Food company Dr Oetker has reported sales of €3.71 billion in full-year 2020, an increase of close to 10% compared to the previous period (€3.39 billion), with the group saying that its pizza and cakes businesses helped to drive performance during lockdown.
Adjusted for consolidation and exchange rates, growth for the full year was 11%, the group added.
While the pandemic boosted the group's consumer products business, sales in its out-of-home market were 'noticeably reduced', with the business saying that it managed to compensate for these losses despite high investment in ensuring production was maintained.
“The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on global economic activity were - and still are - serious," commented Dr. Albert Christmann, chairman of the Dr. Oetker management board. "Fortunately, we were able to adapt quickly to the uncertain challenges.
"We have developed hygiene and safety concepts in order to maintain our entire work processes and have implemented them in a disciplined manner. Thanks to our innovative product and service solutions and, above all, the impressive commitment of our entire workforce, we were able to achieve a thoroughly satisfactory result in the 2020 financial year, despite the pandemic."
In a statement, Dr Oetker said that as a business, it has become 'significantly more international' in recent years, and now boasts strong positions in the Americas, the Middle East and North Africa. The group now generates two thirds of its sales outside Germany.
In both its native Germany and in Western Europe, the group saw 'moderate increases' in retail sales, which was offset by weak professional sales, with the strategic categories of pizza, cakes and desserts and baking products in particular contributing to its increase in sales.
In Eastern Europe, the group said that it reported 'noticeable growth' compared to the previous period, however this was weakened by the 'sometimes massive devaluation' of Eastern European currencies.
In the Americas, sales were also up, with currency effects leading to a significant increase – in Canada, pizza sales boomed, while Dr Oetker Brazil reported strong cakes and desserts sales, boosted by acquisitions. Business development in Africa, Asia and Australia was shaped by 'growth in the cake and dessert category', it noted.
Looking ahead to the coming year, the group said that it expects 2021 sales to be 'roughly on par' with the previous financial year, adding that professional and catering sales have remained subdued in the first two quarters of 2021, as lockdown measures continue.
"We will still have to contend with the effects of the pandemic in the months and years to come," Christmann commented. "Nonetheless, I look to the future with confidence. We have initiated many exciting product and business model innovations, but also projects to improve our business processes, which will make our working methods even more efficient."