Belgian food group Vandemoortele has strengthened its presence in central Europe with the takeover of the Polish frozen bakery firm Gourmand Poland, part of Group Dossche, for an undisclosed sum.

Gourmand Poland’s most important product is frozen bread, but it also produces frozen puff pastries, Viennese pastries and snacks. It has a turnover of E3m.

Vandemoortele already has a strong presence in the Czech market. When announcing a 2006 net profit of E32m in April this year, the company said it would make investments of E70m in order to drive capacity growth and efficiency improvements. This would include a total of 113 new appointments.

Frozen dough is one of three Vandemoortele business segments in its Lipids & Dough division; the others are soya foods and margarines & fats.

Turnover in the frozen dough business, which primarily supplies fresh bakers and in-store bakeries, rose 5% in 2006.

In addition to its bread ranges, it produces doughnuts, muffins, cookies, Viennoiserie and patisserie.