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December 8, 2020

French poultry giant LDC buys into sushi

LDC, one of Europe's largest suppliers of poultry meat, has acquired a majority stake in a French business operating sushi kiosks in supermarkets.

By Dean Best

LDC, one of Europe’s largest suppliers of poultry meat, has acquired a majority stake in Asia General Food, a French business operating sushi kiosks in supermarkets.

In a stock-exchange filing, LDC said it had acquired a 60% in  Asia General Food, which runs the kiosks under the Sushi Master brand.

LDC did not disclose how much it paid for the stake but said Asia General Food generated revenue of EUR11.5m (US$13.9m) in 2019, which, the company added, was up 10% on a year earlier. Asia General Food’s EBITDA margin in 2019 was 9%, LDC noted.

Some 30 supermarkets contain Sushi Master kiosks and the company’s founders – who, LDC said, will “remain associated” with the business – want that to grow to 80 in five years’ time. That number of kiosks would “correspond to a turnover of around EUR40m”, LDC said.

Asia General Food will be part of LDC’s convenience-food division, which markets products such as ready meals, pizza and sandwiches.

The acquisition was announced alongside LDC’s half-year financial results. In the six months to the end of August, LDC’s turnover inched up 0.8% to EUR2.12bn. The company’s operating income rose 1.5% to EUR89.7m. Net income was also up 1.5%, reaching EUR66.6m.

LDC said the first six months of its financial year had seen “solid results across all areas”. Turnover was helped by recent M&A. On a like-for-like basis – and at constant exchange rates – LDC’s turnover dipped 1.7% to EUR2.07bn.

The group’s underlying operating income was also up 1.5% at EUR89.7m. LDC said it was targeting that metric to be down by 5-10% over the year as a whole amid pressure on raw-material prices and Covid-19 reshaping consumption patterns over Christmas.

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