French vegetable group Bonduelle is tightening its focus on its core business with the sale of the Rijkevorsel fruit and pickles factory.

"Bonduelle wants to concentrate on its historic core business, vegetables, in a consumer climate that is still very difficult," the firm said.

"Fruit is a very different business and it would need numerous commercial and industrial investments to develop it and assure its long-term future."

Bonduelle took on Rijkevorsel as part of its acquisition of Belgian canned vegetable firm La Corbeille last year.

The business is being sold as a complete unit, with annual sales of EUR7m (US10.4m) a year. The new owner - Belgian firm Scana Noliko - will retain all staff.

Scana Noliko is already present in this fruit sector and will gain additional market share from the acquisition.

The sale is expected to be completed next February.