantages to the consumer of outsourcing transportation of frozen food to the retailer are greater than in other categories, and also because some of the barriers to purchasing in-store (e.g. colder aisles) are removed for the consumer online.

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Approximately 6% of our sales for the twelve month period ended December 31, 2018 were through the foodservice channel. The majority of these sales were in Sweden and consist primarily of sales of institutional and public sector customers such as schools and hospitals as well as privately run work canteens and quick service restaurants.
Sales, Marketing and Pricing
Our commercial strategy is centered around our Core products and our growth model focuses on three core elements: creating distinctive brands through leveraging our iconic brand assets, innovating to break penetration barriers balanced between renovation and innovation, and out executing in store through category leadership driving the right assortment, display and promotional efficiency.
Our brand equity strategy aims to further increase brand awareness. We will utilize our core iconic assets at all consumer touchpoints including traditional media, digital media, point of sale and packaging. Furthermore we seek to invest at sufficient levels of media on all our Core products.
We maintain sales teams in each of our key markets and all other markets in which our products are sold with the exception of the Central and Eastern Europe markets where we operate via a distribution model. Our sales force is resourced to provide good store coverage. We have been chosen to lead category management projects by several leading supermarkets in each of our main product categories and have developed innovative presentations of our frozen food products and in-store marketing concepts with supermarkets in a number of our markets in order to increase shopper traffic and sales. Most recently, we are developing our “Perfect Store” concept which focuses on improving a consumer’s in-store shopping experience through presentation, layout and signage.
Manufacturing
We own and operate thirteen manufacturing facilities which are located in Lowestoft and Hull (UK), Bremerhaven and Reken (Germany), Cisterna (Italy), Loftahammar and Bralanda (Sweden), Tonsberg and Larvik (Norway), Boulogne-sur-Mer (France), Valladolid (Spain), Longford and Naas (Republic of Ireland). These facilities produce approximately 547 kilo tonnes of frozen product per year, representing approximately 71% of the total volumes of our sales. The manufacturing facilities are located near the major markets we serve, providing for a balance between manufacturing and logistics costs and customer service. Our manufacturing facilities are focused on in house manufacturing of our main product categories and emphasize quality and efficiency through scale. We have invested in new automated lines, such as fish fingers, poultry and spinach lines and because our plants are well invested and maintained, our capital expenditure requirements are well controlled.
Although capacity differs per product line and facility, we estimate that we have sufficient spare capacity available to accommodate future growth in our main product categories and as necessary to accommodate the seasonal nature of some of our products, particularly vegetables.
In 2016, we announced the closure of our factory and pea processing operations in Bjuv, Sweden, and operations ceased on March 30, 2017 with production transferred to other factories in the Group’s network. The consolidation of operations is expected to create a more efficient supply chain. In early 2018, we signed an agreement with Foodhills AB, who has acquired the buildings and parts of the premises.
In 2018, we took on three new manufacturing sites due to the acquisition of Aunt Bessie's and Goodfella's Pizza businesses. These are Hull (Aunt Bessie's) and Longford and Naas (Goodfella's).
Procurement
Our procurement functions are structured around primes (materials used in manufacturing which form a part of the end product, such as fish, vegetables, meat, other ingredients and packaging), non-production items (items purchased and services used to design, market and distribute the product, such as logistics, operations, including maintenance, sales and marketing) and co-pack (finished products bought from third parties, such as most vegetables other than peas and spinach).

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We have an efficient and centralized supply chain which is closely aligned with our geographic footprint, allowing us to optimize our supply arrangements and reduce distribution costs. We operate a centralized procurement function, with all procurement of primes and the majority of non-production items and co-pack procurement activities centralized to maximize scale efficiencies.
We operate a global sourcing platform. Fish is sourced mainly from the United States, Russia and China, vegetables are sourced predominantly from Europe and poultry is sourced largely from South America (but also from Thailand and Eastern Europe). We have contracts in place with pea and spinach growers and third party pea processors in regions close to the location of pea growers. In addition, we utilize various co-pack suppliers for vegetables other than peas and spinach. The contract terms we enter into with various suppliers differ extensively with respect to length and provisions. 
We aim to maintain an appropriately diverse supplier base to safeguard the security of our supply of raw materials as well as enhance the quality and sustainability of such materials, while also delivering competitive pricing.
We segregate vendors into “strategic” and “tactical” categories based on criteria such as bargaining power or opportunistic procurement. On that basis, we have identified a number of strategic suppliers with whom we maintain close relationships, particularly in relation to main product categories for which security of supply is critical. Raw materials are mostly directly shipped to our manufacturing facilities.
We limit our exposure to price increases of raw materials by contractually securing prices for periods ranging from one month to a full year. Prices of raw materials that are harvested annually are generally fixed for a full year. Prices for certain other products, such as fish, dairy products and potatoes, are fixed for several months in line with industry practice.
Logistics
Our distribution network is made up of our manufacturing facilities, warehouses, local distribution centers and third party providers of services (such as transport). We outsource the majority of our distribution processes to third parties seeking to collaborate with shared sites and integrated transport networks. Our distribution network is well consolidated and aligned with our manufacturing footprint in the UK, Germany, Italy, Sweden, France, Norway and Spain. From our manufacturing plants, our products are sent to regional distribution centers to be further distributed to local markets. Our primary distribution centers are used to consolidate both local production and imported products to be sold locally. These sites include Wisbech in the UK, Reken in Germany, Vitulazio, Latina and Parma in Italy, Lognes in France, Tonsberg and Moss in Norway and Marcilla in Spain.
Seasonality
Our sales and working capital levels have historically been affected to a limited extent by seasonality. In general, sales volumes for frozen food are slightly higher in colder or winter months, partly because there are fewer fresh alternatives available for vegetables and because our retailers typically allocate more freezer space to the ice cream segment in hotter or summer months. In addition, variable production costs, including costs for seasonal staff, and working capital requirements associated with the keeping of inventories, vary depending on the harvesting and buying periods of seasonal raw materials, in particular vegetable crops. For example, stock levels typically peak in August to September just after the pea harvest, and as a result, we require more working capital during those months.
Corporate Social Responsibility
We continuously review our position to mitigate supply chain risks, working to meet relevant ethical, environmental and social obligations. We seek to source, manufacture and sell our food to consumers in a responsible way. We operate a sustainability program called Our Sustainable Path that reflects our commitments.

We do this by endeavoring to:

Meet all relevant food and safety regulations

Uphold international sustainability standards

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Lead, manage and review our approach, regularly assessing progress

Report progress annually through the Nomad Foods’ Sustainability report
We also encourage all our Suppliers to have or work towards a culture of continuous improvement.
Our sustainability program is based on the concepts of materiality and salience and aligned with the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). It consists of three pillars, securing a “farm to fork” approach:

Good Sourcing

We focus on sustainably, responsibly sourced fish and seafood using independent sustainable standards, such as the Marine Stewardship Council standard (MSC) and Agriculture Stewardship Council (ASC). Our sustainable farming standards are expanding from regional practices to global standards with the introduction of the FSA standard (Farm Sustainability Assessment) from the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI).  

We are committed to ethical trading, sourcing and procurement, upholding fundamental international standards. We are committed to require all suppliers to comply with applicable human rights laws and regulations. We request our direct suppliers to register to Sedex, one of the world’s largest collaborative platforms for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains.  

We believe we are in compliance with all relevant environmental laws and regulations and we expect all suppliers to do the same.

Good Nutrition

Every day our customers serve our food to their families. We want to inspire them to eat a more balanced diet and live healthier lifestyles.

We continuously work to improve our product portfolio, applying a Nutrition strategy informed by an independent Nutritional Advisory Board and assessing our products using an externally verified Nutrient Profiling Tool. We also apply on pack nutritional labeling claims in markets where this is relevant.

We assess any new product development to drive higher sustainability across the portfolio.

We empower consumers to make their own decisions, communicating the nutritional values of our products on pack.

Good Operations

We recognize the importance of reducing the impact our operations have on the environment and are committed to reduce carbon emissions per tonne of produced volume from own production annually.

We consider the total packaging system when designing packaging, recognizing packaging plays an important role in terms of food safety, securing shelf life, convenience, communication as well as sustainability. We aim to minimize packaging material use. We work towards making all consumer packaging material recyclable, and prioritize packaging material from sustainable origins.

We believe that our people make the difference and make sure they have an active voice through the ‘Our Voice’ employee survey. Sustainability is important for our employees and we involve them in the work and encourage them to live our values every day.

We actively work to engage with and add value to the broader communities we operate in, while contributing to our wider sustainability agenda. We encourage our local businesses to support social causes in their regions, engaging at a local level. For example, a majority of our businesses contribute our products to local food banks and charities.

35


Information Technology
Our IT systems are of key importance to our business and in particular to our general operations and logistics functions and associated management reporting across countries and our plants. A single SAP tool is the primary business software to support all of our operations and management reporting across countries and our supply chain.
This environment is designed as a consolidation platform for future acquisitions. The program to transition the acquired Findus business onto the IT platform is nearing completion and a similar program is underway with respect to the acquired Goodfella's and Aunt Bessie's businesses.
The ability to integrate potential new acquisitions quickly with little or no adverse business impact, while maintaining the low cost of ownership, is a fundamental requirement of our IT strategy. Additionally, we utilize an outsourced infrastructure service provider, maintaining best in class IT cost alongside improved capability to scale in line with business developments.
Intellectual Property
Good brand protection continues to be of significant importance to our business as we rely on our brands to implement our master brand strategy. We have a substantial trademark portfolio with around 1,900 trademarks across all of our markets. Our intellectual property is managed centrally, and we work closely with a third party agency in respect of filings, renewals, recordings and the prosecution and enforcement of intellectual property matters internationally.
We own a EU trademark for our Birds Eye brand as well as national trademarks for our Birds Eye brand in the UK, Ireland and other EU countries, and in other parts of Europe outside the EU, parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa. For historical reasons, the Birds Eye trademark is owned by third parties in North America and Australia.
We own a European Union trademark for our Iglo brand as well as national trademarks in many EU countries and in other parts of Europe outside the European Union, Australasia, Israel, parts of Asia, the United States, South America and Africa. We have trademark applications pending for the Iglo brand in, among others, Canada, India and Brazil.
We own the Findus trademark in many countries globally, other than in Switzerland, as well as (among others) the brands Lutosa in Belgium (until 2020) and La Cocinera in Spain and Andorra. We have secured registration for Nomad Foods in Europe and China, and have pending applications for the name in the US.
We have also been active in brand acquisitions in 2018; Goodfella's and Aunt Bessie's have joined our portfolio of brands and are registered as European Union trademarks as well as national marks in other key markets of interest to the respective businesses. 
Material Contracts
Each material contract to which we have been a party for the preceding two years, other than those entered into in the ordinary course of business, is listed as an exhibit to the registration statement to which this annual report is a part and is summarized elsewhere herein.
Pensions
We operate a number of different pension schemes across our various countries of operation, the majority of which are defined contribution schemes. We operate defined benefit pension plans in Germany, Sweden, Italy and Austria which are all closed to new entrants, as well as various defined contribution plans in other countries, the largest of which include Sweden and the UK. In Germany, France, Italy and Norway, long term service awards are in operation and various other countries provide other employee benefits.

36


Regulatory Matters
Our activities are subject to laws and regulations regarding food safety, the environment and occupational health and safety.
Food Safety Regulation
As a manufacturer of foods intended for human consumption, we are subject to extensive legislation and regulation both from the European Union, the EU Member States and European free trade association (EFTA) members, in which we operate. These regulations govern the composition, manufacture, storage, handling, packaging, labeling, marketing and safety of our products. These regulations generally impose on food business operators an obligation to ensure that the operations under their control satisfy the relevant food law requirements and impose a mandatory traceability requirement along the food chain. The tracing information must be kept for a period of five years and upon request, must be made available to the relevant authorities.
In addition, we are subject to specific food hygiene legislation that establishes rules and procedures governing the hygiene of food products. This legislation sets forth specific rules governing the proper hygiene for food products of animal origin and sets forth microbiological criteria for food products. In addition there are a number of other specific EU requirements relating to specific matters such as contaminants, packaging materials and additives.
We are also subject to a broad range of European directives and regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of frozen foods for human consumption. These directives and regulations define technical standards of production, transport and storage of frozen foods intended for human consumption and require us to assure internal quality control at each stage of the “cold chain” and to implement any standards, as established by public authorities.

Listed below are the various internal due diligence procedures we have established to ensure continuous compliance with all relevant regulatory and food safety standards:

implementing food hygiene principles across all production sites in accordance with food hygiene regulations;

annual external auditing of our production sites conducted by independent compliance companies applying the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 7, its European equivalent, the International Food Standard or the Global Food Safety Initiative. Currently 88% of our suppliers are also certified to one or more of these food safety management systems and it is our long term objective to achieve 100% certification;

ensuring that our Group’s Quality Management Systems comply with ISO 9001 with external audits to ISO or BRC standard;

conducting internal audits covering all production sites as part of our internal audit program; we do not carry out cross-audits where one site's audit team audits another's system;

maintaining a risk-based microbiological and contaminant screening program, including screening for allergens, that covers raw materials and finished products; and

holding monthly regulatory updates to assess emerging risk areas, update policies and review outstanding issues as part of the quality forum meeting which is attended by functional heads.
Tariffs and Trade
We are subject to specific trade requirements regarding fish and poultry, two main ingredients for our products.

37


Food Labeling Regulation
Pre-packaged food products must comply with provisions on labeling, which are harmonized throughout the European Union. Pre-packaged food products must also comply with provisions on nutrition labeling, which are also harmonized throughout the European Union. Under the Food Information for Consumers Regulation nutrition labeling is mandatory unless exempted.
In addition to general and nutrition requirements, pre-packaged food products must bear a lot mark declaration via a manufacturing or packaging lot reference, which is also a harmonized system throughout the European Union. The lot reference allows consumers and businesses to trace the product in the event of a product withdrawal or recall.
There are also specific labeling requirements for certain ingredients we use in our products.
Environmental Law
The European Union has issued numerous directives relating to environmental protection, including those aimed at improving the quality of water, addressing air and noise pollution, assuring the safety of chemicals and setting standards for waste disposal and clean-up of contamination. European directives are given effect by specific regulations in Member States and applicable regulations have been implemented in each of the countries in which we conduct our manufacturing activities. Accordingly, our facilities must obtain permits for certain operations and must comply with requirements relating to, among others, water supply and use, water discharges and air emissions, solid and hazardous waste storage, management and disposal of waste, clean-up of contamination and noise pollution.
We are also subject to legislation designed to reduce energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions and also restrictions on the use of ozone depleting substances such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). HCFCs are used in refrigeration systems and their use will be phased out as part of our normal maintenance, repair and replacement activities and we do not expect a need for significant incremental capital expenditures for this purpose.
Compliance with environmental laws and regulations is managed at the facility level. Our manufacturing facilities all have a detailed environmental management system which are externally audited on an annual basis for compliance with ISO 14001 or BRC.
In addition, under some environmental laws and regulations, we could be responsible for contamination we may have caused and investigating or remediating contamination at properties we own or occupy, even if the contamination was caused by a prior owner or other third party or was not due to our fault, and even if the activity which resulted in the contamination was legal at the time it occurred.
We are in full preparation for potential scenarios regarding the impending exit of the UK from the EU, as we understand the situation at the present time. We believe there will be no impact on our compliance need as the UK has stated a full and equivalent legislation structure will be in place in the immediate post-exit timeframe.
Occupational Health and Safety
We have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of our employees, customers and any other persons who may be affected by our operations. We strive to provide a safe workplace; controlling and eliminating risks to health and wellbeing; ensuring that our facilities and the equipment within them are safe and that the environmental, health and safety procedures are both established and adhered to. We ensure that dangerous articles and substances are transported, stored and used safely; provide adequate welfare facilities; provide workers with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to preserve and improve their health and safety; and consult with workers on health and safety matters.
We aim to meet the European Framework Directive on Safety and Health at Work (89/391 EEC) ensuring we comply with all the local and European legislation in all the countries we have a presence, ensuring we share best practices and procedures across our business to continuously improve our safety and environmental performance whilst driving a positive safety culture.

38


We have established a Health and Safety Management System modeled on the international Occupational Health & Safety management system specification OHSAS 18001. Our manufacturing facilities in the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany have achieved full accreditation to OHSAS 18001.
Compliance Programs
We have established policies and procedures aimed at compliance with applicable legislation and regulations, including policies for Anti-Bribery and Corruption as well as Trade Sanctions and Export Controls. In addition, our Code of Business Principles is designed to ensure compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements to drive a strong compliance culture. A breach of the Code of Business Principles can lead to sanctions, including termination of employment.
Our SafeCall Line, which is operated by an external service provider, allows employees to report issues anonymously. Compliance at the local level is based in large part on building strong local companies and developing a proper approach in coping with dilemmas within the boundaries of applicable laws and responsible conduct. Local management, assisted by the Internal Audit department, carries out reviews to identify compliance risks and to ensure that adequate systems to manage those risks are in place. Changes in applicable laws and regulations are actively analyzed and assessed, and when necessary appropriate adaptations are implemented.
Insurance

A comprehensive insurance coverage is maintained and is complemented by regular risk reviews being undertaken to ensure business risks as well as any changes within them are covered by our insurance policies. Insurance coverages in place include policies protecting the liability of our directors and officers, property damage, business interruption, cold storage facilities, public liability, product liability, product recall, employers liability, advertising, damage to vehicles, personal accident and travel. 



39


C.
Organizational Structure
We (Nomad Foods Limited) are a holding company with 43 subsidiaries, the majority of which are wholly-owned by us. The following table provides a list of all of our significant subsidiaries and country of incorporation.
Name
 
Activity
 
Country of
incorporation
 
Ownership as
of Dec 31
2018
 
 
 
 
 
Nomad Foods Europe Holdings Limited
 
Holding
 
England
 
100%
Nomad Foods Europe Holdco Limited
 
Holding
 
England
 
100%
Nomad Foods Europe Finco Limited
 
Holding
 
England
 
100%
Nomad Foods Europe Midco Limited
 
Holding/Finance
 
England
 
100%
Nomad Foods Bondco Plc
 
Finance
 
England
 
100%
Nomad Foods Lux S.à.r.l.
 
Finance
 
Luxembourg
 
100%
Nomad Foods Europe Limited
 
Management
 
England
 
100%
Birds Eye Limited
 
Trading
 
England
 
100%
Nomad Foods Europe Finance Limited
 
Finance
 
England
 
100%
Aunt Bessie's Limited
 
Trading
 
England
 
100%
Birds Eye Ireland Limited
 
Trading
 
Republic of
Ireland
 
100%
Birds Eye Pizza Limited
 
Trading
 
Republic of Ireland
 
100%
Iglo Holding GmbH
 
Holding
 
Germany
 
100%
Iglo Nederland B.V.
 
Trading
 
Netherlands
 
100%
Iglo Belgium S.A.
 
Trading
 
Belgium
 
100%
Iglo Portugal
 
Trading
 
Portugal
 
100%
Iglo Austria Holdings GmbH
 
Holding
 
Austria
 
100%
C.S.I. Compagnia Surgelati Italiana S.R.L.
 
Trading
 
Italy
 
100%
Findus Sverige Holdings AB
 
Holding
 
Sweden
 
100%
Iglo GmbH
 
Trading
 
Germany
 
100%
Frozen Fish International GmbH
 
Trading
 
Germany
 
100%
Liberator Germany Newco GmbH
 
Property
 
Germany
 
100%
Iglo Austria GmbH
 
Trading
 
Austria
 
100%
Findus Sverige AB
 
Trading
 
Sweden
 
100%
Frionor Sverige AB
 
Holding
 
Sweden
 
100%
Findus Holdings France SAS
 
Holding
 
France
 
100%
Findus France SAS
 
Trading
 
France
 
100%
Findus Espana SLU
 
Trading
 
Spain
 
100%
Findus Danmark A/S
 
Trading
 
Denmark
 
100%
Findus Finland Oy
 
Trading
 
Finland
 
100%
Findus Norge AS
 
Trading
 
Norway
 
100%
Findus Norge Holding AS
 
Holding
 
Norway
 
100%
Toppfrys AB
 
Trading
 
Sweden
 
81%

40


D.
Property, Plant and Equipment
The following table sets forth information on the main manufacturing sites used by us in our business:
Facility

Products

Production (ktons)

Utilization %

Freehold/
Leasehold
 
Footprint
Boulogne, France

Fish Products

23
 
53%
 
Leasehold
 
Buildings: 11,000 m2
Bralanda, Sweden
 
Vegetables
 
11
 
35%
 
Freehold
 
Site: 80,000m2
Buildings: 40,000m2
Bremerhaven, Germany

Fish Products

99
 
92%
 
Leasehold
 
Site: 90,000 m2
Buildings: 30,000 m2
Cisterna, Italy

Vegetables, Free Flow Meals, Fish Fingers, Sofficini

73
 
67%
 
Freehold
 
Site: 269,560 m2
Buildings: 69,198 m2
Hull, UK
 
Yorkshire Puddings, Accompaniments & Desserts
 
27
 
69%
 
Freehold
 
Site: 39,000 m2
Buildings: 15,000 m2
Larvik, Norway

Vegetables, Free Flow Meals, Ready Meals

7
 
37%
 
Freehold
 
Site: 57,968 m2
Buildings: 7,246 m2
Loftahammar, Sweden

Baked Goods

3
 
56%
 
Freehold
 
Buildings: 5,300 m2 Site: 21,000 m2
Longford, ROI
 
Frozen Pizza Products
 
16
 
98%
 
Freehold
 
Buildings: 6,200 m2
Lowestoft, UK

Vegetables, Fish Products, Poultry, Potato, Beef Burgers

112
 
78%
 
Mixed
 
Buildings: 45,000 m2
Site: 99,000 m2
Naas, ROI
 
Frozen Pizza Products
 
37
 
94%
 
Freehold
 
Buildings: 12,000 m2
Site: 20,000 m2
Reken, Germany

Vegetables, Free Flow Meals

97
 
68%
 
Freehold
 
Buildings: 118,000 m2
Site: 43,000 m2
Tonsberg, Norway

French Fries, Vegetables, Free Flow Meals

25
 
87%
 
Leasehold
 
Buildings: 30,000 m2
Site: 58,000 m2
Valladolid, Spain

Vegetables, Free Flow Meals, Ready Meals, Pastry Products, Pizza

17
 
33%
 
Freehold
 
Buildings: 50,000 m2
Site: 80,000 m2

For more information on property, plant and equipment see Note 12 “Property, plant and equipment”. We lease our principal executive offices located at No. 1 New Square, Bedfont Lakes Business Park, Feltham, Middlesex, TW14 8HA, which is 36,549 square feet in size.
Item 4A.
Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 5.     Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
The following is a discussion of the financial condition and results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2018, the year ended December 31, 2017, and the year ended December 31, 2016.
Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this annual report, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, including those factors set forth in Item 3 Key Information-D. Risk Factors of this annual report, our actual results could differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis. This discussion should be read in conjunction with our audited historical consolidated financial statements and other financial information included elsewhere in this annual report.
The historical financial information has been prepared in accordance with IFRS. 


41


Overview
We were incorporated with limited liability under the laws of the British Virgin Islands under the BVI Companies Act on April 1, 2014 under the name Nomad Holdings Limited. After the Iglo Acquisition on June 1, 2015, we changed our name to Nomad Foods Limited. The Company is a “foreign private issuer” as defined in Rule 3b-4 promulgated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “1934 Act”) and in Rule 405 under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933. As a result, it is eligible to file its annual reports pursuant to Section 13 of the 1934 Act on Form 20-F and to file its interim reports on Form 6-K. The Ordinary shares of the Company are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”).
Nomad operates in the European frozen food market, selling its products primarily to large grocery retailers either directly or through distribution arrangements primarily in the UK, Italy, Germany, Sweden, France and Norway.
The countries representing our top six markets collectively represented approximately 69% of the total Western European frozen food markets (in terms of retail sales value) and generated 81% of our revenue in 2018. We also sell our products in Ireland, Austria, Belgium (including the Lutosa brand), Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark, The Netherlands and Spain (including the La Cocinera brand). The brands under which we sell our products are “Birds Eye”, "Aunt Bessie's" and "Goodfella's" in the UK and Ireland, "San Marco" in the UK, “Findus” in Italy, San Marino, France, Spain, Sweden and Norway and “Iglo” in Germany and other continental markets.
We currently operate thirteen manufacturing plants, two in Germany, two in Sweden, two in Norway, two in Ireland, two in the UK and one each in Spain, Italy and France.
Financings and Acquisitions
On April 28, 2017, we amended and restated our Senior Facilities Agreement (as defined herein) to, among other things, repay our existing term loan facilities and establish new term loan facilities of €500.0 million and $610.0 million, both with maturity dates extended to May 2024. We also extended the maturity date of our €80.0 million revolving credit facility to May 2023.
On May 3, 2017 we issued €400.0 million of 3.25% senior secured notes due 2024 (the "Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes") and used the proceeds received in connection with the notes offering and the amended and restated Senior Facilities Agreement to repay our existing floating rate senior secured notes due 2020.
On December 20, 2017 we further amended and restated our Senior Facilities Agreement to reprice our $610.0 million and €500.0 million term loan facilities. The margin was reduced by 50 basis points on the U.S. Dollar-denominated term loan and 25 basis points on the Euro-denominated term loan. There were no changes to the maturity dates of the term loan facilities. We also established a $50.0 million incremental term loan facility and a €58.0 million incremental term loan facility. On January 31, 2018, the $50.0 million incremental term loan facility was fully drawn and on February 9, 2018, the €58.0 million incremental term loan facility was fully drawn.
On June 15, 2018, we amended and restated our Senior Facilities Agreement (as defined herein) establishing a $300.0 million incremental term loan and increasing the amount of U.S. Dollar Term Loans to $953.4 million. Principal outstanding under the Euro-denominated term loan remained unchanged at €558.0 million. Maturity dates of May 2024 and May 2023 for both Euro and U.S. Dollar denominated Term Loans, and the €80.0 million Revolving Credit Facility respectively also remained unchanged.
On June 1, 2015, we consummated our initial acquisition by purchasing Iglo Foods Holdings Limited (now known as Nomad Foods Europe Holdings Limited), a leading frozen food manufacturer and distributor in Europe. We paid an aggregate purchase price of €2.6 billion, including assumed debt of €1.2 billion and the issuance of 13,743,094 ordinary shares (the “Iglo Seller Shares”) to the seller, Permira Funds. On June 12, 2017, we repurchased 9,779,729 of our shares beneficially owned by Permira Funds at a purchase price of $10.75 (approximately €9.60) per share, which represents a 25% discount to the closing price of our ordinary shares on June 9, 2017, for an aggregate purchase price of $105.1 million (approximately €93.9 million), in final settlement of indemnity claims against an affiliate of Permira Funds, of legacy tax matters that predated the Iglo Acquisition. The aggregate purchase price was funded from our cash on hand and the ordinary shares were retired. The ordinary shares were previously held in escrow since the closing of the acquisition pending resolution of such claims.

42


On September 11, 2017, in connection with the registered underwritten public offering of 33,333,334 of our ordinary shares by certain funds managed by Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., we purchased 7,063,643 ordinary shares from the underwriters in the offering at a price of $14.16 (approximately €11.84), the price payable by the underwriters to the selling shareholders. We did not sell any ordinary shares in the offering and did not receive any of the proceeds from the offering. We used cash on hand to fund the repurchase of the ordinary shares.
On April 21, 2018 we completed the Goodfella's Acquisition, including the Goodfella's and San Marco brands, in an all cash deal valued at £209.7 million (€239.0 million). This has enlarged our portfolio of brands to include the number one and number two market share positions within the frozen pizza category in Ireland and the UK, a successful frozen private label pizza business, and two frozen pizza manufacturing facilities.
On July 2, 2018 we completed the Aunt Bessie’s Ltd. Acquisition for a purchase price of £209.0 million (€235.9 million).  Aunt Bessie’s is a leading frozen food company based in the UK where it manufactures, distributes and sells a range of branded frozen food products. The Aunt Bessie’s brand holds number one and number two market share positions, respectively, within frozen Yorkshire puddings and frozen potatoes, which combine to represent the majority of its revenues. As a brand closely identified with roast dinners, Aunt Bessie’s will expand Nomad Foods’ portfolio into this major eating occasion. The acquisition also included a production facility in Hull, England.
Accounting for the Goodfella's Acquisition
We have reflected the Goodfella's Acquisition in our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS from the date of the acquisition, April 21, 2018.
We have accounted for the acquisition using the purchase method as required by IFRS 3 "Business Combinations". The net assets of the Goodfella's Acquisition has been adjusted to fair value as of April 21, 2018, the date when control passed to us. The excess of the costs of acquisition over the fair value of the assets and liabilities of the Goodfella's Acquisition is recorded as goodwill. IFRS 3 "Business Combinations" allows the Company a year after the acquisition date in which to finalize the purchase price allocation and so preliminary findings are included within our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2018.
Accounting for the Aunt Bessie's Ltd. Acquisition
We have reflected the Aunt Bessie's Ltd. Acquisition in our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS from the date of the acquisition, July 2, 2018.
We have accounted for the acquisition using the purchase method as required by IFRS 3 "Business Combinations". The net assets of the Aunt Bessie's Ltd. Acquisition has been adjusted to fair value as of July 2, 2018, the date when control passed to us. The excess of the costs of acquisition over the fair value of the assets and liabilities of the Aunt Bessie's Ltd. Acquisition is recorded as goodwill. IFRS 3 "Business Combinations" allows the Company a year after the acquisition date in which to finalize the purchase price allocation and so preliminary findings are included within our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2018.
Critical Accounting Estimates and Judgments
Information relating to “Critical Accounting Estimates and Judgments” are described in detail and are reported in Note 4 to the Financial Statements.
Recently Issued and Not Yet Adopted Accounting Pronouncements under IFRS
Information relating to “IFRSs not yet adopted” are described in detail and are reported in Note 3 to the Financial Statements.

43


A.
Operating Results
Overview of Results
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Year ended December 31, 2016
 
€m
 
€m
 
€m
Statement of Income data:
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
2,172.8

 
1,956.6

 
1,927.7

Cost of sales
(1,519.3
)
 
(1,357.2
)
 
(1,356.7
)
Gross profit
653.5

 
599.4

 
571.0

Other operating expenses
(352.7
)
 
(319.3
)
 
(298.4
)
Exceptional items
(17.7
)
 
(37.2
)
 
(134.5
)
Operating profit
283.1

 
242.9

 
138.1

Finance income
1.6

 
7.2

 
24.2

Finance costs
(57.6
)
 
(81.6
)
 
(86.3
)
Net finance costs
(56.0
)
 
(74.4
)
 
(62.1
)
Profit before tax
227.1

 
168.5

 
76.0

Taxation
(56.6
)
 
(32.0
)
 
(39.6
)
Profit for the period
170.5

 
136.5

 
36.4

The table below presents certain additional key performance indicators:
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Year ended December 31, 2016
(€ in millions, except percentages)
€m
 
€m
 
€m
Gross margin(1)
30.1
%
 
30.6
%
 
29.6
%
Adjusted EBITDA(2)
376.4

 
328.1

 
324.9

Adjusted EBITDA margin(3)
17.3
%
 
16.8
%
 
16.9
%

(1)
Gross Margin. Gross margin represents gross profit as a percentage of revenue for the relevant period.
(2)
Adjusted EBITDA. EBITDA is profit or loss for the period before taxation, net financing costs, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA is EBITDA adjusted to exclude, when they occur, exited markets, acquisition purchase price adjustments, chart of account (“CoA”) alignments and exceptional items such as restructuring charges, goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges and other unusual or non-recurring items. In addition, we exclude other adjustments such as the impact of share based payment expenses and related employer payroll taxes, and non-operating M&A related costs, because we do not believe they are indicative of our normal operating costs, can vary significantly in amount and frequency, and are unrelated to our underlying operating performance. The Company believes Adjusted EBITDA provides important comparability of underlying operating results, allowing investors and management to assess operating performance on a consistent basis. Accordingly, the information has been disclosed in this annual report to permit a more complete and comprehensive analysis of our operating performance. You should exercise caution in comparing our Adjusted EBITDA with similarly titled measures of other companies, as the definition may not be comparable. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to profit/(loss) for the period, determined in accordance with IFRS, as an indicator of the Company’s operating performance.
(3)
Adjusted EBITDA Margin. Adjusted EBITDA margin represents Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue for the relevant period. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are non-IFRS measures and you should not consider them an alternative or substitute to operating profit or operating margin as a measure of operating performance.

44


The following table reconciles profit for the period to Adjusted EBITDA for the relevant period as follows:
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Year ended December 31, 2016
 
€m
 
€m
 
€m
Profit for the period
170.5

 
136.5

 
36.4

Taxation
56.6

 
32.0

 
39.6

Net financing costs
56.0

 
74.4

 
62.1

Depreciation and amortization
46.3

 
42.4

 
51.1

Acquisition purchase price adjustments
5.7

 

 

Exceptional items (1)
17.7

 
37.2

 
134.5

Other add-backs (2)
23.6

 
5.6

 
1.2

Adjusted EBITDA
376.4

 
328.1

 
324.9


(1)
Adjustment to eliminate exceptional items which management believes are non-recurring and do not have a continuing impact. Details of what has been identified as exceptional is included in the Results of Operations for each reporting period as set out in this item.
(2)
Other add-backs include the elimination of share-based payment charges and related employer payroll expense of €14.7 million (2017: €2.6 million, 2016: €1.2 million) and elimination of M&A related investigation costs, professional fees, transaction costs and purchase accounting related valuations of €8.9 million (2017: €3.0 million, 2016: nil). We exclude these costs because we do not believe they are indicative of our normal operating costs, can vary significantly in amount and frequency, and are unrelated to our underlying operating performance.
Description of Key Line Items and Certain Key Performance Indicators
Set forth below is a brief description of key items from our consolidated statements of income. For additional information, see Note 3 to our audited consolidated financial statements which appear elsewhere in this annual report.
Revenue. Revenue is comprised of sales of goods after deduction of discounts and sales taxes. It does not include sales between Nomad subsidiaries. Discounts given by us include rebates, price reductions and incentives given to customers, promotional couponing and trade communication costs. At each end date of a reporting period, any discount incurred, but not yet invoiced, is estimated and accrued. Revenue is recognized when the risks and rewards of the underlying products have been transferred to the customer. This is usually upon either the dispatch of a shipment or the delivery of goods to the customer but is dependent upon contractual terms that have been agreed with a customer. Sales discounts incurred but not yet invoiced are established based on management’s best estimate at the end of the reporting period.
Other Operating Expenses. Other operating expenses are comprised of advertising and promotions, exchange movements and indirect costs. Indirect costs include staff costs, selling and marketing expenses, administration expenses, research and development expenses, amortization of software, amortization of brands and other expenses.
Exceptional items. The separate reporting of exceptional items which are presented as exceptional within the relevant income statement category helps provide an indication of our underlying business performance. Exceptional items have been identified and adjusted by virtue of their size, nature or incidence. In determining whether an event or transaction is exceptional, management considers quantitative as well as qualitative factors such as the frequency or predictability of occurrence.
Finance Income. Finance income is comprised of interest income, other financing related income and net foreign exchange gains on translations of financial assets and liabilities held in currencies other than the Company’s functional currency.

45


Finance Costs. Finance costs are comprised of interest expenses, net interest on net defined pension plan obligations, amortization of borrowing costs, net foreign exchange costs on translations of financial assets and liabilities held in currencies other than the Company’s functional currency and financing costs incurred as a result of amendments of debt terms.
Taxation. Taxation is comprised of current tax expenses and deferred tax movements.
Gross Margin. Gross margin is gross profit as a percentage of revenue.
We also utilize certain additional key performance indicators, as described below. We believe these measures provide an important alternative measure with which to assess our underlying trading performance on a constant basis. Our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin may be different from the calculations used by other companies and therefore comparability may be limited. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are non-IFRS measures and you should not consider them an alternative or substitute to operating profit or operating margin as a measure of operating performance.
Adjusted EBITDA. EBITDA is profit or loss for the period before taxation, net financing costs, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA is EBITDA adjusted to exclude, when they occur, exited markets, acquisition purchase price adjustments, chart of account (“CoA”) alignments and exceptional items such as restructuring charges, goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges and other unusual or non-recurring items. In addition, we exclude other adjustments such as the impact of share based payment expenses and related employer payroll taxes, and non-operating M&A related costs, because we do not believe they are indicative of our normal operating costs, can vary significantly in amount and frequency, and are unrelated to our underlying operating performance. The Company believes Adjusted EBITDA provides important comparability of underlying operating results, allowing investors and management to assess operating performance on a consistent basis.
Adjusted EBITDA Margin. Adjusted EBITDA margin is Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue.
Currency
Our consolidated financial statements have been presented in Euro, which is our functional currency. Unless specifically stated otherwise herein, transactions in foreign currencies have been translated at the foreign exchange rate at the date of the relevant transaction.
Changes in foreign currency rates have a translation impact on our reported operating results.
A significant portion of our operations have functional currencies other than Euro (including Pound Sterling, Norwegian Krone and Swedish Krona). In preparing our financial statements, translations in currencies other than our functional currency are recognized at the rates of exchange prevailing at the dates of transaction. Accordingly, our results for each of the periods presented below have been impacted by fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. Where material, the impact of translation of currency on results has been provided. For a discussion on strategies to mitigate the effect of these fluctuations see Note 33 "Financial risk management" to our consolidated financial statements which appear elsewhere in this annual report.

46


Results of Operations for the Year Ended December 31, 2018 and the Year ended December 31, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
Statement of Income data:
€m
 
€m
Revenue
2,172.8

 
1,956.6

Cost of sales
(1,519.3
)
 
(1,357.2
)
Gross profit
653.5

 
599.4

Other operating expenses
(352.7
)
 
(319.3
)
Exceptional items
(17.7
)
 
(37.2
)
Operating profit
283.1

 
242.9

Finance income
1.6

 
7.2

Finance costs
(57.6
)
 
(81.6
)
Net finance costs
(56.0
)
 
(74.4
)
Profit before tax
227.1

 
168.5

Taxation
(56.6
)
 
(32.0
)
Profit for the period
170.5

 
136.5

Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018 was €2,172.8 million (year ended December 31, 2017: €1,956.6 million). The 11.0% revenue increase was driven by organic growth on the base business of 2.6% and an increase in revenue from the acquired businesses of 9.4%, offset by a decrease of 1.0% due to foreign currency exchange translation.
Gross profit, defined as revenue less cost of sales, increased €54.1 million to €653.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 from €599.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase in gross profit was driven by the increase in revenue partly offset with a change in gross margin. Gross Margin, defined as gross profit as a percentage of revenue, fell by 50 basis points to 30.1% from 30.6% in the year ended December 31, 2017 primarily due to:

A 20 basis points decrease relating to the non-cash fair value uplift of inventory recorded as part of the Goodfella's Pizza and Aunt Bessie's purchase price accounting.
Acquisition mix of 110 basis points decrease due primarily to the acquired businesses product mix margin profile being lower.
A 90 basis points decrease from unfavorable foreign exchange driven cost increases; offset by
An 80 basis points benefit from pricing and promotional efficiencies and;
A 90 basis points benefit due to category and channel mix on the base business
Other operating expenses increased to €352.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 (year ended December 31, 2017: €319.3 million). The increase of €33.4 million was driven by share-based payment expenses and associated employer payroll tax expense, non operating M&A transactions costs and the inclusion of acquired businesses operating budgets.
Exceptional items of €17.7 million were incurred in the year ended December 31, 2018 (year ended December 31, 2017: €37.2 million). Included in this charge are (i) costs for the Findus Group integration which relates to the roll-out of the Nomad ERP system of €10.4 million (year ended December 31, 2017: €15.1 million), (ii) costs of integrating the Goodfella’s pizza business and Aunt Bessie's business of €8.3 million, (iii) costs of €1.6 million relating to a three-year factory optimization program which was initiated in the year, and (iv) costs associated with supply chain reconfiguration, relating to restructuring activities in Sweden of €1.2 million (year ended December 31, 2017: €14.0 million).
Offsetting these costs are a net income on settlement of legacy matters relating to periods prior to acquisition of the Findus and Iglo businesses of €3.8 million (year ended December 31, 2017: income of €5.6 million).
Net finance costs of €56.0 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 (year ended December 31, 2017: €74.4 million) include €49.8 million of interest payable on long term borrowings and other cash pay interest

47


expenses net of hedges (year ended December 31, 2017: €50.1 million), €1.1 million of financing costs incurred in order to refinance and amend debt facilities (year ended December 31, 2017: €20.1 million), €4.9 million of other interest and finance costs (year ended December 31, 2017: €4.8 million), €1.5 million of amortization of capitalized borrowing costs (year ended December 31, 2017: €2.7 million) and a loss of €0.3 million resulting from the translation of foreign currency-denominated financial assets and liabilities into Euros (year ended December 31, 2017: €3.9 million). This is offset by gains on derivatives designated as fair value through profit and loss of €1.4 million (year ended December 31, 2017: €7.0 million) and other finance income of €0.2 million (year ended December 31, 2017: €0.2 million).
The adoption of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments on January 1, 2018, has resulted in a non-cash €3.3 million increase to interest payable on long term borrowings for the year ended December 31, 2018. Looking forward, we expect that the adoption of IFRS 16 Leases on January 1, 2019, will lead to a substantial increase in net finance costs.
There was a tax charge in the year ended December 31, 2018 of €56.6 million based on the underlying taxable profits. A taxation charge of €32.0 million was booked in the year ended December 31, 2017. This difference is principally caused by higher profits, higher tax rates applied to profits in other jurisdictions and by a reduction in the use of certain tax losses, partly offset by certain incentives to invest in research and development.
As noted in Item 3:D. Risk Factors, the future performance of the business is affected by a range of governmental economic, fiscal, monetary and political factors. In particular, the outcome of Brexit negotiations could have a material impact on the future results of the business.
Results of Operations for the Year ended December 31, 2017 and the Year ended December 31, 2016
 
 
 
 
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Year ended December 31, 2016
Statement of Income data:
€m
 
€m
Revenue
1,956.6

 
1,927.7

Cost of sales
(1,357.2
)
 
(1,356.7
)
Gross profit
599.4

 
571.0

Other operating expenses
(319.3
)
 
(298.4
)
Exceptional items
(37.2
)
 
(134.5
)
Operating profit
242.9

 
138.1

Finance income
7.2

 
24.2

Finance costs
(81.6
)
 
(86.3
)
Net finance costs
(74.4
)
 
(62.1
)
Profit before tax
168.5

 
76.0

Taxation
(32.0
)
 
(39.6
)
Profit for the period
136.5

 
36.4

Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2017 was €1,956.6 million (year ended December 31, 2016: €1,927.7 million). The 1.5% revenue increase is driven from both a 3% increase due to volume and mix and a 1% increase in revenue due to pricing in our Italy, Germany and UK markets, offset by unfavorable currency translation movements of 2% and one less trading day of 0.5%.
Gross profit, defined as revenue less cost of sales, increased €28.4 million to €599.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 from €571.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. Gross Margin, defined as gross profit as a percentage of revenue, grew 100 basis points to 30.6% from 29.6% in the year ended December 31, 2016 primarily due to:
Mix benefit between categories and countries generated a 110 basis point benefit, largely driven by growth in German and Italian markets which have a higher than average gross margin;
80 basis point benefit from pricing and promotional efficiencies; partially offset by
80 basis point decrease from unfavorable foreign exchange driven cost increases, primarily in the UK post the Brexit announcement.

48


10 basis point reduction due to unfavorable translational foreign exchange.
Other operating expenses increased to €319.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 (year ended December 31, 2016: €298.4 million). The increase of €20.9 million was driven by the reinstatement of the employee bonus, partly offset by savings in our overhead cost base. Advertising and promotion decreased 1% to €113.1m, despite increased consumer facing media activity, which benefited from a favorable foreign exchange impact of 2%.
Exceptional items of €37.2 million were incurred in the year ended December 31, 2017 (year ended December 31, 2016: €134.5 million). Included in this charge are costs incurred in relation to the implementation of the Nomad strategic vision, which primarily relates to changes to the organizational structure to align behind core products and implement net revenue management initiatives of €18.8 million (year ended December 31, 2016: €7.0 million). Supply chain reconfiguration costs primarily related to restructuring activities in Sweden of €14.0 million (year ended December 31, 2016: €84.3 million). Costs of the Findus Group integration which in the current period primarily relates to the rollout of the Nomad ERP system of €15.1 million (year ended December 31, 2016: €29.6 million). Costs related to transactions of €3.2 million which relates to enhanced control compliance procedures in territories, including significant non-recurring consultant and audit costs (year ended December 31, 2016: €4.8 million relating predominantly to the Iglo and Findus Acquisitions). Offsetting these costs are a net income on settlement of legacy matters relating to periods prior to acquisition of the Findus and Iglo businesses of €5.6 million (year ended December 31, 2016: charge of €1.8 million) and net income related to the re-measurement of indemnification assets of €8.3 million (year ended December 31, 2016: charge of €10.4 million).
Net finance costs of €74.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2017 (year ended December 31, 2016: €62.1 million) include €50.1 million of interest payable on long term borrowings and other cash pay interest expenses net of hedges (year ended December 31, 2016: €68.7 million), €20.1 million of financing costs incurred in order to refinance and amend debt facilities, €4.8 million of other interest and finance costs (year ended December 31, 2016: €8.3 million), €2.7 million of amortization of capitalized borrowing costs (year ended December 31, 2016: €5.0 million) and a loss of €3.9 million resulting from the translation of foreign currency-denominated financial assets and liabilities into Euros (year ended December 31, 2016: gain of €18.3 million). This is offset by gains on derivatives designated as fair value through profit and loss of €7.0 million (year ended December 31, 2016: loss of €4.3 million) and other finance income of €0.2 million (year ended December 31, 2016: €5.9 million).
There was a tax charge in the year ended December 31, 2017 of €32.0 million based on the underlying taxable profits. A taxation charge of €39.6 million was booked in the year ended December 31, 2016 which included charges for the provision for historic exposures. The difference was due to non-taxable items (such as non tax-deductible interest and provisions that are not tax effected), partially offset by the non-recognition of deferred tax assets on certain tax losses.
B.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Overview
We believe that cash flow from operating activities, available cash and cash equivalents and our access to our revolving credit facility will be sufficient to fund our liquidity requirements for at least the next 12 months. At December 31, 2018, we had €390.8 million of total liquidity, comprising €327.6 million in cash, €63.2 million of available borrowings under our revolving credit facility. We also expect to continue to raise cash through equity and debt offerings to support the strategic aims of the Company when it is advisable to do so and market conditions allow. Our principal liquidity requirements are for working capital and general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures and debt service, as well as to identify and effect strategic acquisitions. As a holding company, we depend on our receipt of cash dividends from our operating subsidiaries. For more information, see Item 3D: Key Information - Risk Factors - Risks Related to our Structure and Acquisition Strategy - We are a holding company whose principal source of operating cash is the income received from our subsidiaries.
Restricted Cash
Nomad had cash and cash equivalents of €327.6 million at December 31, 2018, of which €0.1 million was restricted. This compares with cash and cash equivalents of €219.2 million at December 31, 2017 of which €0.2 million was restricted. Cash may be restricted for reasons including, but not limited to collateral as support for issuance of guarantees, or funds held in escrow accounts.

49


Cash Flows
Our primary sources of liquidity for the periods reported were cash flow from operations and financing activities. Cash flows from financing activities have in the past included, among other things, borrowings under credit facilities, high yield notes and shareholder loan notes. Our liquidity requirements arise primarily from the need to meet debt service requirements, to fund capital expenditures, to meet working capital requirements and to fund pension and tax obligations. Cash flows generated from operating activities together with cash flows generated from financing activities, have historically been sufficient to meet our liquidity needs.
The following table summarizes net cash flows with respect to our operating, investing and financing activities for the periods indicated:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Year ended December 31, 2016
 
€m
 
€m
 
€m
Net cash provided by operating activities
321.3

193.8

282.1
Net cash used in investing activities
(513.2)

(42.6)

(50.4)
Net cash provided by/(used in) financing activities
302.7

(241.8)

(67.7)
Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
110.8

(90.6)

164.0
Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period
327.6

219.2

329.5
Net Cash from Operating Activities
Net cash provided by operating activities was €321.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, up from €193.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The €127.5 million increase was primarily the result of cash flows related to exceptional items of €43.4 million compared to €99.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2017, a €51.0 million increase in the factoring of trade receivables, as well as cash flows relating to tax of €32.9 million compared to €65.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2017.
Net cash provided by operating activities was €193.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, down from €282.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The €88.3 million decrease was primarily the result of cash flows related to exceptional items of €99.5 million compared to €49.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2016, as well as cash flows relating to tax of €65.2 million compared to €24.9 million in the year ended December 31, 2016.
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities
Net cash used in investing activities was €513.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to net cash used in investing activities of €42.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The outflow in the year ended December 31, 2018 included payments totaling €465.1 million for the acquisition of subsidiaries, a payment of €6.5 million for deferred consideration for the La Cocinera acquisition and capital expenditures.
Net cash used in investing activities was €42.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to net cash used in investing activities of €50.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The outflow in the year ended December 31, 2017 was due to capital expenditures.
The outflow for the year ended December 31, 2016 included capital expenditures as well as payment of €8.0 million of deferred consideration for the Frudesa brand.
Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities
Net cash provided by financing activities was €302.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to net cash used in financing activities of €241.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The inflow in the year ended December 31, 2018 relates primarily to proceeds of €355.6 million from new loans and borrowings offset by interest payments.

50


Net cash used in financing activities was €241.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to net cash used in financing activities of €67.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The outflow for the year ended December 31, 2017 relates primarily to payments of €177.6 million for the repurchase of the Company's own shares and payments of €16.7 million for fees incurred as part of the refinancing of the Company's debt arrangements, partially offset by decreased cash interest expense.
The outflow for the year ended December 31, 2016 relates primarily to interest payments.
Capital Expenditures
Our capital expenditures in 2018 consisted, and in 2019 we expect to consist of, primarily expenditures for factory capacity expansion and maintenance, cost savings projects, information systems, innovation, regulatory compliance and other items. Capital expenditures in 2018 additionally consisted of the Goodfella's Acquisition and Aunt Bessie's Acquisition.
The following table sets forth our capital expenditures for the periods indicated, including as a percentage of revenue:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Year ended December 31, 2018
 
Year ended December 31, 2017
 
Year ended December 31, 2016
 
€m
 
€m
 
€m
Capital expenditures
41.6
 
42.6
 
42.4
Capital expenditure as a % of revenue
1.9%
 
2.2%
 
2.2%
Trade Receivables - Factoring
To assist in managing operating cash flow, we have entered into non-recourse factoring arrangements with receivables whereby we sell specific account receivables on a true sale basis to one or more external financial institutions. Trade receivables are sold on a true sale basis when we have surrendered control over the related assets. Under the terms of the contractual arrangements, the Company may continue to collect the cash from the customer receivables sold, albeit acting solely as a collecting agent on behalf of the purchaser of receivables. The Company retains no credit loss exposure to the receivables following sale. Factoring fees associated with the sale of factored receivables for the year ended December 31, 2018 were €0.5 million and were minimal for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Registration Statement

On June 4, 2018, we filed with the SEC an automatic shelf registration statement for well-known seasoned issuers on Form F-3ASR. This registration statement enables us to issue ordinary shares, preferred shares, debt securities or warrants, either separately or as units that include any of these securities. Under the rules governing automatic shelf registration statements, we will file a prospectus supplement and advise the SEC of the amount and type of securities each time we issue securities under this registration statement. No securities were issued under this registration statement from June 4, 2018 through the date of this filing.

Funding and treasury policies

The Company uses centralized financial management to oversee access to financial markets, monitor and manage financial risks, and control liquid assets. This process is conducted according to a policy that applies to all group entities. All financial risk management strategies employed are for the purposes of risk mitigation and not for speculation.
The primary objective of our capital structure management is to maintain a strong financial profile for investor, creditor and customer confidence, and to support the growth of our business. We believe that the liquid assets of the Company, together with undrawn credit facilities and projections for future cash flows from operations, are sufficient to support the Company strategy. Access to external financing markets will be considered if funds are required other than from free cash flow (e.g. supporting acquisitions) to support the viability and growth of the business.


51


Debt

Senior Facilities Agreement

We maintain a syndicated senior facilities agreement with certain finance parties and lenders, originally dated July 3, 2014, as subsequently amended and restated on October 23, 2015, April 28, 2017, December 20, 2017 and June 15, 2018 (the “Senior Facilities Agreement”). Credit Suisse AG, London Branch, is currently both the agent and the security agent.

The Senior Facilities Agreement governs our term loan facilities and our revolving credit facility.

Term Loan Facilities

U.S. Dollar Denominated Term Loan Facility

The U.S. Dollar (USD) denominated term loan facility consists of term loans in an aggregate principal amount of $953.4 million. The USD denominated term loans bear interest at a rate per annum equal to LIBOR (subject to a zero floor) plus 2.25% per annum. As of December 31, 2018, the amount outstanding under the USD denominated term loan facility was accruing interest at a rate of 4.7% per annum.

Euro Denominated Term Loan Facility

The Euro (EUR) denominated term loan facility consists of term loans in an aggregate principal amount of €558 million. The EUR denominated term loans bear interest at a rate per annum equal to EURIBOR (subject to a zero floor) plus 2.75% per annum. As of December 31, 2018, the amount outstanding under the EUR denominated term loan facility was accruing interest at a rate of 2.75% per annum.

Both the USD denominated term loan facility and the EUR denominated term loan facility are fully drawn and mature on May 15, 2024.

Revolving Credit Facility

The Senior Facilities Agreement provides for an €80.0 million revolving credit facility, of which up to €50 million can be used for the issuance of letters of credit and other ancillary facilities. The revolving credit facility matures on May 15, 2023 and bears interest at a rate per annum equal to LIBOR or, in relation to any loan in Euro, EURIBOR (subject in each case to a zero floor), plus the applicable margin. The applicable margin is 2.75% per annum. Interest on the revolving credit facility is payable at the end of each interest period. As of December 31, 2018, the amount outstanding under the revolving credit facility by way of issued letters of credit and bank guarantees was accruing interest at a rate of 2.75% per annum.

Indebtedness at December 31, 2018

As of December 31, 2018, we had approximately €1,394.5 million (December 31, 2017: €1,009.5 million) of indebtedness outstanding under our term loan facilities and no amounts outstanding under our revolving credit facility, other than €16.8 million (December 31, 2017: €14.0 million) in relation to stand-by letters of credit and bank guarantees.


52


Terms of the Senior Facilities Agreement

The Senior Facilities Agreement contains certain customary operating covenants (certain of which are not applicable depending on the ratio of Consolidated Total Net Debt to Consolidated EBITDA) and other customary provisions relating to events of default, including non-payment of principal, interest or fees, misrepresentations, breach of covenants, creditor process, cross default to other indebtedness of the borrowers and its subsidiaries. If, in respect of any Relevant Period, the aggregate amount of: (i) all Revolving Facility Loans; (ii) drawn Letters of Credit; and (iii) Ancillary Outstanding’s (but excluding Ancillary Outstanding’s by way of undrawn letters of credit and undrawn bank guarantees under the relevant Ancillary Facility) calculated as at the last day of each such Relevant Period, is equal to or exceeds 40% of the Total Revolving Facility Commitments as at such date, Debt Cover in respect of that Relevant Period shall not exceed 8.00:1. (Each of the foregoing terms is defined in the Senior Facilities Agreement). As of December 31, 2018, we were in compliance with all financial and other covenants contained in our Senior Facilities Agreement.

The USD denominated term loans include the requirement to repay 1% of outstanding notional per annum. In addition to the mandatory 1% per annum amortization, the Senior Facilities Agreement also include an excess cashflow calculation whereupon an amount of term debt (subject to terms laid out in the Senior Facilities Agreement) may be repaid based upon terms including cash generated during the year and Company leverage, but subject to a de minimis level. In addition, the Senior Facilities Agreement also includes an excess cashflow calculation whereupon an amount of principal shall be repaid based upon terms including cash generated during the year and Company leverage.
Hedging

In order to mitigate underlying foreign exchange exposure, reduce overall interest charge, and mitigate interest rate risk, the Company has entered into a number of cross-currency interest rate swaps. In exchange for $610.0 million the Company received €299.3 million and £226.7 million. In exchange for receiving cash flows in USD matching the payments of principal and interest due under the Senior USD debt, the Company will pay fixed amounts of interest and principal on notional amounts of GBP and EUR. All USD to EUR swaps have been designated as a cash flow hedge whilst EUR to GBP swaps to the value of £224.7 million have been designated as a net investment hedge of the UK business.

Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes due 2024     
    
On May 3, 2017, we entered into an indenture with Nomad Foods Bondco Plc, our indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary, our direct and indirect subsidiaries named as guarantors therein (together with us, the "Guarantors") and Deutsche Trustee Company Limited, as trustee thereunder, pursuant to which we issued €400.0 million aggregate principal amount of 3.25% Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes. The Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes will mature on May 15, 2024. Interest on the Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes will accrue at the rate of 3.25% per annum and is payable semi-annually in arrears. The Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a senior basis by the Guarantors, subject to the limitations set forth in the indenture. The Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes are currently admitted to the Official List of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and for trading on the Euro MTF Market. As of December 31, 2018, we had €400 million of Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes outstanding.

The indenture contains customary events of default and customary covenants including limitations on indebtedness, restricted payments, liens, restrictions on distributions from restricted subsidiaries, sales of assets and subsidiary stock, affiliate transactions, our activities, such as merger, conveyance, transfer or lease of all or substantially all of our assets, and compliance requirements with respect to additional guarantees, reporting, additional intercreditor agreements, payment of notes, withholding taxes, change of control, compliance certificate, payments for consent and listing requirements. The Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes are redeemable at our option in whole or in part on the terms detailed in the indenture.

Intercreditor Agreement

The finance parties under the Senior Facilities Agreement and the holders of the Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes share the benefit of a security and guarantee package. The rights and obligations of the senior creditors and other creditors (including intra group creditors) between themselves is controlled by an Intercreditor Agreement originally dated June 3, 2014, as subsequently amended and restated on April 28, 2017.

53


Pension Plans
We maintain defined benefit pension plans in Germany, Sweden, Italy and Austria as well as various defined contribution plans in other countries. The defined benefit pension plans are partially funded in Germany and Austria and unfunded in Sweden and Italy. All defined benefit pension plans are closed to new entrants and there is no current requirement to fund the deficit in any plan. We also maintain various defined contribution pension plans in other countries, the largest of which include Sweden and the UK. In most countries, long term service awards are in operation.
For accounting purposes, as of December 31, 2018 (based on the assumptions used), the deficit for the net employee benefit obligations equaled €200.6 million (December 31, 2017: €188.4 million).
For the year ended December 31, 2018 pension costs related to defined benefit, defined contributions and long-term benefit plans equated to €16.9 million. For the year ended December 31, 2017 pension costs related to defined benefit, defined contributions and long-term benefit plans equated to €18.2 million. For the year ended December 31, 2016, such costs equaled €17.3 million. This includes all costs related to the pension schemes and other long-term benefits plans as well as associated interest costs.
For additional information, see Note 23 “Employee benefits” to our audited consolidated financial statements which appear elsewhere in this annual report.
A description of our principal accounting policies, critical accounting estimates and key judgments is set out in Note 3 and Note 4 to our audited consolidated statements which appear elsewhere in this annual report.
C.
Research and development, patents and licenses, etc.
We focus our efforts on renovation of core products and our investment in market research on ensuring that the products we launch overcome penetration barriers. In addition, we operate a structured stage gate process through which we take new products from idea generation, through concept screening, concept/products laboratories and early volume sizing, to final validation.
In 2016, we operated one central "Monthly Operational Review Board" with a centralized research and development team.
Since then, we have operated a dual governance process with a “Central Monthly Operating Review Board” (“CMOR”) which is responsible for reviewing and approving innovations across the Company in our core areas that stretch across multiple markets. "Local Monthly Operating Reviews" ("LMOR") occur within each market on areas within local control. Our research and development team has global and local teams. This allows us to leverage our investment in research development across our markets where scale can be achieved and move fast within individual markets to address local tastes, thus maximizing our ability to generate successful innovations efficiently.
D.
Trend information
We are subject to the following key industry trends and challenges which have impacted, and may continue to impact, our business, operations and financial performance:

1.
Consumer Preferences. Consumer preferences drive demand for our products. There are a number of trends in consumer preferences which are having an impact on us and the frozen food industry as a whole. These include preferences for speed, convenience and ease of food preparation; natural, nutritious and well-proportioned meals; and products that are sustainably sourced and produced and are otherwise environmentally friendly. Our results of operation depend in large part on the continued appeal of our products and, given the varied backgrounds and tastes of our customer base, our ability to offer a sufficient range of products to satisfy a broad spectrum of preferences. In order to address consumer needs and ensure the continued success of our products, we aim to introduce new products, renovate core products and extend existing product lines on a timely basis.


54


2.
Competition. In addition to the competition we face from traditional, well-established branded frozen food manufacturers, over the last few years we have seen increased competition from the discounter channel. Discounters are supermarket retailers which offer food and grocery products at discounted prices and which typically focus on non-branded rather than branded products. The discounter channel has been growing at a faster rate than the traditional retailer channels over the last several years. To address this growing trend, we intend to pursue opportunities to increase our presence with the discounter channel, particularly the hard discounter channel. With the growth of the discounter channel, in an effort to compete, our traditional retail customers have increased their offering of their own private label products. Because these customers control the shelf space allocations within their stores, they may allocate more shelf space to their private label products in accordance with their respective promotional strategies. To address decreases in shelf space allocated to our products, we have expanded our focus on “category management projects". We have been chosen to lead category management projects by several retailers and provide objective advice regarding the strategic development of our food categories. As we increase our influence with retailers, we expect this will translate into an increased share of shelf space and provide more favorable positioning of our products relative to the competition.

3.
Shopping Habits. The online grocery retail channel is growing faster than traditional grocery retail formats across developed markets. Consumers with increasingly busy lifestyles are choosing the online grocery channel as a more convenient and faster way of purchasing their food products, and are also increasingly using the internet for meal ideas. Frozen foods particularly benefit from the online channel as the advantages to the consumer of outsourcing transportation of frozen food to the retailer are greater than in other categories, and also because some of the barriers to purchasing in-store (e.g. colder aisles) are removed for the consumer online. We are responding to the growing consumer shift to digital and mobile technologies, particularly in the UK, by investing in technology platforms and partnering with retailers that are executing their own e-commerce strategies to meet changing consumer habits.
E.
Off-balance sheet arrangements
We did not have any material off-balance sheet arrangements during the reported periods.

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F.
Tabular disclosure of contractual obligations
The following table summarizes our estimated material contractual cash obligations and commercial commitments as of December 31, 2018, and the future periods in which such obligations are expected to be settled in cash:
 
Cash payments due by period
(€ in millions)
Total
 
Less than 1 year
 
1-3 years
 
3-5 years
 
After 5 years
Long term debt
1,794.4
 
23.4
 
16.8
 
16.8
 
1,737.4
Long term debt—interest (1)
361.9
 
67.9
 
134.7
 
133.0
 
26.3
Cross currency interest rate swap payments (2)
1,250.3
 
40.1
 
79.4
 
1,130.8
 
Cross currency interest rate swap receipts (2)
(1,299.1)
 
(56.7)
 
(112.3)
 
(1,130.1)
 
Forward contracts - Sell (2)
671.9
 
671.9
 
 
 
Forward contracts - Buy (2)
(686.7)
 
(686.7)
 
 
 
Operating leases (3)
181.6
 
22.2
 
38.5
 
26.0
 
94.9
Purchase commitments (4)
363.3
 
235.3
 
93.5
 
32.3
 
2.2
Total (5)
2,637.6
 
317.4
 
250.6
 
208.8
 
1,860.8
 
(1)
Represents estimates of future interest payable, which will depend upon the timing of cash flows as well as fluctuations in the applicable interest rates and the Company’s debt structure. These forecasts have been compiled using the debt structure as at December 31, 2018 with constant foreign exchange and interest rates until the debt matures in 2024.
(2)
Cross currency interest rate swap payments and forward contracts are presented alongside receipts to show the net liability.
(3)
Excludes contractual annual increases linked to inflation indices. A proportion of these contractual commitments are included in the consolidated balance sheet within provisions where no future economic benefit will be received.
(4)
Represents capital and raw material expenditures as well as long term service contracts which we have committed to make but which are not yet payable.
(5)
Retirement benefit obligations of €200.6 million are not presented above as the timing of the settlement of these obligations is uncertain. Certain long-term liabilities related to income taxes, insurance accruals, other accruals and provisions included on the consolidated balance sheet are excluded from the above table as we are unable to estimate the timing of payments for these items.
G.
Safe harbor
See the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” at the beginning of this annual report.

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Item 6.
Directors, Senior Management and Employees
A.
Executive Officers and Directors
The following table lists each of our executive officers and directors and their respective ages and positions as of February 28, 2019.
Name
 
Director since
 
Age
 
Position
Martin E. Franklin
 
April 4, 2014
 
54

 
Co-Chairman
Noam Gottesman
 
April 4, 2014
 
57

 
Co-Chairman
Ian G.H. Ashken
 
June 16, 2016
 
58

 
Director
Stéfan Descheemaeker
 
June 1, 2015
 
58

 
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Mohamed Elsarky
 
August 22, 2017
 
61

 
Director
Jeremy Isaacs CBE
 
February 16, 2016
 
54

 
Director
Paul Kenyon
 
June 1, 2015
 
55

 
Director
James E. Lillie
 
May 28, 2015
 
57

 
Director
Lord Myners of Truro CBE
 
April 4, 2014
 
70

 
Lead Independent Director
Victoria Parry
 
February 16, 2016
 
53

 
Director
Simon White
 
November 30, 2016
 
60

 
Director
Samy Zekhout
 
April 1, 2018
 
56

 
Chief Financial Officer and Director
Set forth below is a brief biography of each of our executive officers and directors.
Martin E. Franklin, our co-founder and co-Chairman has been a director of Nomad since April 2014. Martin E. Franklin is the founder and CEO of Mariposa Capital LLC and Chairman and controlling shareholder of Royal Oak Enterprises, LLC. Currently, Mr. Franklin is also Founder and Executive Chairman of Element Solutions Inc (previously known as Platform Specialty Products Corporation), a director of Restaurant Brands International Inc. and a Director of J2 Acquisition Limited. Mr. Franklin was the founder and Chairman of Jarden Corporation ("Jarden") from 2001 until April 2016 when Jarden merged with Newell Brands Inc ("Newell"). Mr. Franklin became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jarden in 2001, and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until 2011, at which time he began service as Executive Chairman. Prior to founding Jarden in 2001, Mr. Franklin served as the Chairman and/or Chief Executive Officer of three public companies: Benson Eyecare Corporation, Lumen Technologies, Inc., and Bollé Inc. between 1992 and 2000. In the last five years, Mr. Franklin served as a director of the following public companies: Newell Brands, Inc., and Burger King Worldwide, Inc. (until its transaction with Tim Hortons, Inc. and the creation of Restaurant Brands in December 2014).
Noam Gottesman, our co-founder and co-Chairman has been a director of Nomad since April 2014. Mr. Gottesman is the Founder and Managing Partner of TOMS Capital LLC, which he founded in 2012. Mr. Gottesman is also a co-founder and non-executive director of Landscape Acquisition Holdings Limited, an acquisition vehicle that completed its $500 million initial public offering and listing on the London Stock Exchange in November 2017. Mr. Gottesman was the co-founder of GLG Partners Inc. and its predecessor entities where he served in various chief executive capacities until January 2012. Mr. Gottesman served as GLG’s chief executive officer from September 2000 until September 2005, and then as its co-chief executive officer from September 2005 until January 2012. Mr. Gottesman was also chairman of the board of GLG following its merger with Freedom Acquisition Holdings Inc. and prior to its acquisition by Man Group plc. Mr. Gottesman co-founded GLG as a division of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) in 1995 where he was a Managing Director. Prior to 1995, Mr. Gottesman was an executive director of Goldman Sachs International, where he managed global equity portfolios in the private client group.
Ian G.H. Ashken was the co-founder of Jarden and served as its Vice Chairman and President until the consummation of Jarden’s business combination with Newell in April 2016. Mr. Ashken was appointed to the Jarden board on June 25, 2001 and served as Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary from September 24, 2001. Mr. Ashken was Secretary of Jarden until February 15, 2007 and Chief Financial Officer until June 12, 2014. Prior to Jarden, Mr. Ashken served as the Vice Chairman and/or Chief Financial Officer of three public companies, Benson Eyecare Corporation, Lumen Technologies, Inc. and Bollé Inc. between 1992 and 2000. Mr. Ashken also serves as a director of Element Solutions Inc and is a director or trustee of a number of private companies and charitable institutions. During the last five years, Mr. Ashken also previously served as a director of Newell Brands, Inc. and Phoenix Group Holdings.

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Stéfan Descheemaeker was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and of Iglo on June 1, 2015. He was previously at Delhaize Group SA, the international food retailer, where he was Chief Financial Officer between 2008 and 2011 before becoming Chief Executive Officer of its European division until October 2013. Since leaving Delhaize Group SA, Mr. Descheemaeker has taken on board positions with Telenet Group Holdings N.V. and Group Psychologies, served as an industry advisor to Bain Capital and been a professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Between 1996 and 2008, Mr. Descheemaeker was at Interbrew (now Anheuser-Busch InBev) where he was Head of Strategy & External Growth responsible for managing M&A and strategy, during the time of the merger of Interbrew and AmBev in 2004, and prior to that he held operational management roles as Zone President in the U.S., Central and Eastern Europe, and Western Europe. Mr. Descheemaeker started his career with Cobepa, at that time the Benelux investment company of BNP-Paribas. Mr. Descheemaeker currently serves as a Director on the Board of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a position he has held since 2008.

Mohamed Elsarky was President and CEO of Godiva Chocolatier Inc. from 2014 to 2017, based in New York and London; he was also a member of the Board. Mr Elsarky joined Godiva in 2010 when he served as President International, directing the company's strategy and operations across all markets outside US and Canada. From 2007 to 2009 Mr Elsarky served as an Operating Partner of Lion Capital, a leading private equity company based in London specializing in consumer brands. He was Executive Chairman of portfolio companies, identifying businesses for acquisition and developing strategies to develop them. He had direct responsibility for two such portfolio companies, Vaasan & Vaasan Group, the leading fresh bakery business in Finland and the Baltic region, and Ad van Gelovan, the market leader in frozen snacks in the Benelux. He was executive Chairman of both companies.
Jeremy Isaacs is a Founding Partner of JRJ Group. At JRJ Group, Mr. Isaacs is closely involved with the implementation and guidance of fund strategy, as well as the development and execution of portfolio company strategy. Prior to establishing JRJ Group, in late 2008, Mr. Isaacs held senior executive positions with Lehman Brothers with responsibility for businesses outside North America. Mr. Isaacs serves as a non-executive director of Marex Spectron, Food Freshness Technology and Landscape Acquisition Company. He participates in numerous philanthropic activities, holding a range of positions, including Trustee of The J Isaacs Charitable Trust, and Trustee of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. Mr. Isaacs is an Honorary Fellow of the London Business School. He served as non-executive director of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust from October 2013 to September 2016, and was a member of the British Olympic Advisory Board between 2007 and 2012 and a member of the Bridges Development Fund Advisory Board between 2008 and March 2018. Mr. Isaacs was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to the NHS.

Paul Kenyon is Chief Financial and Transformation Officer of C&J Clark Limited, the leading casual shoe brand with retail, online and wholesale operations in around 100 countries. He was previously Chief Financial Officer of Nomad Foods Limited from June 2015 until August 2017, having previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Iglo from June 2012. Mr. Kenyon joined the Iglo Group from AstraZeneca PLC where his most recent role was CFO for AstraZeneca’s Global Commercial business. Prior to that, Mr. Kenyon spent three years as Senior Vice President, Group Finance and for a period held the role of Chairman of AstraTech, AstraZeneca’s medical technology subsidiary, concluding with its successful disposal. Mr. Kenyon’s prior career includes a broad range of senior finance roles at Allied Domecq PLC as well as experience gained at Mars, Incorporated and Courtaulds PLC. Mr. Kenyon is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
 
James E. Lillie served as Jarden’s Chief Executive Officer from June 2011 until the consummation of Jarden’s business combination with Newell in April 2016. He joined Jarden in 2003 as Chief Operating Officer and was named President in 2004 and CEO in June 2011. From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Lillie served as Executive Vice President of Operations at Moore Corporation, Limited. From 1999 to 2000, he served as Executive Vice President of Operations at Walter Industries, Inc., a Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Company (KKR) portfolio company. From 1990 to 1999, Mr. Lillie held a succession of senior level management positions across a variety of disciplines including human resources, manufacturing, finance and operations at World Color, Inc., another KKR portfolio company. Since February 2017, Mr. Lillie has served on the board of directors of Tiffany & Co. and since October 2017 has served on the board of directors of J2 Acquisition Limited.


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Lord Myners is Chancellor of the University of Exeter and a member of Court and Council of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He served as the Financial Services Secretary in Her Majesty’s Treasury, the United Kingdom’s finance ministry, from October 2008 to May 2010. Prior to his service at the Treasury, Lord Myners served as chairman or a member of the board of several organizations, including as chairman of Guardian Media Group from 2000 to 2008, director of GLG Partners Inc. from 2007 to 2008, Director of Land Securities Group plc from 2006 to 2008 (chairman from 2007 to 2008), chairman of Marks & Spencer plc from 2004 to 2006, and chairman of Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd from 2002 to 2007. Lord Myners served as chairman of Platform Acquisition Holdings Limited (now known as Element Solutions Inc) from April 2013 until its business combination with MacDermid, Incorporated in October 2013. He also served as the chairman of Justice Holdings Limited, a special purpose acquisition company, from February 2011 until its business combination with Burger King Worldwide, Inc. in June 2012. From 1986 to 2001, he served as a director of Gartmore Investment Management Limited. He has also served in an advisory capacity to the United Kingdom Treasury and the United Kingdom Department of Trade & Industry, with particular focus on corporate governance practices. Other positions held by Lord Myners have included chairman of the Trustees of Tate, chairman of the Low Pay Commission, a member of the Court of the Bank of England, a member of the Investment Board of GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. Lord Myners is currently serving as a non-executive director of Windmill Hill Asset Management. He is vice chairman of Global Counsel, the non-executive chairman of Autonomous Research LLP, chairman and a partner of Cevian Capital LLP and Chairman of Daniel J Edelman (UK). Lord Myners is a graduate, with honors, from University of London and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter. He is a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and an Executive Fellow at London Business School. He is a crossbench member of the UK’s House of Lords, the senior chamber in Parliament.

Victoria Parry was Global Head of Product Legal for Man Group plc until April 2013 and now acts as an independent non-executive director and consultant to the funds industry. Prior to the merger of Man Group plc with GLG Partners, Inc. in 2010, she was Senior Legal Counsel for GLG Partners LP. Ms. Parry joined Lehman Brothers International (Europe) in April 1996 where she was Legal Counsel with responsibility for inter alia the activities of the GLG Partners division and left Lehman Brothers in September 2000 upon the establishment of GLG Partners LP. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers in 1996 Ms. Parry practiced as a solicitor with a leading London based firm of solicitors. Ms. Parry graduated from University College Cardiff, with a LLB (Hons) in 1986. Ms. Parry is a solicitor and a member of the Law Society of England and Wales. Ms. Parry is a director of a number of other companies.

Simon White was, until 2014, Chief Operating Officer of Man Group PLC where he was a member of the Executive Committee. Prior to the merger of Man Group PLC with GLG Partners, Inc. in 2010, Mr. White served as Chief Operating Officer of GLG Partners, Inc. from its inception and was also Chief Financial Officer until mid-2008. From 1993 to 2000 he worked at Lehman Brothers in a number of different roles. Since 2014, Mr. White has been involved in leadership roles in a range of early stage businesses with a special focus on FinTech, and is currently a director of Axim Holdings Limited. In 2017, he became a non-executive director of Ask Inclusive Finance and in January 2018, he became a non-executive director of Bridge Invest Limited. Mr. White is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Samy Zekhout was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Nomad on April 1, 2018. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Zekhout most recently served as CFO and Vice President of Global Grooming at Procter & Gamble since 2007. Mr. Zekhout has held various finance roles at Procter & Gamble throughout the course of his more than 30 year career at that company.
B.
Compensation of Executive Officers and Directors
This section sets forth for the year ended December 31, 2017: (i) the compensation and benefits provided to our executive officers, (ii) a brief description of the bonus programs in which our executive officers participated, and (iii) the total amounts set aside for pension, retirement and similar benefits for our executive officers. This section also describes the Nomad Long Term 2015 Incentive Plan (“LTIP”) including a summary of the material terms of the LTIP, a description of current executive employment agreements and equity awards granted thereunder, and a description of our director compensation program.

59


Executive Compensation
Executive Officer Compensation and Benefits for the year ended December 31, 2018
For the year ended December 31, 2018, Nomad’s executive officers received total compensation, including base salary, cash and equity bonus, and certain perquisites, equal to €9.1 million in the aggregate.
Pension, Retirement and Similar Benefits
Our executive officers who participate in our money purchase pension plans do so on generally the same terms as our other employees. The aggregate amount of the employer contributions to this plan for our executive officers during the year ended December 31, 2018 was less than €0.1 million.
Employment Agreements
Chief Executive Officer.  Stéfan Descheemaeker was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as a Director of the Company effective on June 1, 2015. He entered into his Service Agreement with us on June 17, 2015. Under the agreement, Mr. Descheemaeker will receive an annual salary that will be reviewed, but not necessarily increased, on an annual basis. Mr. Descheemaeker's salary was reviewed in 2018 which increased his salary to £734,000. Mr. Descheemaeker is entitled to receive the following benefits under the terms of his agreement:
(a)
an annual contribution of £73,400, paid either to a pension plan or to Mr. Descheemaeker directly (as he so directs);
(b)
eligibility for performance-related discretionary cash bonuses (up to 100% of salary with an opportunity to increase this to 200% depending on business performance), subject to the achievement of financial and other performance targets as we may decide;
(c)
an award of 1,825,000 ordinary shares remaining in the Company, 50% of which will vest on the Company exceeding an agreed EBITDA target and 50% of which will vest subject to the Company’s shares achieving a specified target price. Both tranches of shares are also subject to further vesting conditions relating to Mr. Descheemaeker’s tenure as Chief Executive Officer; and
(d)
an annual car allowance of £14,400, death in service benefit (three times salary), group income protection (offering 75% of base salary less £5,000) and family medical insurance.
We have the right to place Mr. Descheemaeker on paid leave for up to six months of his 12 month notice period. Mr. Descheemaeker is subject to confidentiality provisions and to non-competition and non-solicitation restrictive covenants for a period of between six and 12 months after the termination of his employment, subject to an off-set for paid leave.
Chief Financial Officer. Samy Zekhout was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company and as a Director of the Company effective on April 1, 2018. He entered into his Service Agreement with us on February 15, 2018. Under the agreement, Mr. Zekhout will receive an annual salary (currently £425,000) that will be reviewed, but not necessarily increased, on an annual basis. The first review will take place in 2019. Mr. Zekhout was or is entitled to receive the following benefits under the terms of his agreement:
(a)
an annual contribution of £42,500, paid either to a pension plan or to Mr. Zekhout directly (as he so directs);
(b)
eligibility for performance-related discretionary cash bonuses (up to 100% of salary with an opportunity to increase this to 200% depending on business performance), subject to the achievement of financial and other performance targets as the Company may decide;
(c)
an award of 300,000 ordinary shares as incentive compensation under the Company's 2015 Long Term Incentive Plan, subject to performance-based vesting conditions and the other terms and conditions set forth in a share grant award agreement; and
(d)
an annual car allowance of £13,200, death in service benefit (three times salary), group income protection (offering 75% of base salary less £5,000) and family medical insurance.

60