Q1 2011 highlights
- Revenue¹ up 3.6% to €178.8 million, autonomous growth² 0.2%
- Autonomous² revenue growth Wessanen Europe Grocery 5.9% and
Wessanen Europe HFS (6.1)%
- Ongoing focus to improve operations in areas such as brand activation and central sourcing
- Normalised operating result (EBIT) increased to €7.0 million, driven by Wessanen Europe Grocery
- Market share gains for leading Grocery brands such as Bjorg, Whole Earth and Zonnatura
- Net debt €36.7 million; 45% below last year's comparable figure
1) From continuing operations; 2) Including adjustments for currency effects, acquisitions and trading days
Piet Hein Merckens, Wessanen CEO, comments: "We started 2011 as a stronger, more focused organic food company. Our first quarter reinforces this picture with numerous good initiatives underway. Innovations and brand activation further advanced with campaigns like 'Zonnatura biorhythm' and new products such as 'Bjorg lunchboxes' and 'Allos Frucht Pur'. Our grocery brands Bjorg, Kallo, Whole Earth and Zonnatura continued to gain market share. Our central sourcing efforts are also starting to pay off, contributing to offset increased raw material costs, and - where needed - we were in general successful in raising prices.
On the other hand, we still have to improve in various areas and businesses, notably in HFS. The plans are in place and actions are taken, like the start of nationwide distribution capability of fresh products in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we decided for a managed withdrawal from Grocery in Belgium. Recognising that more of our operational profit is generated in the first half of the year due to seasonal effects, I expect to see a step-by-step improvement of our sales and, subsequently, earnings performance as a result of these plans and actions. I am convinced that we are on the right track and we will see the first evidence in 2011 with more to come in the years ahead."
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