Utrecht, Augustus 9, 2006
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
Outlook 2006 has been adjusted.
Interim dividend of EUR 0.20, ex-dividend on August 10, 2006, payable on August
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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