Beleaguered leading Swedish abattoir and meat group Swedish Meats said its eight-month loss to August widened to SKr175m compared with a loss of SKr100m in the same period of last year.

At the same time the board announced a major management and structural overhaul in a move to stem losses due to internal inefficiencies. The group is the result of a merger of four regional cooperative abattoirs and differences among them have been difficult to overcome. Swedish Meats officically started operations as of Janury of last year. For the full year, the group now is expected to post losses of SKr300m, far below previous forecasts of break-even.

Scan Foods underperforming

The losses are due to both a deteriorating market performance by the Swedish giant's Scan Foods processed meat unit, and costly production failures. Meanwhile, the group has been forced to manage a breath-taking 20% fall in slaughter volumes of pigs to an estimated 2.1 million heads this year, as a result of producers either dropping out or selling to other parties.
Sales dropped 8% to SKr5.2bn in the January to August period.

Senior heads to roll

The proposed structural changes will reduce top-management by half and cut staff by 150 as the abattoir groups SQM Pork and SQM Beef will be thrown into one unit. In the process, one to leave the company is SQM Pork's managing director Carl Gustaf Körnell.