- Grocery continues to perform well
- Normalised EBIT up to €3.3 mln
- Divestment ABC under way
Piet Hein Merckens (CEO) comments: "The organic food market in Europe continues to trend favourably. Its growth potential is also significant and sustainable. Increasing numbers of consumers are appreciating the rich taste, healthy nature and sustainable production methods of organic food. Increased availability also contributed to its growth, notwithstanding that consumption per capita is still (too) low.
At the same time, we see reduced consumer confidence and related reduction of spending as a result of subdued European economies negatively impacting our businesses in the various channels albeit to a different extent.
Our third quarter performance in Grocery trended in line with previous quarters and reconfirmed that we are on the right track. Developments in the health food stores (HFS) channel remained disappointing, although several improvements become visible such as at our German brands, positive like-for-like sales at our Dutch formula stores and to independent stores and new customer wins at our French operations.
We remain committed to executing our strategic agenda in a consistent way. As previously announced, we have also implemented short term measures to lower operational costs, while at the same time we are assessing the company's structure and cost base on a more structural basis.
This assessment is well under way and we plan to share the conclusions late November. We aim to reduce complexity, streamline processes and making steps to improve the speed to market and decision making as a result of which substantial cost savings are to be achieved. Eventually, I envisage us to be a leaner, fitter and more profitable company as well as a great place to work for all those embracing organic, sustainable and healthy food."
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