DUBLIN: The company was boosted by increased first quarter sales in Ireland and the UK against a backdrop of more muted consumer sentiment across Europe.
The group’s revenues climbed 6.1% in the 13 weeks to the end of October, made up of currency movements of 5.8% and acquisition growth of 0.7% which offset negative underlying growth of 0.4%.
In Europe, bakeries continued to outperform while Aryzta Food Solutions remains weaker due to some channel weakness as previously discussed. We are focused on building the business by unlocking the innovation potential across our customer base,” said Aryzta chief executive Owen Killian.
Consumer sentiment is positive in north America where we are encouraged by the initial consumer feedback to our renewed focus on our brands particularly La Brea Bakery and Otis Spunkmeyer,” he said.
The company which also owns the Cuisine de France brand, saw revenues grow by 9.5% to €442.5m in the first quarter in its Food Europe division.
Unlike the group’s headline revenue figures, its European division experienced strong underlying growth of 5.5% as well as a 1.5% contribution from acquisitions and a positive currency impact of 2.5%.
The company is positive on its business in north America where initial product testing with its La Brea Bakery and Otis Spunkmeyer brands has yielded encouraging initial responses.
The company took a hit across the rest of the world, however, with a decrease in revenue of 10% largely due to currency movements.
Arytza reiterated guidance for underlying earnings per share of 365c to 385c for 2016.
The remuneration of Aryzta’s chief executive has been under scrutiny of late after recent reports claimed London-based shareholder advisory firm, Manifest had labelled Mr Killian’s salary as “excessive” and gave Aryzta’s overall remuneration policy an ‘E’ grade.
Aryzta’s annual report released in October showed a reduction in Mr Killian’s salary from €5.5m last year to €1.6m.