Monday 20 November 2017

Aryzta shares slump to two-year low

Owen Killian said that the drop in Aryzta's North American revenue was expected
Owen Killian said that the drop in Aryzta's North American revenue was expected
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Shares in Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta hit their lowest price in almost two years last week, after the Cuisine de France owner reported third-quarter revenue that missed analysts' estimates.

The company said its business in Switzerland has been hit by sluggish consumer demand caused by the Swiss National Bank's decision to abolish the cap on the euro. It said its French business suffered because of "security concerns".

The company's market capitalisation dropped to €4.87bn on Tuesday, the lowest since 2013. On Friday it was €4.55bn.

Aryzta's underlying revenue in North America dropped 6.7pc but the company's Irish CEO Owen Killian said that was expected.

"Notwithstanding the short-term weakness in performance, Aryzta is confident the business model is intact," he said.

Killian said the firm's weakness is set to continue into the fourth quarter. Davy Stockbrokers cut its rating on the stock, citing "weakening earnings momentum".

"Although this phase may be temporary, and even if we believe in management's capability to overcome current headwinds, the shares are unlikely to outperform until EPS stability is restored," Davy said.

Aryzta recently raised around €400m by trimming its stake in Irish-based Origin Enterprises to 29pc.

Killian is one of the highest-paid Irish CEOs, taking home a pay package worth €5.9m at current exchange rates in 2014.

Sunday Indo Business

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