French poultry group LDC has struck a tentative deal to buy smaller rival Groupe Arrivé.


LDC, which is France’s largest poultry processor, said the planned takeover would “reinforce” its position as leader in its domestic market and strengthen the group among its European competitors.


The company, which has also bought a local sandwich maker and a Polish meat processor in recent months, said the takeover of Arrivé remains subject to regulatory approval.


LDC has moved for Arrivé to boost its value-added business and its branded portfolio. Arrivé’s product range includes the Maître Coq brand and the company generates over EUR120m (US$168.4m) in sales of value-added lines, LDC said.


In January, LDC bought Entracte, France’s fourth-largest sandwich maker. The firm produces around 27m sandwiches each year and has an estimated turnover of around EUR26m. Last year, LDC also snapped up Polish meat processor Tarczynski.


LDC saw its profits tumble during the first half of its fiscal year but said on Wednesday (27 May) that a recovery in consumption had led to a “significant improvement” in earnings in the second half of the year.


Turnover climbed 6.5% to EUR1.95bn as LDC’s sales volumes in France improved during the second half of the year.


LDC’s international sales fell 10.4% but the group said its overseas operations had generated a profit of EUR1.4m in the second half of the year – against a loss of EUR4.4m in the previous six months.


LDC’s annual group net profit fell from EUR53.5m last year to EUR42.6m in fiscal 2008/09.