Blog: Dean BestBashful Bakkavor

Dean Best | 2 April 2009

No wonder Bakkavor is staying so tight-lipped.

In recent months, as the economy plunged has into recession, Icelandic food company Bakkavor has been one of the companies that suggested not all food makers were "recession-resilient".

The company has seen its profits tumble and it has been forced to restructure the business, which has, in turn, led to plant closures and job losses. The group has also lost money on its investment in Ireland's Greencore due to the banking crisis.

Clearly these factors have had a severe impact on the company’s 2008 results, as Bakkavör yesterday (1 April) posted an annual loss of loss of GBP154.2m (US$222m).

Nonetheless, the company has insisted that its restructuring is paying off and that although it expects trading conditions to remain "challenging", it anticipates returning to profit growth and seeing "good cash generation" this year.

Needless to say, just-food was keen to quiz the company on its 2008 performance and how it sees the year ahead.

My first set of questions were returned urging me to refer to the press release and presentation on the company’s website.

Unperturbed and keen to get to the bottom of the company’s problems, as well as ask about the positive points of the results, I responded with further questions, asking for a bit more “colour”.

My answer was short and sweet and comprised, in brief, of three sentences once again referring me to the press release, and another informing me Bakkavor was “unable to disclose such information”.

2009 will be a tough year for many in the food industry and it will be fascinating to see how Bakkavor will fare.

Michelle Russell, reporter.


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