PinguinLutosa is offloading its potato products division to McCain

PinguinLutosa is offloading its potato products division to McCain

Belgian food group PinguinLutosa has reported a profit for the first half of its current financial year as it prepares for business without potato division Lutosa.

PinguinLutosa, which has agreed to sell Lutosa to McCain Foods, booked a net profit of EUR10.4m (US$13.3m) for the six months to the end of September. In the first half of the previous financial year, which ran from 1 January to 30 June 2011, PinguinLutosa ran up a loss of EUR12.9m amid high raw material prices.

The company's "continuing operations", its frozen vegetable and canned food businesses, made a profit of EUR1.6m, compared to a loss of EUR10.2m a year earlier.

Its "discontinued" business, Lutosa, generated earnings of EUR8.8m. The unit made a loss of EUR2.6m a year ago.

On a group level, combining Lutosa and the parts of the company that will remain, sales were EUR417.6m. A year earlier, half-year sales reached EUR228.1m. PingunLutosa said those results did not include the frozen assets it acquired from French co-op CECAB nor Belgian canned food business Scana Noliko.

Sales from the discontinued assets were EUR131.8m, compared to EUR123.3m in the first half of 2011.

PinguinLutosa expects to complete the sale of Lutosa to McCain by the end of March.

Click here for our exclusive interview with PinguinLutosa COO Herwig Dejonghe, held at last month's SIAL trade show at Paris, and discussing the Lutosa deal with McCain and the future for the company.