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An Overview of DuPont, a Leading US Chemical Company

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Part 5
An Overview of DuPont, a Leading US Chemical Company PART 5 OF 15

DuPont’s Leading Nutrition & Health Segment

DuPont’s nutrition & health segment

DuPont (DD) is a world leader in the food ingredients industry. The company uses renewable raw materials to produce a broad range of ingredients for the food and beverage industry.

DuPont’s Leading Nutrition &amp; Health Segment

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The major products in DD’s nutrition & health segment are probiotics, soy protein, fibers, cultures, antioxidants, antimicrobials, emulsifiers, texturants, enzymes, and diagnostics. These products and ingredients are used in the food and beverage, dietary supplement, children’s nutrition, and sports industries to make end products healthier through the reduction of sugar, fat, and salt. They also aim to improve digestive and immune system health.

The segment is divided into two product categories: nutrition and health. Nutrition contributed 60% of the segment’s sales in 2014, while health contributed the remaining 40%. In terms of geographic exposure, the nutrition & health segment is largely driven by international markets. Its total international sales exposure was 65% in 2014.

Improved financial performance

The nutrition & health segment’s net sales rose at a healthy compounded annual growth rate (or CAGR) of 13%, from $2.5 billion in 2011 to $3.5 billion in 2014. The segment’s operating margin improved significantly from 6.9% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2014. With higher sales growth, the segment’s contribution to total sales rose from 9.5% in 2011 to 12.4% in 2014.

Future growth drivers

DuPont’s nutrition & health segment’s growth is largely dependent on research & development (or R&D) activity. With high R&D activity, the company has launched many nutrition and health products over the last four years. The following are its major new products:

  • Danisco brand products: Products used to increase freshness in ready-to-eat meals, and to reduce fat content with low-calorie sweeteners.
  • Soy polymer: A series of new, bio-derived soy polymers for specialty board, ink, and leather finishing applications
  • SUPRO Nuggets 138: A combination of protein and fiber for cereals, snacks, and snack mixes

Peer comparison

DD’s nutrition & health is a niche chemical product segment. DuPont competes with food ingredient players such as Cargill, Christian Hansen, DSM, FMC (FMC), Ingredion (INGR), Kerry Group, and Tate & Lyle. Monsanto (MON) and Dow Chemical Company (DOW), too, have presences in the nutrition product segment.

Investors may wish to invest in ETFs such as the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) and the iShares US Basic Materials ETF (IYM). Combined, DD, DOW, and MON form 30% of IYM’s total holdings.

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