Finland-based meat group HKScan booked an increase in profits in 2012 but said the group’s performance last year was “below expectations”.

Earnings amounted to EUR16.4m (US$21.8m), a 34.4% increase on the prior-year period. Operating profit was up 4.3% to EUR41.3m.

Despite the increases, HKScan said the group’s performance was “below expectations”.

“Poland was the main market area to show clear improvement over the previous year,” the company said. “The profitability of the business in Finland improved during the year compared to the corresponding period in 2011, but performance was still at a low level. Stable development of business could be seen in the Baltics. The business in Sweden showed an initial stabilisation towards year end after the very bad first half of 2012.”

Net sales in the period were up 2.4% to EUR2.55bn.

HKScan outlined a revised strategy in August last year that focuses on improving profitability through building brand value and demand, improving efficiency, and developing its capital structure and group reporting. This resulted in the company announcing plans to cut up to 295 jobs last month.

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