• Merger costs, integration charges hit profits
  • Commodity prices, lower sales also hit earnings 

Swedish confectioner Cloetta has today (24 August) reported higher half-year losses, hit by higher commodity costs but also its merger with rival Leaf International.

Cloetta booked a loss of SEK241m (US$36.5m) for the six months to the end of June, compared to a loss of SEK179m a year earlier.

It recorded an operating loss of SEK47m, against operating profit of SEK147m in the first half of 2011.

The company cited costs from the transaction between Cloetta and Leaf, announced last December and completed in February. It also pointed to costs incurred from restructuring the combined business, including a revamp of its factories and supply chain.

Underlying EBITA, which excludes the one-off charges, dropped 44.8% to SEK103m. Cloetta pointed to higher commodity costs, particularly sugar.

Net sales were up 6.2% at SEK2.3bn, although underlying net sales decreased 2.4% to SEK2.4bn. Cloetta said underlying sales excluded currency fluctuation, a distribution business in Belgium it sold to German confectioner Katjes International and a third-party deistribution deal in Italy. It said weak market conditions hit its underlying sales.

Click here to read comments from Cloetta's chief executive on the firm's first-half results.

Show the press release

 

Interim report Q2, April – June 2012

• Net sales for the quarter amounted to SEK 1,212m (1,120). Operating profit was SEK –53m (70).

• Underlying net sales fell by 3.0 per cent, which is mainly explained by weak market conditions.

• Items affecting comparability amounted to SEK –103m (–52), and consisted mainly of costs related to the integration process and costs arising from factory restructurings.

• Cash flow from operating activities reached SEK 102m (143).

• Underlying EBITA amounted to SEK 53m (112). The decrease is mainly due to the fact that it has not been possible to fully compensate for higher raw material costs through increased net prices.

• The integration process is continuing as planned. Staff reductions were carried out in August.

• The factory restructurings are proceeding according to plan. A decision has been made to close the factories in Aura, Alingsås and Gävle.

• The rights issue was fully subscribed.

• NASDAQ OMX Stockholm decided to move Cloetta from the Small Cap to the Mid Cap segment as of 2 July 2012.

Click here for the full release.

 

Original source: Cloetta