“Our bakery supplies activities are still facing a challenging market climate, although we have seen the declining volume trend levelling out,” reports Gerard Hoetmer, CEO of CSM.
He said that there are no immediate signs that markets are definitely picking up but that the company remained focused “on maintaining our margins and on managing our cost base and continue our efforts to stimulate growth through innovation.”
And CSM, which supplies ingredients to semi-finished and frozen, almost-ready and ready-made products to artisan and industrial bakeries, reports that due to the continuing volatile economic climate in the main markets that it operates in, it still lacks the visibility to clearly forecast the development of sales volume over the next three quarters.
However, the group said though that it recorded substantially improved Q1 EBITA compared to last year, with EBITA more than doubling to €40.5m this resulted from higher volumes from its bioplastics division Purac and a better raw material cost base.
The supplier said that sales for the first quarter were €644.4m compared with €636.1m in 2009; organic growth was slightly positive by 0.6 per cent (€4m). It added that currency effects had a negative impact of €14.1m (-2.2 per cent) due to the weaker US dollar.
The Dutch group said that the US based frozen bakery company Best Brands, which was acquired in February this, contributed € 17.7m.
“We expect Best Brands to contribute, including non-recurring acquisition costs, in line with their 2009 EBITA (pro rata for the period consolidated excluding non-cash IFRS purchase accounting adjustments), with the expected integration costs being compensated by synergy benefits,” said Hoetmer.
CSM has operations in 16 countries in Europe, the US and Asia and generates annual sales of €3bn (pro forma 2009) and has a workforce of around 10,000 employees in 25 countries.