French group Bonduelle has announced a like-for-like increase in turnover of 1.9 per cent to €1.02bn for the first half of financial year 2016-2017.
According to the company, the result demonstrated Bonduelle’s resilience in the face of the changing economic, financial and consumption climate, as well as the troublesome harvests of summer 2016.
Turnover within Europe remained virtually unchanged during the period, Bonduelle reported. This despite a downturn in the canning segment, as harvest deficits recorded in summer 2016 resulted in fewer promotional activities.
By contrast, the frozen segment achieved positive growth over the period, while sales in the fresh processed and ready-to-eat segments remained stable.
Outside of Europe, turnover increased by 6.6 per cent, despite little sign of consumption recovering in and around Russia. North America recorded strong growth, especially in Canada, while the repositioning of Bonduelle’s canned range facilitated resumed growth in South America.
Last week, Bonduelle announced an agreement to acquire Ready Pac Foods, the US market leader in single-serve salad bowls.
According to the group, the transaction is a key step in its VegeGo! 2025 strategy to be "the world reference in ‘well-living’ through vegetable products". With this acquisition, the US will become the largest country for Bonduelle’s operations.
Ready Pac Foods will become Bonduelle fifth business unit, dedicated to the fresh business in the Americas and named Bonduelle Fresh Americas (BFA).
Excluding the acquisition of Ready Pac Foods, Bonduelle expressed confidence that the group would meet its annual targets at the higher end of the initial range, with turnover growing by an estimated 2-3 per cent and operating margin remaining stable.