Belgium-based pâte and ready-meals supplier Ter Beke is on the hunt for a new CEO after chief executive Francis Kint decided to step down this coming June.

Kint, who joined Ter Beke from Netherlands meat group Vion in 2018, will leave the role on 30 June, the company said yesterday (7 January).

Ter Beke said the company and Kint had “decided to end their collaboration”, adding he had “led Ter Beke through a difficult period, with a major recall in the Netherlands in 2019, African swine fever in China, resulting in historically high pork prices, and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The statement continued: “The board of directors believes that under the leadership of Francis Kint the group has shown itself to be robust and resilient during this period and is ready to continue its growth ambitions. The board will now start the search for a new CEO.”

In 2019, Ter Beke generated turnover of EUR728.1m (US$890m), up 7% on a year earlier, amid “substantial organic growth”. The recall that hit Ter Beke’s Dutch business contributed to a more than 61% drop in EBIT to EUR6.2m.

During the first half of 2020, Ter Beke’s turnover dipped 0.7% to EUR356.2m amid the pressure on foodservice sales wrought by Covid-19 lockdowns. The company booked an operating loss of EUR10m – compared with EUR9.4m in the first half of 2019 – amid pressure on commodity pork prices and moves to reshape its Dutch processed-meats business. Ter Beke posted a first-half loss after tax of EUR9.8m, versus a profit of EUR4.7m a year earlier.

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