Monday 18 December 2017

Irish-Swiss food company Aryzta in sales boost

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH-Swiss food company Aryzta has released financial results for the three months ending in April, with sales benefitting from the group’s various acquisitions.

Total group sales were €1.2bn. Food sales excluding subsidiary Origin were €748.6m in the period, up 3.6pc. Most of this growth was due to acquisitions like the company’s purchase of Klemme, the German baker it bought for €280m earlier this year. Excluding currency and acquisition growth was just 0.4pc, which Dublin stockbrokers Goodbody said was well behind its forecasts.

Food sales in Europe stood at €329.6m. The company said that “Europe remains very challenging, reflecting the weak macro consumer dynamics in the region and widening government austerity measures.”

North American food sales were up 3.4pc to €361.1m, helped by favourable currency swings and acquisitions. Still, underlying growth was only 0.1pc, hit by the company’s exit from the direct store distribution business in the US. Without this exit growth would have been 1.5pc.

Food sales in the rest of the world were up by 0.9pc to €57.9m. Unfavourable currency movements impacted growth by nearly 5pc.

Agri-food business Origin, which Aryzta has a 68.6pc stake in, saw sales decline by 5.2pc to €428m during the quarter. It says this is due to “the continued period of unseasonably wet and cold weather in the UK, which has resulted in lower winter crop plantings and delayed spring planting activity that has increased the seasonality of the Origin business.”

The group’s food division currently has €884.1m of debt on its books. Origin has debts of €176.7m at the end of January, though Aryzta can not ultimately be made liable for these.

Aryzta says it expects to report earnings per share growth of 5 to 7pc this year, as previously indicated. It expects to return to double-digit earnings per share growth in 2014.

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