European Business News – Week ending November 19, 2010

 Breaking News
  • Scottish Food and Drink Exports Hit Record £6 Billion Overseas Scottish food and drink exports were worth approximately £6 billion in 2017 – almost £570 million more than 2016. Food exports were valued at about £1.6 billion – a rise of 15% (£214 million) during the same period. Exports of food to Europe were worth £1.1 billion after an increase of 13%, or £125 [...]...
  • UK Casual Dining Contraction is Independents’ Opportunity With casual dining brands closing sites and scaling back expansion in the UK, well-run independent operators have an opportunity to take back market share, says buying specialist Lynx Purchasing. Operators who do their homework on the eating-out market, including implementing strong buying disciplines, can broaden their customer appeal, says Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson. “Since the [...]...
  • AAK UK Opens First Customer Innovation Centre AAK UK has opened a new Customer Innovation Centre in Hull to take its co-development work with leading food brands to new levels of success. AAK, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of edible oils, fats and semi-speciality oil ingredients, works in close partnership with some of the most famous names in food and bakery to [...]...
  • Marks and Spencer Selects Zetes to Transform Food Supply Chain Operations Marks and Spencer (M&S) has selected Zetes to help transform visibility and fulfilment across its fresh food supply chain. The partnership will also see greater collaboration between M&S and its food suppliers via Zetes’ supply chain visibility platform, ZetesOlympus. Through ZetesOlympus, M&S will gain real-time fulfilment performance insight across its fresh food supply chain. The platform will help M&S [...]...
  • Guinness Remains Ireland’s Most Valuable Brand at €2.1 Billion Guinness remains Ireland’s most valuable brand after growing by 5% over the last year to a brand value of €2.1 billion on the back of new product innovations and steady sales of the world-famous draught, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Guinness’s brand value has [...]...

European Business News – Week ending November 19, 2010

November 19
00:44 2010

During a week when the Republic of Ireland’s beleaguered Government went cap in hand to the EU and IMF for a financial bailout to try and stabilise its foundering banking system, it was ironic that two Irish companies achieved notable successes abroad, stressing the importance of the food and drink industry in contributing to the country’s export-led, future economic recovery.

Patrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore.

Dublin-based Greencore is one of the leading convenience foods processors in the UK. It is merging with its British counterpart, Northern Foods, to create a £1.7b turnover business with strong positions in private label production, particularly in ready meals and pre-packed sandwiches, along with significant band strength in biscuits and frozen pizzas. Integrating the two highly complementary businesses, to form Essenta Foods, is expected to yield cost synergies of £40m per annum within three years, with at least half due to be realised within the first 12 months after completion.

The ‘merger by acquisition’ will entail Northern Foods’ assets and liabilities being transferred to Greencore, with the English company’s shareholders owning half of Essenta, which will be headed by Irishman Patrick Coveney and headquartered in Dublin.

Following the acquisition of Hazlewood Foods for £350 million in 2001 and its subsequent integration, Greencore has been gradually transformed through organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions from being chiefly dependent on sugar processing in Ireland into a fully focused UK convenience foods business. It has also entered the US convenience foods market.

Three strategic disposals in its last financial year have completed Greencore’s transition. Last week Patrick Coveney, who succeeded David Dilger as chief executive in 2008, was able to announce strong annual results for Greencore with a 17.6% rise in group operating profit from continuing operations to Eur59.7m on sales up by 6.9% to Eur856.9m. Group operating margin from continuing operations improved by 63bps to 7.0%.

By contrast, Northern Foods is still in the process of restructuring and recently reported an operating loss of £9.5m, including restructuring charges, and a drop in turnover for the six months to October 2010 as improvements in its chilled foods and bakery businesses were offset by a loss in frozen foods. The share price of both Greencore and Northern Foods has risen on news of the merger.

Cause For Irish Optimism

Another Irish company, Cooley Distillery, has been named European Distiller of the Year for the third consecutive year at the annual International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC). Cooley, which is Ireland’s only independent distillery, is benefiting from the growing popularity of Irish whiskey, especially in the US. The world’s two largest spirits groups, Diageo and Pernod Ricard, have both been busy building their Irish whiskey brands, and Scotch distiller William Grant has also now entered the market after the recent acquisition of Tullamore Dew.

Founder and chairman, John Teeling believes that Cooley’s achievements throughout the downturn show that the exporting and marketing of quality Irish produce will drive the recovery of the Irish economy. “While the State and the economic commentators work to rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, the rest of us are getting on with what needs to be done to bring us back from the brink,” he says. The award demonstrates three things – “the value of Irish businessmen building world class internationally competitive businesses; the indisputable fact that Irish workers can produce products of the highest quality and the ability of young Irish road warriors to market our products and gain market share in tough markets around the world.”

Dairy Uncertainty Ahead

On the dairy front, Arla Foods confirmed a general recovery in international markets during 2010 following the troubles of 2009 by increasing milk prices for its co-operative members for the fifth time this year. However, chief executive Peder Tuborgh has cautioned that 2011 is likely to be more uncertain, characterised by more market fluctuations.

About Author



Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • March 21, 2018World Olive Oil Exhibition
  • March 28, 2018FOOD INDUSTRY
  • April 4, 2018The leading event for the snack and food-on-the-go market
  • April 5, 2018Slow food The forum for good taste
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here