Apetit has revealed it wants to be “the leader” in vegetable-based food solutions by 2018.

Speaking at the company’s capital markets day in Helsinki, CEO Juha Vanhainen said: “Our strategy is to improve Apetit’s profitability and make Apetit the leader in vegetable-based food solutions. Renewal will be accelerated by investing in new food solutions, product development in current product lines, in increasing added value and in service development, especially by exploiting digitalisation.”

The company said it was focusing on the “most important product groups” of frozen vegetable products and frozen ready meals as well as ready-to-use fresh vegetables. 

Apetit revealed it is targeting net organic sales growth of 20% in this segment by the end of 2018, up from sales of EUR96m (US$104.3m) in 2015. Apetit also wants to boost profits at this business. The company said it intends to hit an EBITDA margin of 7.5% in this segment by 2018, versus 3.7% in 2015.

Elsewhere, in grains and oilseed Apetit is eyeing growth in the Baltics, while in seafood the company wants to become “the most efficient producer of volume and added value products as a retail trade partner,” Vanhainen continued. 

In order to achieve these goals, Apetit plans to use its “strong” balance sheet “more effectively”, the chief executive said. “The company will increase its investments in growth and to enhance added value and operational efficiency. We will also focus a lot more on the digitalisation opportunities for improving our services at the customer and producer and farmer interface.”

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By GlobalData

Apetit revealed it will revise its segment structure to support growth. The group’s new business segments are: food solutions – including both frozen and fresh products – oilseed products, grain trade and seafood.

At a group level, Apetit aims to deliver ROCE of more than 10% and EBITDA of “at least” EUR20m per annum by 2018. 

Earlier this month, Apetit revealed it has completed its “long-term profitability programmes” in its food business, which focused on increasing efficiency and saving EUR4.5m in operating costs.