Emmi booked a drop in 2015 sales this morning (4 February) as a weaker performance from its domestic business offset a more robust international showing.
The company said net sales were down 5.6% to EUR3.2bn (US$3.57bn). On an organic basis, adjusted for acquisitions and currency exchange, full-year sales fell 3%.
Emmi’s CEO Urs Riedener said the result reflected the difficulties of operating in the Swiss dairy sector. “Our international business made a major contribution to mitigating the considerable drop in sales in Switzerland. The fact that this was achieved despite the necessary price increases for export products demonstrates how robust our brands are. Price and import pressure is a challenge in Switzerland, which we will continue to face in 2016,” he predicted.
Sales in Switzerland fell 5%. On an organic basis – excluding currency exchange – sales in Europe dipped just 0.3% and sales in the Americas gained 2.8%.
According to MainFirst analyst Alain Oberhuber the international performance was supported by Emmi’s brands. “We think that the result is positive as the international business shows a tick stronger organic growth as in particular Emmi’s main product Caffè Latte had strong performance in its main markets and speciality cheese growth in the USA remained solid,” he wrote in an investor note.
Emmi continues to use M&A to try to grow its top line. Yesterday, the company announced it was taking a 60% stake in Dutch goat’s milk processor Bettinehoeve.