Full year sales at French baked goods group Brossard rose by 35.5 per cent to €171.2 million, but the company said it was nonetheless disappointed at not meeting its own growth forecasts.
The company, which specialises in both shelf stable and frozen products, producing anything from pizzas to patisserie, said it had hoped to post sales of around €175 million. In fact, it had been well on target to meet this forecast, but worse-than-expected sales of frozen Christmas speciality products meant that total turnover fell just short of expectations.
Sales of frozen products reached €77.9 million during the year, helped by the recovery of sales at the Pikiche and Sigal units. Last year also saw the installation of a new product line for frozen pizza carrying the Label Rouge quality mark, which is expected to give a major boost to sales this year.
The company said it had also worked hard to extend the range of frozen bakery products under the Brossard name in order to ensure greater sales all year round - traditionally, the majority of the Brossard frozen patisserie business had come from festive products at Christmas and Easter.
Shelf-stable patisserie sales recovered well during the year, the company said, with total turnover reaching €93.3 million. This recovery was helped by the launch of a range of breakfast products and snack products- identified as key areas of growth in the market - under the Brossard name.
The launch of Brossard's first range of fresh patisserie products will take place throughout France on 1 April 2003.
"The disappointment caused by the poor sales of seasonal frozen products at the end of the year should not take away from the successful recovery of Pikiche, Sigal and the company as a whole," said Guy Schumacher, the company's president.
"The group will start 2003 free of debt, streamlined and boosted by a number of product innovations, and we are confident that the year will be marked by strong organic growth and improved profitability."