Switzerland’s Bell Food Group has reported 2.9% growth in organic revenue in the first half of its financial year, as a strong performance in its core meat and meat products businesses compensated for the decline in the convenience division.
Adjusted sales revenue for the period amounted to CHF 2.0 billion (€1.85 billion), up by CHF 59.3 million (€54.9 million) year-on-year.
EBIT in the first half grew by 2.4% to CHF 59.4 million compared with the same period last year, Bell Food Group added.
In this period, the company also compensated for the revenue lost through the sale of its German sausage business in 2019.
The convenience division reported a 3.6% year-on-year decline in adjusted sales revenue to CHF 515.2 million in the first half, impacted by lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales volume declined by 2.6% year-on-year to 96.9 million kilograms, down from 99.4 million kilograms in the first half of 2019.
Hilcona, Eisberg and Hügli, the company’s foodservice segment and the to-go and fresh convenience product groups in the retail sector, were particularly affected in Europe, the company said.
The Bell Switzerland division saw 3.8% year-on-year growth in sales revenue to CHF 1.0 billion, while sales volume increased by 1.6% compared with 2019.
In its Bell International division, adjusted sales revenue increased by CHF 42.1 million, up 8.1% compared with the first half of 2019.
The positive performance was driven by the implementation of measures to enhance efficiency in the division, with particular focus on air-dried ham.
The company said that it is a challenge to project an outlook for the second half due to uncertainties surrounding the epidemic.
It expects that the partial lifting of coronavirus restrictions will lead to a step-by-step recovery in sales for the foodservice channel.
Retail sales, on the other hand, are likely to be more or less the same as before the pandemic, the company added.