SWITZERLAND: German, Western Europe positive markets for Huegli
Hugli has experienced positive growth over 2013
Swiss food firm Huegli has posted a jump in sales for 2013, boosted by the contribution of its Vogeley's acquisition.
Huegli said sales in the year to end-December rose 13.1% to CHF367m (US$410m).
Excluding Vogeley's sales activities, organic growth stood at 2.4%. The first half of the year was weaker for Huegli which posted organic sales of -0.2%. It countered this in the second half of the year where sales increased by 5%.
The German market proved particularly strong for Huegli. Switzerland and the rest of Europe also showed positive sales growth, benefiting from good sales development in the UK. However sales in Eastern Europe took a tumble of 6.8%.
While organic sales were up across its food service, brand solutions and consumer brands sectors, Huegli's private label and food industry units suffered.
However CEO Thomas Bodenmann remained positive on the outlook for the future.
"We will continue implementing our growth strategy. We thereby aim to grow 5% each year in the medium-term, achieving growth both organically and through further acquisitions. In addition, we will focus on products with a high margin and improve the profit situation on the whole by the advancement of processes and an efficient cost management."
For the full-year, Huegli said that it expects EBIT to rise by more than 13%.
Based on slow economic growth in Europe, Huegli forecast "moderate organic sales growth" during 2014.
Sales growth of +13.1% in 2013, earnings clearly improved
? Sales increase in 2013 by +13.1% to CHF 367.3 million
? Sales division Brand Solutions as growth driver
? Successful integration of acquired Vogeley sales activities
? Organic sales growth of +2.4% owing to good dynamic in H2
? Forecast 2013: EBIT growth clearly over-proportional compared to sales
? Outlook 2014: moderate organic sales growth and over-proportional EBIT growth
Diverging sales development in the sales divisions Hügli Group sales grew by +13.1% to CHF 367.3 million. The acquisition effect totals +9.6% while +1.1% are due to positive currency development. After a weak first half of the year (-0.2%), organic sales development gained considerable dynamic in the second half with +5.0%, attaining an accumulated 2.4%. The comparison relates, however, to an exceptionally weak H2 2012.
Among the sales divisions, Brand Solutions (manufacturing of products for brand companies) with an organic +17.8%, as well as the Consumer Brands division (production and sales of Hügli’s own brands) with organic +5.0% developed very positively. Brand Solutions was able to grow considerably in all of its three product segments Classic, Organic and Health & Nutrition. Consumer Brands profited particularly from the demand for our own organic brands.
The Food Industry division suffered greatly in its consumer packs segment as major customers were repositioning themselves and cutting their order quantities. The business with flavour-adding semi-finished products, on the other hand, developed well. Nevertheless, it could not offset the sales slump entirely, letting organic sales drop by -4.4%.
Original source: Huegli
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