HKScan has lowered its operating profit outlook for 2013 due to “longer-than-foreseen” export challenges and downward pressure on pricing at home and overseas.

In a statement this morning (25 September), HKScan said 2013 EBIT, excluding one offs, is now expected to come in below last year’s levels. Previously, the Finnish meat company had guided to a year-on-year improvement in EBIT.

The company said sales were being hit by a shift in consumer buying patterns. Consumption of lower-priced mean products has “increased significantly” in all markets, especially Finland, HKScan said.

However, HKScan revealed it will exceed its target of annual performance improvements of EUR20m (US$26.1m). The group also said it would achieve a “significant reduction in capital employed” by the end of the year. HKScan has moved to restructure its manufacturing footprint in markets including Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

HKScan is launching a group-wide “development programme” that will run until the end of 2014, targeting an annual profit improvement exceeding EUR20m and a reduction of over EUR50m in net debt.

The company will publish its interim report on 6 November.