Growth in the first half of the year from France's Brossard Saveurs de France was slowed considerably by the effect of the hot weather during the first few weeks of the third quarter, according to the company's latest figures released yesterday.
The company, which specialises in industrial pastry products and frozen food, posted a solid gain in sales for the first half, with turnover increasing 5.9 per cent to €82.6 million, but sales for the third quarter at both its main business units were flat compared to the previous year, entirely due to the impact of the hot weather.
Total group turnover during the third quarter was €39.2 million in the third quarter, an increase of just 0.3 per cent on the same period a year earlier, with sales from the industrial pastry division up 0.4 per cent at €24.77 million, while frozen and fresh food sales were €14.44 million, compared to €14.41 a year earlier.
The company stressed that it was well on track to growth, despite the heat wave effect - for example, first half profits were well ahead of the previous year, with operating profits increasing by 50 per cent to €1.36 million and net profits over 800 per higher at €1.1 million.
Brossard added that it still expected to meet its growth targets for 2003 - turnover from the industrial pastry arm should be around €97 million, while the fresh and frozen arm is expected to see sales in the region of €82 million, giving total turnover of €179 million, around 4.5 per cent higher than in 2001.
The company is continuing to benefit from its repositioning last year aimed at consolidating its position in its two main business sectors. This involved a new focus on the Brossard brand, the launch of a number of new innovative products such as quality-controlled pizzas and upmarket aperitif products, and the launch of the fresh products division.
Profitability continues to improve as a result of the discontinuation of a number of low-margin products and a reorganisation of the distribution network allowing both business units to benefit from the same logistics.