Wessanen cited growth from Bjorg brand

Wessanen cited growth from Bjorg brand

Wessanen, the Dutch food group behind brands including Kallø rice cakes and Whole Earth peanut butter, has reported a fall in third-quarter profits amid losses from US drinks arm ABC.

Lower sales at ABC also hit Wessanen's group revenue. However, the company's shares rose as the fall in turnover was less than expected.

The company booked a net profit of EUR3.7m (US$5.1m) for the three months to the end of September, compared to EUR3.9m a year earlier.

Normalised EBIT, which excluded one-off items, was down at EUR2.6m, against EUR7.5m a year earlier.

Wessanen said losses at ABC, on the back of lower sales, hit earnings. It warned ABC would remain in the red in the fourth quarter but said it had made moves to make the business profitable in 2014.

The fall in revenue at ABC was a factor behind the company's lower group sales, which slid 2.4% to EUR171.2m. Excluding foreign exchange and M&A, sales were down 2.9%.

However, sales from Wessanen's grocery business, which operates in Europe and is its largest division, were up 10.5% at EUR72.7m.

The acquisition of French fair trade brand Alter Eco helped sales but Wessanen still saw a 6.4% increase in underlying revenue from that side of its business.

Shares in Wessanen were up 0.9% at EUR2.81 at 15:56 CET.