Q1 2012 highlights
- Autonomous growth driven by Grocery and ABC
- Clipper, UK market leader in organic and fair-trade teas, strengthening brand portfolio
Piet Hein Merckens (CEO) comments: "In the first quarter we have continued to set further steps on our transformational journey to build our European organic business. We witnessed comparable trends as seen last year. While European consumer confidence remains low and the economy subdued, the market for organic food continued to develop relatively favourably. Grocery, ABC and Frozen Foods all showed a good performance growing sales. This contrasts to HFS for which we are implementing multiple improvements. These will gradually translate in improvements in top-line and earnings. Central sourcing initiatives and pricing discipline both contributed to an improving gross margin.
Our operating result decreased due to higher operating costs. We continue to invest in ICT by rolling out SAP and in marketing to strengthen and grow our brands. We worked on filling the innovations pipeline and building our brands for example by airing a new Bjorg commercial and the Zonnatura follow-up activation campaign. Step-by-step we are becoming a stronger more focussed company building its organic brands in Europe."
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Carl Hoyer, VP Corporate Communications
Telephone +31 (0)20 3122 142 / +31 (0)6 1235 5658
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