Wessanen: second quarter showed continued profit improvement; sales stay somewhat behind

Utrecht, Augustus 9, 2006 Highlights Revenue in Q2-06 was EUR 389 million, against EUR 414 million in the same period last year. Sales at North America Distribution and Europe Branded remained somewhat behind our expectations, whereas North America Branded and Europe Distribution performed well. EBITAE increased by 16.0% from EUR 13.0 million in Q2-05 to EUR 15.0 million in Q2-06. EBITAE margin rose from 3.1% in Q2-05 to 3.9% in the period. EBIT has more than doubled to EUR 13.3 million (Q2-05: EUR 5.1 million) Net profit rose from EUR 10.8 million in Q2-05 to EUR 12.0 million in Q2-06. Operational cash flow generated from continuing operations increased in the first half of 2006 to EUR 15.2 million from EUR 9.6 million in the same period last year. Outlook 2006 has been adjusted. Interim dividend of EUR 0.20, ex-dividend on August 10, 2006, payable on August 22, 2006. CEO statement Ad Veenhof, Wessanen CEO, says: “Looking at the results for the first half of the year I am pleased to see that EBITAE is reflecting the expected progression as a result of the various actions taken to improve our bottom line performance. EBIT over the first six months of 2006 more than doubled in comparison with the same period last year, primarily in North America. Furthermore, our brands are generally performing well; recent product introductions are proving to be successful, the latest initiatives have been well received by the trade and quite a number of new exciting introductions are in the pipeline for later this year. However, I realize that the transition period from restructuring to growth is not the easiest phase in our journey. Sometimes we simply need to give it just a little bit more time. Our primary focus is, of course, on our North American Distribution division, where growth is coming somewhat more slowly than expected. We know that this organization is ready for growth, that it has the infrastructure and the team necessary to drive growth. Top line growth is receiving the full attention of management. In Europe, while many of our brands showed progress, that progress was offset by declining markets in the Netherlands and Belgium for Beckers traditional snacks. We had anticipated a faster switch from traditional snacks to more adventurous, premium snacks.

Despite these challenges which have prevented some parts of the business from developing as rapidly as anticipated, we are convinced that this will happen in the coming two quarters, based on a solid innovation pipeline in our branded businesses and near-term prospects for extending our customer base at Tree of Life North America.”

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications, phone +31 (0)30 298 88 31; e-mail corporate.communications@wessanen.com.
060809_Q2_2006_ENG.pdf (327 Kb)
060809_Wessanen_Q2_2006_NL.pdf (327 Kb)

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