UPDATE: SWEDEN: HKScan looks to tackle Swedish woes - CEO

By Katy Askew | 8 May 2012

HKScan is considering a range of options to boost the profitability of its struggling Swedish meat business, CEO Hannu Kottonen told just-food this afternoon (8 May).

Speaking after the group issued a profit warning in the wake of disappointing first-quarter results, Kottonen said the group is working to improve the performance of its struggling domestic businesses.

In a regulatory filing, HKScan reported an operating loss of EUR0.6m in the three months to 31 March, compared to an operating profit of EUR1.4m a year ago.

The decline was driven by the group's performance in Sweden, where the firm racked up losses of EUR5.5m.

Kottonen, who took the helm at the branded meat supplier at the end of March, said issues in Sweden revolved around an influx of imported meat, due to the weak kroner, and an increasing consumer acceptance of own-label products.

The company has also attempted to drive through price increases to reflect higher costs but these have been "insufficient", it said.

To address this, Kottonen told just-food that HKScan has "several actions" in the pipeline. "These include better balance between Swedish, HKScan and "external" raw material, further sales price increases in the market and cost measures," he revealed.

Kottonen added the company is evaluating all its businesses in Sweden as it considers "strategic alternatives" to boost profitability. He did not comment on whether these options could include any potential disposals.

"We have plenty of businesses, legal entities and operations in Sweden. We have to define their roles as going forward," he said. 

Sectors: Financials, Meat & poultry

Companies: HKScan

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