Tag Archive | "bakery"

Labelling Double Act with Planglow


planglow160616Planglow together with Industrial Labelling Systems haa developed a unique new labelling system primarily for bakeries. This allows users to split lengthy product information across two labels which are automatically printed & then applied to the top and base of each specific product.

The ILS Label Print & Apply Primary Product Marking Station combined with Planglow’s market leading LabelLogic software was developed following legislative changes which resulted in some providers having to include much more product information on each individual pack.

John Scott, Managing Director at Planglow commented, “The recent changes to labelling legislation require rather more information than can easily be listed on one label unless the label is very large. To avoid hiding the product under one large label the alternative is to have two – one on the face of the pack to help sell the product and another label on the pack base detailing ingredients, allergens, barcode and other important information which must now be made available to the consumer.

“The Labelling Marking Station reduces staff costs while avoiding mismatched labels too. So the provider will see a return on their initial capital outlay in as little as two years. What’s more, the ILS hardware is market leading in its ease of use with no complicated paper or ribbon path so routine maintenance is well within the scope of the operator – even print head changes can be done by the user and not a specialist provider”.

Denis Brett Managing Director at ILS said, “As new rules are put in place we have to adapt and develop our machines to cater for the specific needs in certain industry sectors. To increase efficiency, accuracy and reduce risk is our goal and the latest marking stations come with the ability to do that for short shelf life products“

How Does It Work?

Utilising Planglow’s market leading labelling software LabelLogic, this easy to use program runs on a standard PC and is able to generate labels that are fully compliant with current legislation. Here the user creates products; print lists and even designs the label templates themselves, splitting data between the front and back of the label as per the pack specifications. Labels are printed pack by pack and applied both top and bottom of the product, or as a promotional label plus standard label. Labels may be positioned in a variety of formats or styles depending on the size of the pack, the length of the label and the pack type. The Labelling Marking Station was originally developed by ILS and Planglow for J & I Smith one of Scotland’s premier bakeries.

J & I Smith’s Company Director, John Smith, commented, “It’s a good compact machine for small businesses and, while it came with full training from an expert trainer, it is set out in such a way that makes it very easy to use and understand. There is now less wastage on labels and it’s very low maintenance as well. I would recommend it to other businesses”.

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Greenfields cautions on butter price


butter-in-a-small-bowl-550pxAccording to Greenfields Ingredients, manufacturers of ready meals, bakery products and confectionery face higher prices for butter after a surprise rally on global commodity markets.

The effects of low milk prices and a cold, wet spring across Europe have combined to push butter prices upwards, the company notes, leaving food companies exposed to the risk of rising raw material costs, which could hit their profits further if they don’t take action now and lock into a fixed price deal.

Since 15 April 2016, Greenfields says, the price of butter futures to October 2017 on the European Energy Exchange (EEX) jumped by €349 per tonne to an average of €3,012 – an increase of 13% over the period, illustrating the highly volatile nature of this important commodity.

“Food manufacturers have become accustomed to the idea that there is too much milk and that prices will continue to fall,” said Ian Thomas, Managing Director of dairy trader Greenfields Ingredients, the UK division of Greenfields Ireland. “Until recently, that’s been the case. However, milk is a natural product and its production is particularly subject to climatic conditions and, when coupled with the current commercial pressures, prices can rise sharply. As such it’s always wise to prepare for bumps in the road when prices might shoot up, just as they have in the past month or so.”

“Lower-than-usual spring temperatures and significant rainfall have prevented farmers from getting their dairy herds out on to fresh pasture. In addition, due to the poor returns they are receiving for their milk, they have chosen not push production. The latest jump in butter prices is a direct consequence of these factors and prices have risen much earlier than expected.”

How long this price surge will last is unknown, Greenfields says. However, Greenfields notes that food companies have the option of hedging against further volatility by using one of the fixed-term price models it offers.

“Prices have risen already but it’s not too late to take action,” said Thomas. “Greenfields Ireland has developed a range of pricing models that offer a straightforward way for food manufacturers to bring some certainty to dairy commodity prices over an extended period.”

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Record Sales For Finsbury Food Group


Finsbury Food Group, a leading UK manufacturer of cake, bread and gluten free bakery goods, has broken through the £200 million turnover barrier for the year ended 30 June 2012. The group achieved strong organic sales growth across both of its businesses. Total group sales of £207 million for the full year were up 9.4%, some £17.8 million, compared to the previous year. However, growth levels moderated in the second half as the company reached the anniversary of last years product launches and contract gains.

Sales in the larger Cake division rose 9.2% versus last year to £152 million. Sales in the Bread and Free From division continued to deliver high levels of growth, up 10% on the prior year to £55 million, driven by strong growth in the fresh gluten free market and Vogel’s brand growth in the speciality bread market.

John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group, comments: “The group has come a long way to achieve annual sales of over £200 million for the first time despite very challenging market conditions. This is testament to the hard work and resilience of the management teams and the quality and breadth of products they produce. With no let up in market conditions anticipated we continue to invest in growth areas and improved efficiency to maintain this success.”

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Profits Slump at Warburtons


Rising raw materials costs and a decline in the UK bakery market have impacted on the financial performance of Warburtons. Pre-tax profits at the UK’s largest independent baker fell by more than a third from £26 million to £16.3 million for the year ended September 24, 2011 as turnover edged ahead from £492 million to £495 million.

According to Warburtons, trading conditions worsened during the year and the bakery market declined in both value and volume. The company’s main focus remains on growing share of the bakery business in Great Britain, which it realises can only be achieved by developing new product ranges alongside its current market leading lines.

Warburtons introduced a number of new products during its last financial year, including wraps and flatbreads, and also started exporting to Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland for the first time. The Bolton-based baker, which produces more than two million loaves, rolls and crumpets every day, is currently considering export sales opportunities in France and Spain.

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Morrisons Relaunches In-store Bakeries


UK grocery retailer Morrisons is relaunching its in-store bakeries in response to consumer demand for more artisan products at an affordable price. In addition to the new range and new baking methods, the retailer has also introduced new packaging to display the products.

Morrisons’ in-store bakers, which already make more products from scratch than any other retailer, will be introducing over 30 new lines including hand-dimpled Foccaccia, Tiger Paw, Sourdough Boule and Chocolate Twists. In addition, over 40 lines have been improved after a rigorous benchmarking process such as the Fruit Scones and Teacakes which now contain double the amount of fruit for the same great price.

As well as streamlining the range and introducing new and improved products, the packaging has been changed to reflect the look and feel of the new bakery. Rustic-looking paper and unbleached cardboard will be used to wrap the products and reinforce the ‘Baked by Us’ message.

The new launch is part of a two-year own brand review that will also see Morrisons’ brand tiering evolve from a ‘good-better-best’ model to one that reflects customer’s needs.

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£5.6 Million Management Buyout at Lees Foods


Scottish bakery and confectionery company Lees Foods is the subject of a £5.6 million management buyout, which will take the business private. Lees Foods is the parent company of Lees of Scotland and the Waverley Bakery, two Scottish companies that have a long tradition in the manufacturing of confectionery products that have been enjoyed by consumers in the UK and overseas for many years. Lees Foods has been listed on AIM since June 2005.

The management, headed by chief executive Clive Miquel and other directors, is conducted the deal through buy-out vehicle Randotte. The management of believes that the proposal to return the company to private ownership is in the best long-term interests of the business.

Lees Foods currently employs 270 people across its factories at Cambuslang and Coatbridge. Despite escalating raw materials costs, Lees Foods has managed to increase pre-tax profits from £379,000 in 2008 to just under £1 million in 2010 with 2011 profits expected to be well ahead of analysts’ forecasts of £900,000.

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Interim Profits Rise at Aryzta


Aryzta, the Switzerland-based global speciality bakery group, has reported a 3.3% rise in EBITA to Eur178.8 million on revenue up 0.9% to Eur1.91 billion for the six month period ended 31 January 2012, as its Food Group increased EBITA by 11.3% to Eur173.0 million and revenue by 9.4% to Eur1.40 billion.

Aryzta has operations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is also the majority shareholder (71.4%) in Origin Enterprises, the agri-services group with interests in food and marine proteins and oils. Revenue at Origin Enterprises declined in the period by 17.0% to Eur507.4 million and EBITA fell by 66.8% to Eur5.9 million.

Aryzta’s Food Europe business increased EBITA by 12.4%.to Eur74.2 million on sales up by 7.5% to Eur629.0 million.

Owen Killian, chief executive of Aryzta, comments: “Underlying performance was robust despite challenging trading conditions. 2012 remains a critical year of transformation for Aryzta with significant ATI driven change underway across the group to enhance our customer centric focus. This, combined with our strengthened balance sheet, will enhance future shareholder value from growth with existing customers and sector consolidation opportunities.”

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Premier Foods to Close Hovis Bakery


Premier Foods is to close its bakery at Eastleigh in Hampshire with the loss of 82 jobs. The bakery is the smallest of twelve sites in the UK producing Hovis bread.

The decision is part of Premier’s ongoing efforts to improve the utilisation and cost effectiveness of its Hovis supply chain. The bakery at Eastleigh is due to cease production no later than mid-June. However, the Hovis distribution centre also based at Eastleigh, which employs 90 staff, will not be affected by the closure.

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The Real Good Food Company Improves Financial Performance


Leading UK bakery, ingredient and sugar group The Real Good Food Company has reported a 62% increase in EBITDA to £9.1 million for 2011, driven by sales growth and a focus on value added activities. The Real Good Food Company owns the largest independent non-refining distributor of sugar inEurope (Napier Brown) and is a supplier of dairy ingredients (Garretts), supplies bakery ingredients (Renshaw), jam and bakery ingredients (R&W Scott) and manufactures patisserie and desserts (Haydens Bakery).

“We are now seeing major benefits coming through from our dual-track programme of adjusting to the structural change affecting our biggest business, Sugar, and implementing strategic initiatives across all our other businesses. We are focused on creating solid sustainable profitability based on brand development, growth and risk management,” comments Pieter Totte, executive chairman of The Real Good Food Company. “I am extremely pleased that the progress we have made is reflected in a significant improvement in our financial performance during 2011. With trading starting positively in January, and divisional management achieving further progress in their improvement programmes, I am confident in meeting our expectations for 2012.”

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Pukka Pies Continues UK Expansion With £7 Million Investment


UK independent bakery company Pukka Pies has officially opened a new£7 million extension to its factory in Leicestershire, facilitating a 50% increase in production. Established in 1963, Pukka Pies currently produces over 60 million pies annually and employs more than 300 people. It supplies about 12,000 fish and chip shops across the UK as well as supermarkets and more than 40 football clubs.

The new extension, which incorporates a £2.2 million state-of-the-art refrigeration plant, increased cold storage and new distribution docks, has already resulted in the creation of 20 new jobs. It leaves the family-run company well placed to continue with its UK expansion. Last year, Pukka Pies, despite the difficult trading environment, managed to increase sales by 10% to £38 million.

“In challenging economic times, we have enjoyed excellent levels of growth and this new factory will enable us to continue our success story. We continue to provide the highest-quality products to our customers and this new extension will ensure that we retain our position as the UK’s leading manufacturer of branded hot eaten pies,” says Tim Storer, co managing director of Pukka Pies, who runs the company with his brother Andrew: “We are now absolutely cutting edge with our environmental credentials and the extension has improved our working conditions for our employees, too.”

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Kingdom Bakers in Receivership


Scottish bakery company Kingdom Bakers has gone into receivership. Employing 135 people, the company has encountered severe cash flow problems leading to the cessation of production at its two sites at Kirkcaldy and Dysart. Established in 1984 and with a current turnover of £8 million, Kingdom Bakers supplies bread, cake and pancake products to supermarket chains including Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrisons.

Receiver RSM Tenon is seeking a buy for the business after Kingdom Bakers’ management failed in recent attempts to attract fresh investment into the business. “Kingdom Bakers is a well-known business in the bakery trade, and the receivership presents an excellent opportunity for a competitor or entrepreneur to acquire the assets and goodwill, including extensive production facilities,” says joint receiver Tom MacLennan.

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Finsbury Food Group Passes £100 Million Interim Sales Barrier


Finsbury Food Group, a leading UK manufacturer of cake, bread and gluten free bakery goods, has increased first half sales revenues to £102 million, passing the £100 million in six months milestone for the first time. This represents organic growth of just over £14 million and an increase of 16% compared with the prior year.

The group experienced growth across each of its businesses. Both the group’s UK Cake and Bread and Free From businesses saw strong growth of 10% and 8% respectively. The combination of these businesses accounted for just over half the total group growth. Lightbody Europe, the group’s 50% owned joint venture export business, provided the balance with growth of 167%.

John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group.

The trading environment remains very tough, with the challenges of a financially squeezed shopper, and stubbornly high commodity and input price inflation. However, Finsbury is continuing to invest in each of its businesses to further improve operating efficiencies, and drive growth through innovation to mitigate against these headwinds.

The high first half growth, delivered through both volume and price rises, complemented the group’s efficiency initiatives to largely offset year on year commodity inflation, although the operating margin percentage was slightly lower than prior year as a consequence.

Chief executive John Duffy comments: “Commodity inflation remains very high year on year and this continues to depress our already low operating margins. It is hard to forecast any improvement in this in the short term, however management and staff are committed to deliver on our twin strategy of growth and continued efficiency investment to ensure our continued success in this difficult market place.”

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Aryzta Raises €144 Million Through Share Placement


Zurich-based food group Aryzta, which is a global leader in speciality bakery, has raised SFr174.3 million (Eur144 million) through a share placement with a limited number of institutional investors. The proceeds from the placing will be used to strengthen Aryzta’s balance sheet and for general corporate purposes.

Created in 2008 by the merger of Dublin-based IAWS Group and Hiestand Holding of Switzerland, Aryzta has a primary listing on the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Irish Stock Exchange. In Europe Aryzta has a mixture of business to business and consumer brands, including Hiestand, Cuisine de France, Delice de France and Coup de Pates. Aryzta had revenues of Eur2.85 billion for the year ended July 31st 2011.

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Sara Lee Completes Sale of Fresh Bakery Business in Spain and Portugal to Grupo Bimbo


US-based food group Sara Lee has completed the Eur115 million sale of its fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo. The agreement includes all Sara Lee fresh bakery brands inS pain and Portugal as well as seven manufacturing facilities. The deal is in line with Grupo Bimbo’s international expansion strategy and makes positions it as the leading branded bread company on the Iberian Peninsula.

 

The acquired business includes bread, pastries and snacks produced under the Bimbo, Silueta, Ortíz, Martinez and Eagle brands, among others. In fiscal 2011, the business generated net sales of $408 million (Eur360 million). It employs approximately 2,000 people.

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Grupo Bimbo Completes Acquisition of Sara Lee’s North American Business


Grupo Bimbo has just completed the acquisition of Sara Lee’s fresh bakery business in North America. The deal, which has an enterprise value of $959 million, was originally announced in November 2010.

 

Grupo Bimbo is also in the process of moving into the European market for the first time by acquiring Sara Lee’s fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal for €115 million.

 

The acquisition of Sara Lee North American Fresh Bakery (Sara Lee NAFB) provides Grupo Bimbo’s US subsidiary, Bimbo Bakeries USA, with the opportunity to build a more efficient, low-cost platform to serve customers across the US. The acquisition is highly complementary across product lines, bakeries and geographies. The combined businesses employs more than 28,000 people, operates 75 plants and has estimated pro forma sales of $5.8 billion. The integration process is expected to generate annual synergies of approximately $150 to $200 million by 2013.

 

Grupo Bimbo is one of the largest baking companies in the world in terms of production and sales volume. As the market leader in the Americas, Grupo Bimbo operates 148 plants and 1,000 distribution centres strategically located in 17 countries throughout North and South America and Asia. Its main product lines include sliced bread, buns, cookies, snack cakes, English muffins, bagels, pre-packaged foods, tortillas, salted snacks and confectionery products, among others. Grupo Bimbo produces over 7,000 products and has one of the most extensive direct distribution networks in the world. The Iberian acquisition will add a further seven factories to its manufacturing portfolio.

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Sara Lee Close to Disposing of French Bakery Unit


Sara Lee is reported to be in negotiations to sell Eurodough, its French baked goods unit, as part of the US-based group’s strategy to divest its international bakery businesses. With current EBITDA of about Eur15 million, Eurodough was acquired by Sara Lee in 2001. The business is estimated to be worth between Eur100 million and Eur150 million with private equity firms Trilantic Capital Partners and Sagard fighting over the prize.

 

Sara Lee recently agreed to sell its fresh bakery businesses in Spain and Portugal to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo for Eur115 million in cash. 

 

The divestments are in line with Sara Lee’s strategy, announced in January 2011, to divide the group into two pure play publicly-traded companies. One company will be focused around the current International Coffee and Tea business, while the other company will be focused on the North American Retail Meats and North American Foodservice businesses.

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Changes to Leadership Team at Premier Foods


UK food group Premier Foods has announced changes to its leadership team to strengthen focus on the company’s renewed growth plan, under new chief executive Michael Clarke. In the new structure, commercial leadership responsibilities will be split between the grocery and newly configured bakery businesses with the creation of two new group executive roles of managing director reporting directly to Michael Clarke. Following the creation of this new structure, the role of chief operating officer will disappear. Consequently, Tim Kelly, executive director and chief operating officer will leave Premier Foods following a short handover.

 

Iwan Williams is taking charge of the group’s £1.1 billion bread, cake, milling and Brookes Avana businesses. Iwan Williams has a wealth of general management and marketing experience gained through previous roles including president of McCormicks Europe, Middle East and Africa and strategic marketing director of Coca- Cola, Asia Pacific. His earlier career included time with SC Johnson Wax and Cadbury Schweppes.

 

Graham Hunter will join the company early in 2012 to lead Premier Foods’ £1.0 billion grocery business.  He joins from 2 Sisters Food Group. This company acquired Northern Foods earlier in the year where Graham Hunter was managing director of a number of the company’s branded businesses, including Fox’s Biscuits and Goodfella’s Pizza. His earlier career included general management and marketing roles with Jacob’s Bakery and Mars.

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Sara Lee to Sell Fresh Bakery Business in Spain and Portugal to Grupo Bimbo


Sara Lee has agreed to sell its fresh bakery businesses in Spain and Portugal to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo for €115 million ($154 million) in cash. The deal includes all Sara Lee fresh bakery brands in Spain and Portugal as well as seven manufacturing facilities. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance, is expected to close within 60 days.

 

Sara Lee holds the number-one position among branded bakery manufacturers in Spain, with leading brands such as Bimbo, Martinez, Ortiz and Silueta. In the 2011 financial year, the business generated net sales of $408 million. It employs approximately 2,000 people.

 

“Divesting the bakery businesses allows Sara Lee’s international portfolio to become simpler and more focused on coffee and tea, the categories around which we are building a leading pure-play international company,” says Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee. Sara Lee’s remaining international bakery businesses headquartered in France and Australia remain the subject of a divestiture process and a strategic review, respectively. These two businesses generated aggregate revenue of approximately $318 million in fiscal year 2011, and sell products primarily in France, Sweden, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.

 

The acquisition positions Grupo Bimbo as the leading branded bread company on the Iberian Peninsula and provides the company with entry to the European market through an established bakery business. Grupo Bimbo is in the process of acquiring Sara Lee’s fresh bakery business in theUnited States. The deal was originally announced in November 2010 and is expected to close in the coming weeks.

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Year of Repositioning For Aryzta


Reflecting contributions from acquisitions and underlying sales growth within its food business, Aryzta increased revenue by 28.8% to €3.88 billion and group EBITA by 44.1% to €393.3 million in the year ended July 31st 2011.The Zurich-based food group, which is a global leader in speciality bakery, improved its EBITA margin by 100bps to 10.1%.

 

Aryzta has operations in Europe, North and South America, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition to its core bakery activities, Aryzta also owns 71% of Origin Enterprises, the Dublin-based agri-services business.

 

Revenue at Aryzta’s food business increase by 53.5% to €2.58 billion during the year with sales at Food Europe up by 10.5%, Food North America advancing by 112% and Food Rest of World by 403%. The Food Group’s EBITA rose by 55.6% to €322.3 million, with Food Europe up by 13.6%, and Food North America and Food Rest of World registering gains of 113% and 313% respectively.

 

Owen Killian, chief executive of Aryzta, comments: “2011 was a year of substantial repositioning for Aryzta. Bakery volumes doubled leading to a 53.5% increase in Food Group revenue as a result of acquisition activity one year previously. Aryzta is now much better positioned opposite consumers with greater global access to limited serve restaurants and retail, complementing our well established deeply distributed food service business.”

 

He continues: “Consumer confidence improved during the year leading to underlying Food Group revenue growth of 2.7%. It remains a tough economic environment for consumers who now also are dealing with higher food costs with less disposable income. We remain focused on working with our customers to manage input price inflation in an effective manner to maintain affordability without compromising quality or service.”

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Solid Performance By Finsbury Food Group


Helped by a return to growth in its cake division, UK bakery company Finsbury Food Group has increased revenue by 12.6% to £189.6 million and underlying profit before tax by 8.3% to £5.8 million for the year ended July 2nd 2011. Sales in the cake division rose 12.1% to £139.6 million and sales in the bread and free from division advanced 14.2% to £50.0 million. Finsbury Food Group also managed to reduce net debt by 10.4% to £32.7 million.

 

Escalating commodity prices for sugar, flour and butter impacted on operating margins but this was largely offset by rising sales together with savings from efficiency projects.

 

John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group.

”We are pleased to have returned to organic growth, an important milestone for the group,” comments John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group. “We are emerging from a complex and exhaustive programme of reorganisation and despite the macro economic factors continuing to buffet the business and our customers, our structured approach has clearly started to bear fruit. The difficulties we face should not be underestimated, the global commodities bubble has exerted unprecedented pressure on margins. Prices for butter, sugar and wheat have soared over the last 18 months. Keeping things affordable for customers is essential.”

 

He adds: “I am delighted that we have succeeded in steering the group through another demanding year. The reality is that testing times still lie in wait. However, our distinctive range of products, commitment to value and robust performance in a testing climate bode well for the challenge ahead.”

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New Shop Openings Drive Sales at Greggs


Greggs, the UK’s leading bakery retailer with over 1,500 outlets throughout the country, has reported a 4.2% increase in group sales to £335m, including like-for-like sales growth of 0.4% in the 26 weeks ended July 2nd 2011. The sales growth was driven by a record number of new shop openings by Greggs.

 

Operating profit excluding exceptional items fell £1.2m to £17.3m. However, taking into account the £2m impact of additional public holidays in the first half, underlying operating profit rose by £0.8m.

 

“This was a creditable performance in the light of the very substantial increases in commodity prices during the half year, affecting most key ingredients as well as our energy-related production, retailing and distribution costs. This pressure was mitigated by our continuing drive to identify and unlock cost savings throughout the business,” says Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs.

 

Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs.

He continues: “Trading conditions have proved to be more challenging than we had expected and we do not anticipate that the second half will bring any alleviation of the tougher consumer spending environment with disposable incomes remaining under pressure. We continue to experience substantial increases in commodity prices and are continuing to work hard to mitigate the impact on customers through business efficiencies and targeted promotional activity.”

 

Greggs is continuing to open new shops and increased the size of its retail portfolio by 39 outlets during the first half and is on track for 80 net additions during the full year. The group also completed the construction of two new bakeries on time and on budget during the first half.

 

Total sales will benefit from the shop opening programme and Ken McMeikan believes that marginally positive like-for-like sales growth over the year as a whole is achievable.

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Interim Profit Down at Lantmannen’s Food Business


Lantmannen, one of the largest agriculture, machinery, energy and food groups in the Nordic region, has reported flat sales and a drop in profit at its food business for the first half of 2011. Food operating income for the first half was MSEK304 against MSEK351 in the corresponding period of 2010. Net sales for the first half were static at MSEK7,252. Lantmannen’s food division incorporates four businesses- Lantmannen Unibake, Lantmannen Cerealia, Lantmannen Kronfagel and Lantmannen Doggy.

Lantmannen Unibake is the largest manufacturer of frozen bread products for both the food service and grocery sectors in Northern Europe. Lantmannen Cerealia encompasses the majority of the group’s brands in the areas of flour, breakfast foods, mixes, pasta and ready-to-eat meal concepts. Lantmannen Kronfagel is the largest producer of chicken in the Nordic countries, with market-leading positions in Sweden and Denmark. Lantmannen Doggy is the Swedish market leader in cat and dog food.

Operating income for Lantmannen Cerealia and Lantmannen Kronfagel showed positive growth in the first half compared with the previous year, mainly as a result of cost savings.

Operating income for Lantmannen Unibake and Lantmannen Doggy was lower than in the previous year. Lantmannen Unibake’s results were adversely affected by commissioning and running-in costs at its new bakery in Bedford in the UK and the fact that price increases made in response to commodity price increases were not fully reflected in the results due to a lag effect.

In addition to opening a new bakery, Lantmannen also expanded its Lantmannen Kronfagel chicken facility at Valla during the first half. The expanded and modernised Valla facility was opened in May and will be fully operational by the end of the year, when it will be Sweden’s largest chicken production facility.

Per Stromberg, president and chief executive of Lantmannen.

“The slowdown in demand for consumer goods over the last six months is having a clear effect, and our expectations for Easter volumes were not fulfilled,” comments Per Stromberg, president and chief executive of Lantmannen. “Meanwhile, further price increases prompted by rising commodity prices are having a lagged impact, which is affecting results. We shall continue to give priority to these price increases in order to maintain our margins, even if this has a short-term adverse effect on our volumes.”

He continues: “Lantmannen Kronfagel’s results are largely in line with the previous year, mainly due to a strong performance from the Danish operations. Lantmännen Cerealia is keenly feeling the reduced demand, which has caused volume declines in both the consumer and B2B segments and has resulted in a somewhat lower income than in the previous year. Lantmannen Unibake is experiencing a lag effect in pushing through price increases in pace with rising commodity prices. This in turn leads to pressure on margins.”

Lantmannen is owned by more than 40,000 Swedish farmers.

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Finsbury Food Group Arrests Sales Decline


Finsbury Food Group, the UK manufacturer of cake, bread and gluten free bakery goods, has reported that the strong organic growth trend established in the first half has continued to strengthen during the second half of its financial year. This has resulted in total group revenue increasing by 12.8% to £189.9m compared with the same period in the previous year, successfully reversing the 6% decline of the last full year. There were no acquisitions or disposals during the period.

Sales in the group’s bread and free from division continued the strong growth trend of recent years, up 14.2% on prior year to £50m, again driven by strong growth from the Genius brand and latterly retailer brands in the fresh gluten free market and the Vogel’s brand in the speciality bread market. The joint venture established in December with Genius Foods to expand the fresh bakery free from portfolio continues to offer promising growth potential.

John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group.

However, although the group has returned to strong organic growth, commodity and cost inflation has been high throughout the year and again in recent months with no sign of relief. The combination of higher sales growth and savings from internal efficiency projects only partially offset these costs to date and operating margins have reduced as a consequence. Further actions to improve efficiencies and recover these and additional commodity costs with the help of customers are already underway.

“The heavy investment of recent years in innovation, sales promotions and competitiveness has delivered sales growth of great tasting premium product ranges. However, relentless commodity price inflation on basic ingredients such as butter, sugar and flour has reduced our margins,” comments John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group. “With further commodity increases, the challenge on an ongoing basis is increasingly to recover these costs by reformulation and price increases whilst continuing the growth.”

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Record Year For Greggs


Greggs, the UK’s leading bakery retailer, increased pre-tax profit by 7.9% to a record £52.5m for the 52 weeks ended January 2nd 2011. Sales rose by 2.1% to £662m and by 0.2% on a like-for-like basis, as Greggs achieved a record numbers of new shop openings and refits, expanding its retail business through a net addition of 68 new shops.

Greggs now has over 1,480 retail outlets serving six million customers each week. Operating profit grew by 8.1% to £52.4m and the operating margin improved from 7.4% to 7.9%, reflecting a full year’s benefit from actions taken in 2009 to reorganise the business, harmonise the product range and create a single brand.

Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs.

“In 2010 we grew sales and achieved record profits despite the tough trading conditions across the UK. We’ve made Greggs accessible to many more customers through our new shop opening programme, bringing them the great value, freshness and quality that our existing customers already enjoy,” says Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs. “Whilst 2011 will see further pressures on consumer spending and rising global commodity prices our strong value positioning, excellent products, outstanding staff and clear strategy for growth mean that we are well positioned to deal with this challenging environment.”

In addition to planning to open around 80 net new shops in 2011, Greggs also anticipates marginally positive like-for-like sales growth. Performance in the year to date is in line with expectations with total sales increasing by 3.8% including like-for-like sales of 0.4%.

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Record British Food and Drink Exports


Exports of UK food and non-alcoholic drinks grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2010 to pass the £10b mark for the first time ever. UK food and drink export figures showed a healthy 11.4% increase on 2009 figures, bringing in a total of £10.83b, and highlighted healthy emerging markets amongst non-EU countries.

Amongst the highest performing sectors were dairy (up 24.6% to £977.1m), fish and seafood (up 13.8% to £1.326.9b), meat (+11.7% to £1.46b), prepared foods including soups, sauces and ice creams (+10.3% to £2.59b) and cereals and bakery (+8.1% to £2.08b).

Amongst the top export countries, Ireland remains the principal importer of UK products followed by France, Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Strong performance was also recorded in Hong Kong (+36.3%), the US (+28.9%) and the United Arab Emirates (+22.7%).

Highly encouraging has been the growth of new markets outside the current top 20 export destinations. South Africa recorded a +60.7% increase with a 70.1% increase in sweet biscuits and 170.6% increase in unsweetened cakes and baked goods. China recorded a 28.5% increase – incorporating a 1633% increase in dairy – and Israel a 38.9% overall increase with a 23.3% rise in sugar confection.

“This is excellent news for British food exporters and for the British economy. These figures show that our products are sought across the globe for their quality and great taste,” says Melanie Leech, director general of the Food and Drink Federation, the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry. “The food and drink industry must be at the heart of the UK’s strategy for economic growth – and we look forward to working in partnership with the Minister and his colleagues in Defra, BIS and across Government to ensure that we maximise the economic potential of our sector and ensure that we play our part in contributing to global food security.”

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Irish Regional Bakery Saved


The fresh bread element of Gallagher’s Bakery in Ardara, County Donegal, has been saved from closure following its acquisition by managing director Declan Gallagher for an undisclosed amount. Declan Gallagher sold the family-owned bakery in 2007 to IAWS Group, now part of international bakery group Aryzta.

Last month Aryzta announced that it was closing the frozen bread section of Gallagher’s Bakery, with the loss of 124 jobs, and putting the fresh bread business up for sale. Increasingly difficult market conditions, increased commodity costs and declining sales were blamed for the decision.

In buying back the fresh bread business, Declan Gallagher expects to ensure the survival of up to 70 jobs. “I felt a social responsibility to do it for the area. It is my full intention to grow this business over the next number of years and increase employment,” he says. “We have a strong brand locally.” The Gallagher’s brand is well known in the north west of Ireland.

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Warburtons Invests £2.5 Million in Gluten-free Bakery


British bakery group Warburtons is reported to have invested £2.5m in a dedicated gluten-free production plant at its site in Newburn. The new bakery will produce a range of Warburtons gluten-free products including white and brown bread loaves and sub rolls, teacakes and crumpets.

The dedicated facility will initially employ nine people, rising to twenty within the first six months of operation.

Warburtons is the first national bread brand in the UK to diversity into the gluten-free sector. It will be competing directly with the fast growing Genius gluten-free brand, which is produced by United Central Bakeries, part of Finsbury Food Group, and is currently worth £10m at retail sales level.

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Bakery Expansion at Giles Foods


UK-based speciality breads, Danish pastries and tarts producer Giles Foods has expanded its bakery in Milton Keynes. Following investment of £3.5m, Giles Foods has doubled the size of the bakery and installed new plant and equipment, including a technologically advanced three-deck oven, the first of its kind in the UK.

In addition to expanding capacity, the investment project is designed to allow Giles Foods to improve product quality and increase efficiency and flexibility while reducing input costs and the company’s carbon footprint.

The site has been extended by 45,000 sq ft under the first phase of an expansion programme, with additional cold store and upgraded logistics and distribution facilities due to come on stream next year.

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The Future of the $7 Billion International Weight Management Market


The international weight management market was worth an estimated $7.3b in 2009, and it is set to grow year-on-year at between 6-8% for the next 5 years, according to Leatherhead Food Research.

Weight management has been reincarnated in various forms throughout the food and drink industry over the years. The direction of the industry is shifting from ‘better for you’ products (ie diet and low and light foods) towards functional weight management products providing consumers with differentiation and added value, as well as fuelling innovation and growth within this market.

General trends identify that a successful weight management product has to be both convenient and offer a benefit which can be felt quickly, if not immediately. Indeed, Leatherhead Food Research identifies two key challenges facing the weight management industry in the near future – providing consumers with a clear benefit and message, and achieving taste and texture for the mass market.

A large array of products and ingredients ensures that manufacturers need to be clear about what their product delivers. Any benefit needs to be quickly felt or seen, otherwise consumers will become sceptical.

The final product needs to not only deliver a clear benefit, but also to taste and feel satisfying, therefore encouraging repeat purchasing behaviour.

Growth so far has largely been due to innovations within the bakery and cereals and the beverage markets (which currently hold shares of 33.5% and 28.4% respectively). Beverages and cereals (the latter of which includes cereal bars) remain the most prolific sectors for weight management claims across the globe. This is largely due to the functionality of the products (ie their ability to ‘carry’ other ingredients well), as well as the fact that they are generally perceived by consumers as both convenient and healthy.

The ‘Future of the Weight Management Market’ report presents information on the trends which help to shape this industry, with a focus on major market product sectors such as beverages, dairy and snacks. The report also details the latest ingredients being utilised in the weight management sector. The report is available from the Publications Department at Leatherhead Food Research, priced at £585, with a discounted price of £450 available to Members of Leatherhead.

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Bakery and Retail Expansion Plans on Track at Greggs


Greggs, the UK’s largest retail baker, has reported that its expansion programme remains firmly on track, with a net 32 new shops opened in the year to date, giving it a total of 1,451 shops at 2nd October 2010. The group now expects total net new shops for the year as a whole to be at the upper end of its previously indicated range of 50-60.

Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs.

Greggs has also completed 84 shop refurbishments, including 17 of the concept shops trialled in 2009. The group is well on course to meet its target of 120 refurbishments this year including 30 concept shops.

Construction of Greggs’ replacement bakery in Newcastle upon Tyne is progressing well, and is scheduled to begin production in mid-2011. Greggs has received planning permission for a new cake and confectionery bakery in Penrith and commences building later this month ready to open in summer 2011.

Greggs has also submitted a planning application for a new bakery in Wiltshire to enable it to unlock the significant growth opportunities already identified in the South and South West of England. Greggs is continuing to self-finance its capital expenditure requirements.

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Cutting Energy and Carbon Usage in the UK Food Industry


Baking bread in lighter tins, cleaning pipes with ice instead of hot water, and using microwaves to dry fruit gums and jellies: these are just some of the ideas being explored by the Carbon Trust and food industry leaders to cut energy use and carbon emissions at UK manufacturing sites.

Over the last year, the Carbon Trust has worked with companies including Allied Bakeries, Dairy Crest, Cadbury and Nestle to identify more energy efficient manufacturing processes with the potential to cut industry carbon emissions by some 450,000 tonnes a year: equivalent to taking more than 150,000 cars off the road.

Now, in partnerships with the Food & Drink Federation and Dairy UK, the Carbon Trust has challenged food producers and equipment suppliers to help prove the business case for these new processes. It is offering co-funding of up to £250,000 per project and in exceptional instances up to £500,000.

The challenge comes as part of the Carbon Trust’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) – a £15m programme aimed at catalysing low carbon innovation in industry.

“The way to make truly substantial cuts is to get to the very heart of manufacturing. We want to work with manufacturers to rethink production processes from the ground up. Innovation is the backbone of the low carbon industrial revolution that will not only reduce emissions but will also generate jobs and cut costs,” explains said Benj Sykes, director of innovations at the Carbon Trust.

Dairy

The food industry processes identified by the Carbon Trust as key targets for its IEEA programme include the cleaning of pipework in dairies. This is usually done by heating water to 80 C and flushing it through the pipes before sending it down the drain taking the wasted heat and energy with it.

‘Ice pigging’ – a process that uses solid plugs of ice to clean pipes and is commonly used in the oil industry – is a lower carbon alternative.

Homogenisation, the process that prevents a cream layer separating out from the milk, has also been identified by the Carbon Trust as an opportunity to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. Homogenisation is currently done by pumping milk at high pressure through narrow tubes to break up the fat molecules – a relatively energy intensive process. Lower carbon alternatives could include the use of ultrasound.

Together, these new methods of ice pigging and homogenisation could cut the dairy sector’s carbon emissions by around 5%.

Confectionery and Bakery

Carbon emissions from the production of gums and jellies in the confectionery sector stand at around 60,000 tonnes per annum. Using alternative methods such as microwave technology to dry (or ‘stove’) the sweets could cut these emissions by 10% a year, according to Carbon Trust estimates.

And in commercial bakeries, reducing the weight of baking tins, improving the efficiency of ovens and recycling waste heat could together cut the sector’s emissions by around 9%.

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Warburtons to Close Welsh Bakery


British baker Warburtons is to close its site in Newport, Wales with the loss of 114 jobs. Acquired by Warburtons in 2005, the plant produces about 450,000 loaves of bread a week.

However, Welsh baker Brace’s Bakery is considering bidding for the Newport site and has initiated talks with the Bakers’ Union and the Welsh Assembly Government as well as contacting Warburtons directly. Brace’s Bakery operates throughout Wales and the South West of England.

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Interim Loss at The Real Good Food Company


The Real Good Food Company, the UK sugar, ingredients and bakery group, has reported a loss before tax of £1.298m, including significant items of £189,000, for the first six months ended June 30th 2010, against a loss of £1.194m in the corresponding period last year. Overall group sales in the half year decreased by 11% to £90.7m, primarily due to lower prices at the group’s Napier Brown sugar business together with withdrawal from some lower margin business at the end of last year. However, strong sales growth was achieved in both the baking ingredients business, Renshaw, and in the cakes and desserts manufacturing business, Hayden’s Bakeries.

Pieter Totte, chairman of The Real Good Food Company.

“I am delighted by the progress which the group has made during the first half, with a turning point finally reached in our sugar business after several difficult years. The outlook for sugar is very encouraging, with expectations of increased volumes across all sectors rising further in 2011 as Napier Brown’s competitive advantages in terms of product range, service to customers, supply security and ability to manage complexity all come to the fore,” says Pieter Totte, chairman of The Real Good Food Company. “The tighter, and wider, supply conditions and improved pricing in the sugar business along with the significant growth already achieved in both Renshaw and Haydens gives me confidence in anticipating improved trading results for the second half and in the coming years.”

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German Bakery Sale


German retail baker Kamps is selling a production unit and a chain of 100 stores in Hamburg to Nur Hier (formerly called Allworden) for an undisclosed price. Nur Hier is a local family run company that already operates a number of bakery stores in Hamburg.

Headquartered in Dusseldorf, Kamps is now focusing on its larger bakery outlets. The group was recently sold by Italian food company Barilla to Frankfurt-based private equity firm ECM Equity Capital.

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Grupo Siro Opens €6m R&D Centre


Spanish food group Grupo Siro has opened a new Eur6m research and development facility at El Espinar in northern Spain. The 3,000 sq m facility, which will house a team of 30 researchers, will focus on new product development. It will also undertake contracts for other food manufacturers. Grupo Siro operates across five food categories – pasta, biscuits, snacks, bakery/cakes, bread and patisserie.

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Mixed Interim Results at Lotus Bakeries


Belgium-based biscuits and cakes manufacturer Lotus Bakeries increased current operating profit by 8.8% to Eur17.5m in the first half of 2010 as consolidated turnover edged up 1% to Eur127.2m. On a like-for-like basis, taking into account the termination of the Jaffa Cake bars contract with McVities, turnover for the first half of 2010 was up 2% over the same period in 2009, and slightly more for the branded products.

However, net profit for the first half of 2010 was Eur9.5m against Eur12.2m in the corresponding period in 2009. The first half of 2010 was adversely impacted by write-downs of US dollar hedging instruments while the first half of 2009 figure was boosted by an exceptional gain from a disposal.

Employing 1,220 people, Lotus Bakeries operates production facilities in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Canada, along with its own sales organisations in nine European countries and in North America.

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Barilla Disposes of German Bakery Business


Italian pasta and bakery group Barilla is selling Kamps, its German bakery chain, to ECM Equity Capital, a Frankfurt-based private equity firm, for an undisclosed price. Kamps has 900 franchise shops in Germany selling bread and baked goods, supported by five bakery plants, and had sales of over Eur300m last year.

Kamps along with a business supplying bread to supermarkets and other retailers and a French bakery chain were acquired by Barilla for Eur1.8b in 2002. Subsequently renamed Lieken, the group had sales of about Eur1b last year. Barilla is retaining most of the Lieken business.

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Europastry Investing €20m in 2010 as Sales Set to Reach €385m


Europastry is investing Eur20m this year to expand its production and logistics capacity in Spain. The Spanish and international bakery group is spending Eur12m on a third production line for premium bread brand ‘Gran Reserva’ at its plant in Vallmoll (Tarragona).. The remaining Eur8m is the final tranche of the investment in a new automated warehouse at Vallmoll, which has been operational since December 2009. This will extend the site’s capacity to 20,000 pallets with the ability to handle between 200 and 250 trailer movements a day.

Europastry has been steadily extending its penetration of European bakery markets beyond Spain and also recently entered the US. Indeed, Europastry has now become the third largest producer of frozen dough in Europe, behind Lantmannen and Vandemoortele.

Europastry has also been expanding rapidly within the Spanish food service channel, which in 2009 accounted for 34% of sales, compared to 28% in the previous year. During 2009 Europastry increased net turnover by almost 5% to Eur370m, through the sale of 145,000 tones of bread and 52,000 tons of bakery products. Growth in its current financial year is expected to slow down to 4%, with sales reaching in the region of the Eur385m.

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Further Expansion at Johnstone’s Bakers


Independent Scottish company Johnstone’s Bakers has reported a 45% increase in turnover to £7.4m for the year ended November 30th 2009 and an improvement in pre-tax loss from £1.3m in 2008 to £40,000. Operating profit was £174,000.

Johnstone’s Bakers, which produces cake, cereal and biscuit bars and slices, including caramel shortcake, lemon cheesecake, orange chocolate tiffin, chocolate tiffin and Black Forest brownie, has more than trebled turnover since moving to its new factory in East Kilbride three years ago, following investment of £7m.

Having recently won contracts in the US, Australia and Russia to further extend its export business, Johnstrone’s Bakers is investing £400,000 to expand production capacity, including an enrobing machine and chocolate-making equipment, to cope with rising demand for its Connie’s Cakes range.

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Aryzta Completes Acquisition of Fresh Start Bakeries


Aryzta, the Switzerland-based speciality bakery group with operations in Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia, has received all necessary regulatory clearances to complete its $900m acquisition of Fresh Start Bakeries (incorporating Pennant Food and Sweet Life).

Operating 29 specialist production facilities across the US, Canada, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand along with joint ventures located in North America, Chile and Guatemala, .Fresh Start Bakeries is a global supplier of speciality bakery products with a leading position in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) segment. Pennant Foods is a leading provider of speciality bakery products and solutions to the North American QSR, food service and retail in-store-bakery channels. Sweet Life is a leading innovator and manufacturer of sweet baked goods servicing the North American and Asian QSR channel.

Aryzta is also acquiring Great Kitchens, a leading supplier of pizza and appetisers with a focus on the deli segment of the North American retail grocery channel, for $180m. The combined revenue of the Fresh Start Bakeries and Great Kitchens businesses being acquired is $1.03b, with associated EBITDA of $133m.

Owen Killian, chief executive of Aryzta.

The acquisitions double Aryzta’s manufactured volumes with an additional 30 production locations in 9 countries and permit greater access to a broader customer base within the expanding QSR and retail segments. Moreover, they also provide Aryzta with a more balanced exposure to its core markets of North America and Europe, while extending its geographical footprint in rapidly expanding developing markets.

“On 9th June 2008 Aryzta set out objectives to ‘double the earnings base within 5 years’. These acquisitions represent an important milestone for our shareholders on that journey,” says Owen Killian, chief executive of Aryzta.

Created in 2008 by the merger of Dublin-based IAWS Group and Hiestand Holding of Switzerland, Aryzta has a primary listing on the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Irish Stock Exchange.In Europe Aryzta has a mixture of business to business and consumer brands, including Hiestand, Cuisine de France, Delice de France and Coup de Pates.

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Sara Lee Refocusing Continues With €320m Disposal


US-based food, household and body care products group Sara Lee has completed the sale of its air care operation to Procter & Gamble for Eur320m. The disposal is part of the divesture of Sara Lee’s household and body care business as it seeks to refocus on its global food and beverage activities.

Brenda Barnes, chairman and chief executive of Sara Lee.

To date, Sara Lee has completed the sale of its 51% stake in its Godrej Sara Lee joint venture to Godrej Consumer Products for a total consideration of Eur185m. In addition, Sara Lee expects to close the sales of its global body care and European detergents businesses to Unilever and its remaining insecticides business to SC Johnson by the end of 2010.

This will leave Sara Lee focused on five businesses – North American Fresh Bakery, North American Retail, North American Foodservice, International Beverage and International Bakery.

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Lantmannen Unibake Continues UK Expansion


International bakery group Lantmannen Unibake has completed the takeover of UK’s leading supplier of sweet and savoury pastries and specialty breads, Bakehouse, by acquiring the remaining shares in the company. To further consolidate its position in the UK market, Lantmannen Unibake plans to make a major investment in new UK production capacity.

In May 2009, Lantmannen Unibake became the majority shareholder in Bakehouse. The acquisition continued Lantmannen Unibake’s massive investments in the UK, which is now the group’s biggest market.

Lantmannen Unibake expects to complete the purchase of the remaining shares in Bakehouse by July 2010. “When we purchased the majority holding in Bakehouse last May, the vision was to expand the ownership to 100% as a natural next step. Our companies are a perfect match, and the potential looks immensely promising. Bakehouse is an absolute world class expert in in-store bakeries and tailored solutions for the retail and food service business. We now have the ideal set-up for providing our customers with the best service in the market meaning the world’s largest assortment combined with sales and marketing concepts,” comments Bent Pultz Larsen, chief executive of Lantmannen Unibake.

New UK Bakery

Bent Pultz Larsen, chief executive of Lantmannen Unibake.

After firstly acquiring Eurobuns in 2008 and now Bakehouse, a natural next step in Lantmannen Unibake’s ambitious growth strategy is to set up new production capacity in the UK. “The UK is our biggest market, and the new bakery gives us a strong position with a complete production set-up. It will bring us even closer to our UK customers and put us in the best possible position to meet the growing demand we are experiencing in the UK,” says Bent Pultz Larsen.

When complete, the new bakery will house three state-of-the-art production lines. The exact location of the bakery is yet to be decided, but it is expected to be ready for operation by mid 2011.

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Real Good Food Company Expands Hayden’s Bakeries


Peiter Totte, chairman of the Real Good Food Company.

Hayden’s Bakeries, a subsidiary of Real Good Food Company, the UK bakery, ingredient and sugar group, will create up to 150 new jobs over the next 2-3 years. Hayden’s has opened an additional 33,000 sq ft of capacity close to its current site in Devizes, Wiltshire.

The expansion is part of the Hayden’s management team strategic plan for the next three years. The strategy aims to double the current turnover within the plan period, to create a new distribution facility over the next 12 months and to modernise the manufacturing capability.

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Lantmannen Unibake Continues International Expansion With Hungarian Acquisition


In line with its international expansion strategy, Lantmannen Unibake, , which is one of Europe’s leading frozen bakery products suppliers, is acquiring a new fast food bakery from Hungarian milling and bakery group Elso Pesti for an undisclosed fee. The acquisition of new production capacity in Hungary strengthens the Danish bakery group’s position in the Central European market.

“We want to follow our international customers into the Central and Eastern European market and with production in Russia, Poland and now Hungary we have the best possible set-up for matching our customers’ needs and demands for the future,” explains Bent Pultz Larsen, chief executive of Lantmannen Unibake.

The new Hungarian bakery also secures Lantmannen Unibake a solid production platform and direct access to a well-established sales and distribution network throughout the region. “With its location in the Central European region, the Hungarian market has a remarkable potential for future growth both in existing as well as new and unexploited sales channels,” he adds.

Five Major Deals

The deal marks Lantmannen Unibake’s fifth major investment in expanding its international presence since 2008. In February 2008, it acquired Baco Oy, the largest fast food bakery in Finland, as a step toward expanding its market share in the Baltics and Russia.

In April 2008, the company took its first steps toward establishing itself as a major player in the American bread market with its acquisition of Euro-Bake, one of the Southeast’s premier artisan bakeries, a 200-person bakery specialising in European inspired bread types.

In June 2008, Lantmannen Unibake acquired production capability in the UK for the first time with the purchase of Eurobuns, a leading bakery just outside London. The acquisition opened the door to the frozen bread market in the UK, of which Eurobuns at the time controlled around 50%.

In May 2009, Lantmannen Unibake became the majority shareholder in Bakehouse, the UK’s leading supplier of sweet and savoury pastries and speciality breads. The purchase continued Lantmannen Unibake’s massive investments in the British market making it the group’s biggest market.

Including the Hungarian bakery, Lantmannen Unibake now has 86 bakery lines in 26 bakeries in 11 countries. It employs 4,000 people and has an annual turnover of Eur727m.

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