Vandemoortele Group has reported a profit from operations (EBIT) of EUR57m (US$67m), on the back of turnover of EUR1.1bn.

“Vandemoortele Group realised good operational results in 2009, this in spite of the difficult economic context,” the company said in a statement.

It added that its results were “higher than the two previous years, in absolute numbers as well as compared to turnover,” without providing actual comparisons.

The group said it also has a strong balance sheet, with equity four times higher than net financial debt.

Vandemoortele Group operate in bakery products and lipids (margarines and fats). It acquired the French baking group Panavi in 2008 and recently the margarine- and fats division of Van Dijk Food Products.

In a statement it said: “For bakery products, 2009 was geared towards the integration of Panavi and the increase in production efficiency. The integration of Panavi is perfectly on schedule and the results are satisfactory.”

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The company said that at its annual general meeting it appointed two new independent board members. The newcomers are Alfred Bouckaert, until recently CEO Norcee Axa) and Michel Léonard, recently the head of Lactalis, the second biggest French dairy company.

The board now consists of 13 members.