Kamps founder steps down as bakery passes into foreign hands

Related tags Pasta

The founder of Germany's largest bakery chain, Kamps, has stood
down from his post as chairman. Heiner Kamps will stay on as a
consultant, but said he could not remain as the head of the company
now that it had been acquired by Barilla, the Italian pasta maker.

The acquisition of German bakery group Kamps by the Italian pasta maker Barilla has had a major influence on the company in more ways than one.

The exceptional charges linked to the acquisition cut a swathe through the company's profits in the first nine months, while the change of ownership has also prompted the bakery's founder to stand down.

Heiner Kamps, who founded the company which bears his name in 1982, said that he was unable to continue in his position as head of the company once it became nothing more than a subsidiary of Barilla - although whether he would have been able to keep that position anyway under Barilla's management is a moot point - and that he was therefore standing down.

He will be replaced by Michael Kern, a former head of Europcar, although not until January. In any case, Kamps will remain with the company as a consultant, in particular in the field of acquisitions.

Kamps also reported its nine month results, which were notably lower than in the same period a year earlier. Operating profits were cut by nearly half to €31 million (from €60.4 million) during the period, due to the impact of the acquisition by Barilla, which generated €36 million in exceptional costs. Turnover for the period was up a modest 1 per cent to €1.3 billion.

But Kamps put a bright spin on the otherwise somewhat dreary results, saying that the restructuring of the business had put it in a good position to grow in the future, and that it had performed well in what it described as difficult market conditions. A major TV and radio advertising campaign is planned for the final quarter, which the company said it hoped would further boost sales.

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