Vandemoortele: posts good operational results 2009

Ghent / BE. (vg) Vandemoortele Group realised good operational results in 2009, this in spite of the difficult economic context. The company realised a turnover of 1,1 billion EUR and profit from operations (Ebit) of 57 million EUR. This result is higher than the two previous years, in absolute numbers as well as compared to turnover. The group also has a strong balance sheet: equity is 4 times higher than net financial debt.

Vandemoortele Group has a profit from operations (Ebit) of 57 million EUR
The company reinforces its position in two activities:
Bakery Products and Lipids
Recent acquisition of the margarine- and fats division of Dutch company
Van Dijk Food Products fits perfectly in this strategy

The two activities of the Vandemoortele Group are Bakery Products (frozen bakery products) and Lipids (margarines + fats). The group´s strategy is aimed at strengthening its leadership in Europe and to achieve further growth. The acquisitions of the French group Panavi (bakery products, 2008) and very recently the margarine- and fats division of Van Dijk Food Products are perfectly in line with this strategy.

For Bakery Products, 2009 was geared towards the integration of Panavi and the increase in production efficiency. The integration of Panavi is perfectly on schedule and the results are satisfactory. As for Lipids, the company has further invested in innovation of the product portfolio and in customer service through technical and marketing advice. Turnover is divided as follows: 40 percent for Lipids and 60 percent for Bakery Products.

Products for daily consumption

With its frozen bakery products Vandemoortele Group supplies bakeries, the food service industry and the retail sector. The company disposes of a broad product portfolio: bread, patisserie, pastries and American products (donuts among others). Vandemoortele Group had the opportunity to add to its offer a series of high volume products for daily consumption, such as baguettes and croissants. This enables the group to supply next to its existing assortment of specialities, a broad offer of basic products at competitive prices to retail in the whole of Europe.

The Lipids business line aims for professional users on one hand, with a broad range of products which combine ease of processing, taste, aroma, texture and high food standards, and on the other hand on retail with private label margarines and frying fats. Vandemoortele also has a few strong margarine, oil and sauce brands on the Belgian market. The lipids market is a rather mature and stable market and the recent acquisition of Van Dijk Food Products brings economies of scale at production level for Vandemoortele and joined forces in sales. Van Dijk Food Products is owner of well known brands in the Netherlands and is also an important producer of margarines and fats under private label for retail and food services.

A more integrated organisation

As for the organisational structure, Vandemoortele Group has put in place efficiency improvements. In 2009 the organisational structure was simplified: from now on it consists of one integrated management team with two business lines and several supporting group services. As of this month, the formerly separated head offices of the group and of the different divisions are joined in one single head office in Ghent.

New board members

The annual general meeting has appointed two new independent board members. The newcomers are Alfred Bouckaert (until recently CEO Norcee Axa) and Frenchman Michel Léonard (until recently leader of Lactalis, the second biggest French dairy company). The board now consists of 13 members (six family members, two GIMV-directors and five independent directors, among which chairman Karel Boone).

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