Dutch meat giant Vion said economic conditions and increased prices for raw materials hit the firm’s profits last year.

EBITDA in the 12-month period slumped 53% to EUR90m (US$113.2m), while profit after tax was EUR14m.

Vion said its home markets in the UK, Netherlands and Germany proved “particularly challenging” during the year, but said it “responded well” to the growing market demand for meat from the BRIC countries.

The company achieved a 7% increase in turnover in 2011 to EUR9.5bn, but said the “stagnating economy” and “restricted consumer expenditure” impacted its overall performance.

Vion said the pork market was again “highly competitive” and the rise in livestock prices resulting from increased input costs, were not reflected in sales prices, due in part to an imbalance between supply and demand.

“In 2011, Vion paid high purchase prices for pigs and cattle. Unfortunately, the prevailing economic conditions prevented us from consistently transferring these increases to Vion Food’s sales markets,” said CEO and chairman Uwe Tillmann. “As a result, our financial results in 2011 were disappointing.”

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