Investment in a new advertising campaign showed clear results in the second quarter for French prepared meats group Fleury Michon.
The company said that overall sales for the first half of the year were ahead 11.1 per cent to €299.3 million, helped by a 12 per cent increase in the second quarter of the year following the advertising campaign for the delicatessen and packaged meat divisions.
These two units led the way in terms of sales growth during the half.
The packaged meat business grew by 13.9 per cent to €169.1 million (well ahead of the target for the year of 6.5 per cent), driven by sales of premium ham and chicken (up 18 per cent) and of speciality meat products such as prepared steaks (up 59 per cent).
The delicatessen arm, meanwhile, posted a 7.6 per cent increase to €120.3 million helped by a trimming of the company's product portfolio. The launch of a new range of fresh ready meals in the autumn, and additional advertising before the end of the year, should enable Fleury Michon to meet its growth target of 10 per cent for the delicatessen unit over the year as a whole.
The company has also begun pushing into new areas of distribution in a bid to boost sales. In the catering sector, for example, the company has a number of test ventures in France (the Graine d'Appétit chain of self-service ready meals and other automatic vending units) and southern Europe (a joint venture with Beretta in Italy and with Gallina Blanca in Spain).
The meat group is increasingly shifting its focus towards the fast growing ready meals sector, and it is increasing investment in this sector for both new product development and for advertising.