French vegetable processor Bonduelle has recorded an increase in full-year sales but tightened its earnings outlook on poor consumption in Europe and increasing costs.

In the year to the end of June, sales climbed 7.3% to EUR1.9bn (US$2.5bn). The acquisitions of Cecab’s canned unit in Russia and Allens’ frozen vegetables business in the US had a 4.5% positive impact on sales. Exchange rate changes boosted sales by 0.9%. Like-for-like revenues reached 1.9%.

In Europe, sales were down 1.4% – by 0.8% on a like-for-like basis – due to a worsening of the consumer confidence, the firm said. Southern and central Europe were particularly affected.

The fourth quarter, however, saw like-for-like sales up 0.3% growth thanks to a “favourable base effect observed in all technologies”, Bonduelle said.

Sales outside Europe were up 30.1% and by 8.6% on a like-for-like basis, boosted by growth in Russia and the CIS, the launch of “added-value” innovations, and sales in Brazil where production reached full capacity.

Bonduelle said raw material inflation, the need to “increase tariffs to preserve commercial volumes” and the “severe worsening” of the consumption climate in Europe will affect operating results for the full year. The company said it expects to “approach” the lower end of its 2012/2013 operating results target of EUR106m to EUR108m.

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