CSM sheds activities in Nordic area

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Csm, Bakery supplies, Finland, Sweden

Dutch bakery ingredients leader CSM continues to slash
non-profitable activities, announcing yesterday that it will close
its BakeMark sales office in Finland as part of its restructuring
of the Bakery Supplies activities in the Nordic area, reports
Lorraine Heller.

A substantial part of the business activities of the sales office will be transferred to Raisio Nutrition Ltd, a Finnish food company.

The move comes as a result of CSM's restructuring plans, announced last year, that are expected to bring benefits of €50m in net savings for the firm over the next two or three years.

Tight competition for bakery supplies together with lower sales in the artisan segment have had a negative impact on the company's turnover, contributing to disappointing results for CSM Baking Supplies Europe in the first half of 2004.

"Over the past two months we have been following a programme of restructuring, divestment and growth, and we have looked closely at all CSM activities, especially within the bakery division,"​ said Marjolein Moerer, CSM communications manager.

Consequences have included the adjustment of the sales organisation to suit the smaller group of artisan consumers and the disposal of non-strategic or low-profit operations.

"We are following a zero-tolerance policy for loss-making activities,"​ Moerer told BakeryAndSnacks.com.

Last month CSM sold its operations of BakeMark Sweden to Accent Equity Partners for €8.75m. Together with the closure of the Finnish office, this reduces activities in the Nordic area to Denmark, though this sector is also currently under investigation and may well be the next in line for restructuring.

CSM claims to have a 12 per cent share of the European bakery ingredients and products market. The bakery ingredients unit, which covers a wide range of products including lactic acids and food preservatives sold mainly under the Purac brand, saw a slight drop in turnover for the first half of this year to €138.9 million.

On Friday CSM announced the resignation of its Division Director of Bakery Supplies Europe, Frans Visser.

"Change in management is always a moment to consider how to reorganise activities,"​ said Moerer. She would not reveal further information on the future of the bakery division, commenting only that no concrete plans had yet been made.

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