Bonduelle, the France-based vegetable-products supplier, is contemplating the future of part of its operations in the Americas.
The publicly-listed group said today (27 September) it has started a review of its canned and frozen businesses, which take in assets in Canada, the US and Brazil.
Known as Bonduelle Americas Long Life, the unit processes canned and frozen fruit and veg for retailers and foodservice. Bonduelle says the retail side of the business “mainly” supplies private label. Another chunk of sales comes through co-packing for brands in the US and Canada. In the year to 30 June, overall sales came to “more than” EUR600m (US$702.7m), Bonduelle said.
“This review aims at assessing the contribution of this activity towards the Bonduelle Group’s ambition of sustainable growth with a positive impact,” the company said.
Bonduelle wants to prioritise branded businesses “as a guarantee of both independence and sustainability”.
It added: “This review, and the resulting scenarios, should enable Bonduelle Americas Long Life’s activities to pursue their development in a constantly consolidating North American market and to finance the investments necessary to increase its profitability.”
According to Bonduelle’s most-recent annual report, published in October 2020, its Bonduelle Americas Long Life division has nine production facilities in Canada, five in the US and one in Brazil.
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News of the review came alongside the publication of Bonduelle’s annual financial results. Revenue fell 2.7% to EUR2.78bn, with the strength of the euro eating into the company’s top line. Bonduelle said “like-for-like” sales were up 1.6%.
The business in North America now under review “recorded contrasting activity between distribution networks, which nonetheless allowed the business to remain stable over the financial year”, the group said.
The company’s current operating income was down 7.6% at EUR100.4m as the impact of Covid-19 pushed up costs and hit sales of fresh products in North America.
Bonduelle’s net profit was up 4.6% at EUR57.1m.
The business is aiming for a 3% rise in turnover in its new financial year.