NETHERLANDS: Wessanen to sell frozen units; posts Q3 loss
Wessanen, the Dutch food group, is looking to sell two frozen food units, Karl Kemper and Righi, as part of an ongoing plan to focus on speciality and organic food in Europe.
The company, which said in August that it also wanted to offload US natural and organic food group Tree of Life, said today (28 October) that Karl Kemper and Righi had "virtually no synergies" with its frozen food businesses in the Benelux markets.
Wessanen reaffirmed that it wanted to sell Tree of Life before the end of the year and said the process was "progressing according to plan".
Wessanen CEO Frans Koffrie said: "We are pleased to see further progress is made in Wessanen's strategic transition to a group with focus on the European organic and speciality food markets, which continue to show vitality despite difficult economic circumstances."
Nevertheless, this morning Wessanen posted a net loss of EUR20.1m (US$29.7m) for the third quarter of 2009. The result compared to a net profit of EUR11.8m a year ago but came due to higher financing costs and impairment charges at Karl Kemper and Righi.
Underlying profit stood at EUR5m against EUR17.2m a year earlier. Sales fell 4.5% to EUR171.3m.
As the UK economy recovers, albeit slowly, there are signs that consumer behaviour is returning to "normal". There are questions, however, over how the organic food sector will arrest a slump in sales...
Dutch food group Wessanen has raised EUR18.4m (US$25m) through an equity offering....
Dutch food group Wessanen this morning (25 February) reported a loss of EUR219.7m (US$296.1m) for 2009, a turbulent year for the Kallo rice cakes and Whole Earth organic food maker....
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