Norwegian conglomerate Orkla increased its operating revenues by 5.0% to NOK 12.6 billion (€1.23 billion) in the fourth quarter of its financial year, with growth of 8.1% to NOK 47.1 billion (€4.58 billion) for the full year.
Fourth quarter operating profit amounted to NOK 1.57 billion, an improvement of 3.8%.
The business employed 18,110 employees, operating 105 factories in 22 countries as of the end of 2020.
Commenting on Orkla's performance, chief executive Jaan Ivar Semlitsch highlighted substantial growth "in the traditional grocery channel due to the fact that consumers are travelling less and spending more time in their own homes."
Semlitsch added that the group spent most of 2020 prioritising the safety of their workers against COVID-19, but he has "entered 2021 with cautious optimism about the COVID-situation, due to the vaccination programmes that have been implemented in all our home markets”.
In terms of the business' various divisions, Orkla said that it posted profits in care, consumer investments, foods, confectionery and snacks, and food ingredients. The group also saw profits positively affected by exchange rates.
The group saw profits from other ventures, including Jotun, rise in the fourth quarter by 53.1% to NOK 225 million.
During 2020, Orkla was busy on the M&A front, acquiring Gortrush, an ice cream ingredients and accessories supplier to wholesalers in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK.
Elsewhere, it divested its skin-care business in Poland, and reduced its interest in the Danish pizza company Gorm’s, selling a large part of its stake in the group.
The group kicked off this year with the purchase of 100% of Proteinfabrikken through one of its subsidiaries, having previously invested in the group.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.