Business Irish

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Aryzta bosses buy €200k of shares in 'vote of confidence'

Aryzta boss Kevin Toland
Aryzta boss Kevin Toland
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Newly installed Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland and company chairman Gary McGann have each bought significant numbers of the company's shares - in what will be seen as a vote of confidence in the bakery giant.

Mr Toland, who started with the company earlier this month after arriving from his previous role at the DAA, bought 3,751 shares for a total consideration of €100,014 on Monday.

He paid prices ranging from €25.76 to €26.55 a share.

Mr McGann bought 4,000 shares at €25.774 each on Monday, paying a total consideration of €103,096.

It was Mr Toland's first time buying shares in the company, and the latest purchase means Mr McGann almost doubled his stake in Aryzta.

Mr McGann was brought in last year to steady the ship at the company after its share price halved in little over a year amid a collapse in investor confidence.

He brought in Mr Toland as CEO following the departure of long-time CEO Owen Killian and other top executives.

The latest share purchases are a contrast after Aryzta's dramatic share price falls steepened in March 2016, when then-CEO Mr Killian sold nearly €16m of his own stock, a move he said was triggered by the weakness in the share price which affected the collateral value of the share against loans.

The 'Irish Times' reported yesterday that Aryzta was preparing to put its La Rousse Foods business in Dublin on the market, two years after buying the high-end wholesale food business.

Aryzta had said on Monday it will dispose of assets over the next four years, when Mr Toland set out a strategy for stabilising the troubled group and announced results for the previous year.

Aryzta said that sales fell 2.1pc to €3.79bn in the period, while group earnings before interest, tax and amortisation had tumbled almost 43pc to €259m.

Underlying net profit was also down by almost 43pc, at €179m.

The Cuisine de France owner had made a pre-tax loss of €1bn, after taking a non-cash €860m charge related to the write-down of assets in the United States.

Irish Independent

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