Bakery giant Aryzta has slowed its fall in turnover in the past year, although the business has been hit by declines in its US operation.
The group reported flat organic revenue (excluding impacts from acquisitions/disposals and currency exchange), with total revenue down 1.5% to €3,383m (£3,030m). A year ago, Aryzta reported a 9.5% fall in revenue, down 1.2% on an organic basis.
In the past 12 months, the company saw organic revenue in Europe grow 1.9%, while organic revenue in North America fell 3.8%. Rest of world organic revenue grew 8.9%.
Underlying EBITDA rose 1.9% to €308m (£276m), with the underlying EBITDA margin up 30 base points to 9.1%. Underlying net profit rose 50% to €74m (£66m).
Aryzta reported that its Project Renew cost reduction programme was progressing well and had delivered €26m (£24m) in savings across the year.
It had saved €11m (£10m) in its European business, primarily from staff reductions, improved efficiency – including automation projects – and supply chain optimisation.
Last year, the company sold businesses including Signature Flatbreads and raised €740m (£630m) in capital.
Aryzta has also agreed the sale of a 43% stake in French frozen food business Picard for €156m (£140m), taking the total of its non-core assets disposal to €380m (£340m).
“The steps we have taken in FY19 have established foundations on our path towards stability, performance and growth,” said Aryzta chief executive officer Kevin Toland. “This is reflected in the delivery of group-level underlying EDITDA stability.
“We are realistic about and resolved to address the clear revenue challenges presented by our North American business,” he stated, adding the company would see further organic loss in the first half of the coming financial year in the US before new contracts kicked in during the second half.
“We expect to see an improved underlying EBITDA performance in the North American region in FY20.”