Green Cuisine owner Nomad saw bumper demand

Green Cuisine owner Nomad saw bumper demand

Iglo and Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods today (7 May) lifted its forecasts for annual sales and profitability after strong top-line growth in the first quarter of 2020.

The UK-based, US-listed group said its sales and earnings were ahead of its expectations during the opening three months of the year, boosted by a jump in demand from shoppers.

Stéfan Descheemaeker, Nomad Foods' CEO, said the company had seen an "unprecedented level of consumer demand for frozen food, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic".

He added: "This change in consumer behaviour, which began in early March, has continued into the second quarter with in-home consumption the most meaningful driver."

Nomad's first-quarter revenue increased 10.5% to EUR683m (US$738.8m). On an organic basis, revenue rose 7.7%, with volume/mix contributing 6.3 percentage points of the growth.

The company's adjusted EBITDA reached EUR119.9m, against EUR122.1m a year earlier, amid higher spending on advertising and promotions.

On an adjusted basis, profit fell 5% to EUR68m, with an increase in finance costs also playing a part. Reported profit for the period was EUR47.5m, up from EUR22.4m in the first quarter of 2019.

Nevertheless, Nomad now expects its 2020 adjusted EBITDA to be approximately EUR450-460m, versus an earlier estimate of EUR440-445m.

Nomad expects its organic revenue to grow "at a mid-single digit percentage range versus the prior expectation of low-single digit organic revenue growth".