Bakery giant ARYZTA has refused to comment on a report in the Irish press suggesting it is lining up its Dublin-based business La Rousse Foods for sale.

The Irish Times newspaper suggested Aryzta is preparing to dispose of La Rousse, which supplies fine foods to restaurants, hotels and catering firms, to raise cash to help it pay off its debts.

Aryzta bought La Rousse in 2015 at a reported price of between EUR20m (US$23.6m) and EUR30m.

The newspaper quotes sources saying the business could achieve more than EUR30m if sold today.

But when contacted by just-food a spokesperson for Aryzta said: “The company won’t be making a comment at this time.”

On Monday (25 September), Aryzta recorded a fall in annual sales and earnings.

Revenues dropped in North America and in Europe. In North America, margins were affected by reduced operating leverage, combined with increasing labour input costs and increased spending on branding and marketing costs.

Margins declined in Europe primarily due to the ramp-up of new bakery capacity in Germany, as well as the currency impact of Brexit on cross-border revenues and input costs in the UK.