Q3 2013 highlights
Autonomous revenue decline of (2.9)% is mixture of strong growth at Grocery and decline at ABC
Most core brands and categories show growth, in particular Bjorg, Zonnatura and Clipper and categories such as sweets in between, dairy alternatives and bread replacers
IZICO making good progress in executing its plans
Operating result helped by an exceptional gain of €7.0 million
'Wessanen 2015' on track to deliver €15 million in annualised savings as of 2014
Piet Hein Merckens (CEO) commented: "Although European unemployment has continued to grow and consumer confidence is still rather low, we have witnessed early signs of recovery, reflected in growth of world trade and lower inflation rates. At the same time, I am encouraged by the positive developments for healthy, sustainable food such as organic, natural, free-from and fair trade products.
The vast majority of our core brands and categories have benefited from this on-going trend at consumers to live healthier and be more conscious about any impact on our planet. We have increased our A&P investments behind our core brands such as Bjorg, Bonneterre, Clipper, Whole Earth and Zonnatura, resulting in strong media campaigns in the quarter.
I am very pleased to conclude that all parts of our transformational program Wessanen 2015 have been largely completed. We are fully on track to deliver annualised cost savings of €15 million per annum as of 2014. We have made strong progress in becoming a more focused and integrated company, offering healthier food for healthier people on a healthier planet.
Our third quarter results offer a mixed picture. The operating result at Grocery and HFS increased, while the turn-around at IZICO is very promising. At ABC, we have spent ample time on reducing costs, de-risking the business and establishing a solid plan in order to be profitable again in 2014. I am encouraged by the progress made in Europe year-to-date, while all of us are focused to bring our businesses to a good end in 2013 and being well-positioned for a good start in 2014."
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