Raisio Sales Decline As Restructuring Plans Continue
Finnish food group Raisio recorded net sales of €306.8 million in 2017, representing an 8.8% decline compared to the previous year.
Sales in the group's brands division, which includes Benecol, Healthy Foods and Benemilk, fell by 11% to €195.1 million, impacted by currency movements and the divestment of the group's UK snack bar and licensed breakfast cereal businesses.
The UK and Finland each accounted for around 30% of division sales, with other markets accounting for the remaining 40%.
Meanwhile, the Raisioagro division, which includes the group's cattle and fish feed businesses, as well as its grain trade, saw only a slight decline in sales, with revenue dropping 0.2%.
"In 2017, Raisio’s successes were its Elovena and Benecol products with sales growth of some 10% in Finland, and fish feed exports to Russia showing an increase of almost 30%," said CEO Pekka Kuusniemi. "Good sales development was also seen in improved EBIT."
Raisio's business has undergone a number of changes in the last year, as the company aims to shift focus towards developing a portfolio of healthy food products.
In December, the company sold its confectionery operations in the UK and the Czech Republic to Valeo Food Group in a €100 million deal.
Raisio said that divesting the business, which includes brands such as Poppets, Fox’s, Just and Pedro, was an important strategic move in the company's development.
"The confectionery business divestment in December 2017 was Raisio’s first strategic step towards its focus, namely its core Healthy Food business," said Kuusniemi.
"Together with an already strong balance sheet, the proceeds from the confectionery deal will allow for extensive acquisitions," he added.
Additionally, in January, Raisio announced that it is considering the sale of its feed business, and has already started negotiations with several players.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.