Atria looking to improve EBIT and increase sales in 2017

Atria looking to improve EBIT and increase sales in 2017

Finnish meat processor Atria has booked increased sales, a slight fall in EBIT but reduced lossses for the first quarter of 2017, saying the meat market "is beginning to stabilise after years of instability".

Atria's net sales for the period were EUR332.5m (US$362.5m) compared to EUR314.5m in the first quarter of 2016. "Net sales grew in all business areas, mainly due to the acquisitions made last year in Finland and Sweden," the group said.

EBIT dipped to EUR1.2m compared to EUR1.6m in the year-ago period. Atria said EBIT in Finland was up from the year before "due to improvements in category profitability and sales structure". However, EBIT was brought down in Russia as a result of higher raw material prices.

Atria posted a loss of EUR600,000, versus EUR1m in the first quarter of 2016.

The company said its full-year EBIT "is expected to be better" than the consolidated EBIT of EUR31.8m for 2016 and "net sales are expected to grow".

CEO Juha Gröhn said: "Overall, the results were roughly the same as last year. When comparing the quarters, it can be seen that sales are lower in the first three months of a year, which also affects the results. In Finland and the Baltic countries, the results improved from the previous year, while Scandinavia and Russia declined."

Gröhn said: "The situation in the meat market is beginning to stabilise after years of instability. This means improved operating conditions for those business areas in which the company has slaughterhouse and meat-cutting operations."

Atria said its first pork deliveries to China will take place in May. The group said its poultry units in Nurmo and Sahalahti have been granted export authorisations to Japan and "the commercial effects will be evaluated later".