Italian dairy giant Parmalat has posted a 1.3% increase in sales volumes in the first quarter of the year, excluding acquisitions and the business' assets in Venezuela.
Net revenue, at €1.44 billion, was down 0.3% at constant exchange rates and stop of consolidation, and excluding Venezuela. If the Venezuela business is included, group revenue was down 7.6%.
'In the first quarter of 2018, the milk market was characterised by a reduction in the cost of raw milk in virtually all of the areas in which the Group operates,' the company said in a statement. 'In this context, Parmalat implemented specific sales policies aimed at achieving an optimum balance between volumes and prices.'
In its home market of Italy, consumption decreased in the main categories in which Parmalat operates, with its local subsidiaries including the Zymil milk and Chef cream brands performing well.
The US saw Parmalat see a 'significant upturn' in cheese consumption, however raw material costs impacted performance, while in Canada, its business saw a 'slight reduction' in market share.
In Latin America, while its Brazil business retained its leadership and joint-leadership positions in UHT milk and cheese, the rest of the region continued to 'face a particularly challenging context and market situation', the company said.
Its African business saw positive performance for flavoured milk in South Africa, despite seeing challenges in Zambia, while in Australia the group maintained a 'competitive position'.
In 2017, the group acquired several international businesses, including La Vaquita Group in Chile, Karoun in the United States of America and Silac in Italy.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.