Q2 2011 highlights
- Normalised EBIT €11.8 million, up 8.3%
- Increased focus due to sale of Tree of Life UK and Kalisterra
- Improved brand strength within Grocery
Piet Hein Merckens, Wessanen CEO, comments: "Our second quarter reconfirmed the continuous progress we are making as a company. The strategy is clear, we are more focused and in better shape and we have stronger market positions, although we still have to improve our performance in multiple areas. Increasingly we are implementing one consistent way of working in different areas such as brand activation, innovation process, central sourcing, operational excellence and ICT.
Despite a subdued European economy, awareness and appreciation for organic food continue to grow. Wessanen is well-placed to benefit due to its European presence and strong pioneering organic brands. Our Grocery operations continue to grow, driven by a focus on our core brands, innovations, brand activation and more consistent execution.
Our HFS wholesale operations had another challenging quarter, while the branded activities performed satisfactorily. Numerous initiatives are undertaken to address the various issues and take the necessary steps. Although our behaviour is focused and consistent, we expect results to improve gradually since reaching the consumer and building brands within the HFS channel requires patience. By selling Tree of Life UK and the agreed sale of Kalisterra, we created more focus on high value added activities within wholesaling
ABC has performed strongly in the first half. They are showing continued progress, which is expected to continue based on current momentum and sound plans in place. We previously flagged our intention to divest ABC this year. We are on track with our internal preparations and we expect clarity in the course of the second half of the year on how to proceed.
Our strategy is clear and we have a strong team to execute it. It feels we got the right people on the bus to make our strategy work and execute flawlessly. I am pleased with the appointment of Ronald Merckx as our new CFO and my colleague in the Executive Board and our new hires to lead our marketing and export activities.
Given the performance in the second quarter, our many initiatives underway and the growth markets we operate in, I am confident that we are well on track to further improve our performance."
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