just-food presents the key metrics from company financials in bitesize format, with analyst insight and social media comment alongside graphs illustrating a business’ historical performance to give you an easy-to-read digest of the numbers you need to know.

Tuesday, 10 April

Fleury Michon starts 2018 with further pressure on sales

France’s Fleury Michon, which saw its sales decline in 2017, has revealed more pressure on its top line in the first quarter of this year.

For the three months to the end of March, Fleury Michon’s sales stood at EUR172.5m (US$216.6m), down 2.9% on the first quarter of 2017.

Sales from Fleury Michon’s core business in France dropped 1.3%, with sales from the company’s international division down more than 15% amid pressure on its business in Canada.

Valio FY sales growth led by export markets

Finland-based dairy cooperative Valio said sales rose in 2017 despite a challenging environment and saw continued growth in Sweden, the Baltics, Russia and China, but noted a flat performance in its domestic market.

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“The imbalance of the global markets continues, and the growth in milk production is expected to outpace the demand for dairy products,” said chief executive Annikka Hurme. 

– Net sales climb 4.3% to EUR1.71bn (US$2.1bn) – International sales up 12.4%

– Milk margin increases 3.2% to EUR797m

– Milk return in cents per litre up 5% at EUR37.9

Cerealto sales jump on M&A, EBITDA falls

Spain-based food group Cerealto saw its revenue jump in 2017, helped by M&A, but reported a loss at the EBITDA level.

The company posted turnover of EUR160m (US$197.9m), up 72% on 2016 after a year in which it acquired assets including Italian pasta firm Pastificio Mediterranea.

However, Cerealto booked an EBITDA loss of EUR2.1m, pointing to costs from the start-up of a factory in the UK and “operational improvements” at a plant in Mexico.

In 2016, Cerealto generated EBITDA of EUR4.2m.

Simply Good Foods H1 income leaps forward

US nutritional snacking business Simply Good Foods has seen its net income increase fivefold in the 26 weeks to 24 February, on a year-on-year basis. Sales and operating income were also up.

President and CEO Joseph Scalzo said: “I’m pleased with our fiscal second-quarter results as we continued to build on our marketplace momentum, which resulted in a net sales increase of 6.9%, gross margin expansion and solid operating profit growth. 

“Retail takeaway performance continues to be strong and increased 4.7% and 5.1% for the 13 and 26 weeks ended February 24, 2018. While early, fiscal third-quarter marketplace performance is off to a good start giving us confidence in our growth initiatives to create value for our shareholders.”

– Net sales up 6.8% to US$215.9m

– Operating income up 13.5% to $36m

– Net income up to $51.6m from $10.2m in 2017

Earnings down at Bell-controlled Huegli

Huegli Holding – now majority-owned by fellow Switzerland-based food manufacturer Bell Group – today (10 April) reported a fall in annual earnings amid flat sales.

The company, in which Bell acquired a 50.2% stake in January, saw revenues from Germany, its largest market, drop 3%, although the business reported growth in the fourth quarter.

Huegli said its group revenue in the first quarter of 2018 was up 9.5%, or by 1.6% in local currencies.

Bell’s stake in Huegli amounts to 67% of the company’s voting rights. It intends to delist Bell should it get to more than 75%.

For the year to 31 December:

– Sales down 0.3% at CHF384m (US$401.1m)

– EBIT dropped 10.4% to CHF25.6m

– Net profit 9.2% lower at CHF20.2m

just-food analysis from January: Is the Bell Food Group-Huegli deal a win-win?

Dairy prices weigh on Sodiaal profits

Sodiaal, the France-based dairy cooperative, saw its sales rise in 2017 but its profits curdled on the back of a “significant” increase in the price it paid for milk.

The company said the volume of milk it collected was “stable” at 4.7bn litres but the price it paid rose to EUR342 per 1,000 litres of whole milk, up from EUR282 in 2016.

Sodiaal said it had been to able to “partially” pass on the higher price, which contributed to an improvement in sales.

Looking into 2018, Sodiaal said it would implement a “strategic transformation plan” announced in November, which will see the company seek to extract more value from its milk. The co-op will, for example, invest in production of organic infant formula.

For the year to 31 December:

– Sales of EUR5.1bn (US$6.28bn), versus EUR4.8bn

– Net profit of EUR16.7m, against EUR24m in 2016