Horse meat scandal highlights need for systematic testing

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food testing market Revenue

Horse meat has had a deep impact on industry
Horse meat has had a deep impact on industry
The horse meat scandal in Europe highlights the need for more systematic testing, according to Eurofins.

This should provide support to the food testing market in the medium-term, said the firm while reporting its 2013 half year results.

Food testing performed well and continues to be supported by regulation and brand protection, especially as supply chains widen.

This has been most evident in markets where there is regulatory catch-up (US), or increased trade and wealth (emerging markets).

The group’s Competence Centre for Contaminants Testing in Food launched analytical methods and testing packages to help clients reduce risk of contamination by veterinary residues due to the horse meat scandal.

APAC and US growth

Growth was particularly strong in the US, the largest market in terms of revenues, and Asia-Pacific (APAC) and emerging markets represented about 11% of revenue.

Dr Gilles Martin, CEO, said they have made eight acquisitions in the first six months with annual revenues in excess of €70m.

“Despite the difficult economic environment, revenue growth remains robust in most of our markets as demand for testing continues to increase and as we leverage our laboratory network and expertise to further expand our market share.

“Over the next few years, we plan to continue to invest strongly to lay the foundations for continued future growth and advances in productivity.”

Group revenues were €570.3m, representing growth of 19% and organic growth was more than 6% with currency translation having a negative impact of 1%.

IPL troubles

Environment testing results in the first six months were impacted by IPL, the weather-related slower start to the year and weaker construction and economic activity in some parts of Europe.

Separately disclosed items were €-14.8m at EBITDA level in the first six months compared to €-9m for the same period in the previous year due to higher losses in IPL reflecting the impact from ongoing restructuring.

“We have certain start-ups and recently acquired businesses where performance is not yet satisfactory, particularly IPL, which was severely under-invested and not integrated by its previous public foundation owner, but we are convinced that we will have much stronger businesses after the restructurings and investments we undertake,” ​added Martin.

Eurofins recently signed an outsourcing agreement with Danone​ to take over their laboratory for infant nutrition analysis, Central Laboratories Friedrichsdorf (CLF).

This was in return for an exclusive supplier contract for all infant nutrition analyses for Danone and Milupa, its infant nutrition arm in Germany, which will represent at least €6m in revenues annually for five years.

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1 comment

Systematic Testing

Posted by Malcolm Kane,

Eurofins is a respected operation and one I have used and worked with successfully, but with the greatest respect, they do have something of a vested interest in suggesting the solution to the horsemeat scandal is more systematic testing!
In truth, the scale and speed and complexity of operation of the food distribution network that the world now has cannot and will not ever be 'controlled' by systematic testing alone. True, the industry has gone 'light' on systematic testing and a better balance has to be struck between intelligent, targeted testing and an integrated audit system. We must be careful about believing in simplistic solutions.

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