The company posted operating profit of SEK 231m (€24.7m) compared to SEK 236m a year earlier.
For the third quarter, net sales fell 1.4 per cent to SEK 3.774bn due mainly to currency effects, said AAK. Year to date, net sales have decreased 10 per cent to SEK 10.878bn, reflecting currency effects and the deferred effect of lower raw material prices.
The chocolate and confectionery fats division nearly doubled operating profit compared to the second quarter of 2010, said the ingredients supplier, but it added that the operating result of SEK 102m for the unit was below that of 2009.
“The general market conditions commented upon during the first and second quarters of 2010 have continued during the third quarter with strong seasonal volume increases.
“Compared to last year, the volume increased by 19 per cent but this increase did not fully compensate for the lower margins,” commented the company.
The food ingredients division in general had a further improvement in operating profit of 15 per cent for the period, continued AAK. The confectionery industry supplier cited an increase in the proportion of high-value products in its portfolio as a contributory factor.
And it expects volumes for speciality products to continue to increase in its food ingredients as well as in chocolate and confectionery fats category.
“We see strong sustainable organic growth potential in baby food, bakery and bakery services, dairy fat alternatives, food service and chocolate & confectionery fats,” observed the company’s CEO, Arne Frank
AAK added that actions to reduce costs and improve its competitive position are currently being executed and the business has continued to benefit from its ongoing rationalisation programme during the third quarter.