Speciality bakery business Aryzta believes a sales decline in Ireland and the UK is stabilising.
In its financial results for the first six months, ended 31 January 2011, the Swiss-based group reported that while revenue grew by 9.7% to €585.3m in its Food Europe division, with acquisition contribution of 7.3%, underlying revenue fell 0.9%. EBITA grew 8.7% to €66m.
The company said: “There is evidence of market stabilisation... challenges still remain in these markets. In continental Europe, there is a return to growth, particularly in the independent segment of bakeries, boulangeries and independent restaurants.”
Food North America revenues grew by 140% to €610.5m, while the Rest of World revenues grew by 591% to €87.4m. Group revenue increased by 36% to €1.89bn and group EBITA rose 52% to €173.1m.
CEO Owen Killian said: “While the major feature of these results is the enormous contribution from our recently acquired businesses, we are most encouraged by the improvement in underlying revenue growth as consumers adjust to improving economic circumstances in most markets.”
He added: “The speed and severity of food raw material price increases was unexpected and is again a major focus in the business.”