CSM bought US baker Best Brands earlier this month

CSM bought US baker Best Brands earlier this month

Dutch food group CSM said it was “satisfied” with a "strong" performance in the second half of 2009, despite a drop in earnings per share for the full year.

EPS for the 12 months amounted to EUR1.27 (US$1.72), a drop from EUR1.32 in the previous year.

Despite this, EBITA before exceptional items increased by 13.1% to reach EUR150.6m. At constant exchange rates, EBITA would have amounted to EUR154.8m.

Net sales were “slightly lower” than in 2008, CSM said today (24 February), down 1.7% to EUR2.55bn.

Adjusted for currency effects and M&A, sales fell 3.3% on an organic basis.

"Although we experienced a slow start, I am very satisfied with our strong performance in the second half of the year which resulted in a substantially improved EBITA with 13% for the full year 2009,” said Gerard Hoetmer, CEO of CSM.

For the first quarter of 2010, the firm said it forecasts a “substantial” improvement in EBITA compared with the first quarter of 2009.

“Our 2009 results in combination with the strategic steps taken, clearly reflect our ability to execute our strategy despite the challenging economic environment. We will continue to build on our strengths and remain focused going forward,” Hoetmer added.