ARYZTA has booked a jump in earnings for the first six months of its fiscal year on the back of increased sales from recently-acquired businesses and improved margins.

The Switzerland-based food and agribusiness group formed following the merger of Iaws and Hiestand in 2008 said today (14 March) that EBITA in the six months to 31 January increased by 52% to EUR173.1m (US$241.8m). Sales rose 36% to EUR1.89m while EBITA margin increased by 90 basis points to 9.1%.

Group sales were propelled by a 60% jump in food revenues. Aryzta’s European operations saw sales rise 10% while North American revenues were up 140%. The contribution of sales from emerging markets also increased, with rest of world revenues up 591%.

Last summer, Aryzta announced the acquisition of Fresh Start Bakeries, with operations in Europe and the US, and North American pizza supplier Great Kitchens. Aryzta CEO Owen Killian said that the “major feature” of the group’s result was the “enormous contribution” from recently acquired businesses, but added that underlying revenue growth was encouraging.

“We have initiated business combination projects in Europe and North America which, as we roll out the Aryzta Technology Initiative, will create the opportunity to unlock the potential within our enlarged customer base.The speed and severity of food raw material price increases was unexpected and is again a major focus in the business. In such an inflationary environment, bakery plays an important role in a food menu or basket and provides an innovative value proposition for consumers,” Killian said.

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