SWITZERLAND, Basel. Shopping tourism, slowed down by the Corona pandemic, ensures rising sales in the Bell Food Group's home market.
Last year was also marked by the Corona pandemic for the Swiss meat and sausage group Bell. Despite the difficult economic environment, sales revenues increased by 2.7% to CHF 4.1 bn.. Ebit rose by 7.6% to CHF 160.4 mill. and net profit by 12.1% to CHF 117.7 mill.
The retail sales channel developed positively. In particular, the core business with meat and meat products in the Swiss domestic market contributed to the success, the company said. Internationally, raw ham and poultry had contributed to the success. Negative effects of the Corona pandemic had been felt in the food service and fresh convenience sectors. Due to the good result, a dividend increase from CHF 5.50 to CHF 6.50 per share will be proposed to the annual general meeting. Over the next three years, Bell Food Group intends to strengthen its core business of meat products, grow with convenience and veggies, and invest in efficiency and performance.
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, extensive protection and hygiene measures were implemented at all sites, the company said. "Bell Food Group succeeded in preventing the spread of the virus in its plants and protecting the health of its employees as best as possible," said CEO Lorenz Wyss. He added that the protective and hygiene measures had led to higher costs. Measures had been implemented in all divisions with the effect that personnel and overhead costs had risen disproportionately less overall. However, the Corona pandemic also had a positive impact on business. For example, the decline in shopping tourism during the lockdowns had a positive impact on sales in Switzerland. This more than compensated for losses in food service.
The Bell International division also achieved an improvement in results. Due to its strong focus on out-of-home catering and on the to-go sector in retail, the Convenience business unit had been most affected by the negative impact of the Corona pandemic. Unlike in the other business units, the loss of sales here could only be partially compensated for via the retail channel.
Due to the ongoing Corona situation, the Annual General Meeting of Bell Food Group Ltd will again be held on March 23, 2021 without the physical participation of shareholders. As in the previous year, share votes can only be exercised by issuing a power of attorney with instructions to the independent proxy.