Bakery firm Aryzta has reported a 21.0% decline in group revenue from continuing operations in the first half of its financial year, with the business noting that it is making 'good progress' on simplifying its operations.
Group revenue for the period (from continuing operations) stood at €752.5 million, compared to €952.2 million for the corresponding period last year, while the business also reported a 36.1% decline in underlying EBITDA, to €76.1 million (down from €119.1 million).
If discontinued operations are included, group revenue was down 22.4%, and underlying EBITDA was down 26.5%.
On Friday, Aryzta confirmed that it was offloading its North American business for $850 million, to an affiliate of Lindsay Goldberg LLC.
“Today’s results highlight the significant progress achieved as a result of our strategy to simplify the business and to de-risk the balance sheet with the sale of our North American business," said Urs Jordi, Aryzta chairman and chief executive.
"The progress to date validates the overwhelming shareholder vote for change in September and December 2020 and the renewed board’s decision to reject the proposal to sell the entire business."
In what the company described as an 'improved' performance, the group said that its retail and quick service restaurant business 'recovered strongly' in North America, while recovery also continued in its Rest of World arm, however these improvements were offset by continued restrictions in Europe.
It said that it expects to reduce central overhead costs by 25% this year, which will contribute to a 'substantial lower overall cost base in the future'.
"We can now focus on delivering the necessary operational improvements and returning to organic growth as we leverage the significant broad bakery experience to improve shareholder returns," said Jordi. "Delivery of our targets will ensure we rebuild trust and credibility with investors, lenders, customers, suppliers and employees as both are in need of repair after years of disregard.”
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.