Swedish conglomerate Lantmannen saw full year results in its food division hit by foreign currency effects and higher commodity prices.

The group said Wednesday (9 February) that its food division recorded SEK534m (US$82.4m) operating income, down on the SEK691m recorded in the previous year. The company said that adjusted for items affecting comparability and foreign currency effects, “operating income exceed that of the year before”.

Meanwhile, net sales for the full year fell 4% to SEK14.4bn.

For the fourth quarter, the food business recorded an operating loss of SEK36m, against a SEK126m profit in the same quarter of the previous year. It said that higher commodity prices “continued to exert pressure on margins in the fourth quarter”.

Net sales fell 1% to SEK3.5bn. However, removing currency effects, revenue rose 6%. The company attributed the rise to Lantmannen Cerealia and Lantmannen Kronfagel’s Danish operation as well as through implemented price increases.

Consolidated net income, which includes its agriculture, energy and machinery businesses, reach SEK725m for 2010, against SEK182m during 2009.

During the fourth quarter, net income reached SEK66m, against a SEK39m loss in the same quarter of last year, driven by its cost savings programme.

Meanwhile, net sales were up 3% to SEK35.9bn and fourth quarter sales were up 19% to SEK9.9bn.

Commenting on the results, Lantamannen president and CEO, Per Stromberg, said: “These are strong results that confirm that the strategies guiding our work in recent years are producing results. In 2010 we saw a large positive impact from our well conducted savings programmes.”