Orkla adds UK grocery to sales channels with Waverley Bakery acquisition

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

OFI supplies a range of ice cream ingredients. Photo: iStock - photographybylindalee
OFI supplies a range of ice cream ingredients. Photo: iStock - photographybylindalee

Related tags Ice cream ingredients Ice cream Subsidiary

Bakery ingredients business Orkla Food Ingredients (OFI) has boosted its presence in the ice cream cones and wafers market with the acquisition of Scottish supplier The Waverley Bakery Limited.

OFI, which is part of Nordic snacks and food giant Orkla and describes itself as the leading bakery ingredients player in the Nordic region, said the deal would add the UK grocery trade to its sales channels.

Glasgow-based Waverley primarily sells ice cream cones and wafers to the UK grocery sector, and also supplies cones, ingredients and accessories to ice cream parlors and small-scale ice cream manufacturers.

The business, which employs 45 people and is part of Lee’s Foods Group, had a turnover of $8.2m (£5.9m) in 2015 and EBITDA of about $1m (£0.7m).

Potential for growth and synergies

This acquisition is in line with Orkla’s aim of growing in selected categories and markets where we see a potential for further growth and synergies​,” said Orkla senior vice president and OFI chief executive Pål Eikeland. “The acquisition of Waverley gives Orkla Food Ingredients a leading position in the market for ice cream ingredients and accessories in the UK​.”

The acquisition was made through OFI’s wholly owned subsidiary Idun Industri AS.

OFI already supplies ice cream ingredients and accessories to the Nordic region and countries including Germany, the Netherlands and UK. The business's largest product categories are margarine and butter blends, bread and cake improvers and mixes, marzipan and yeast, and it operates through sales and distribution companies in 22 countries.

Increase in operating profits

Earlier this month​, parent company Orkla reported a 9% year on year increase in operating profit in its fourth quarter to NOK 1,102m ($129m) on turnover of NOK 9,571m ($1,117m).

The company’s Confectionery & Snacks division reported 2015 fourth-quarter operating revenues of NOK 1,818m ($212m), and year on year organic growth of 7.2%. New products had contributed to the growth, said Orkla, including Big Cut snacks launched in Norway, Sweden and Finland; Polly Ovnsristet roasted nuts in Norway; and Ballerina Bites biscuits in Sweden.

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