Bell on course in first half

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Monday, August 17, 2009

Bell Group, Basel, improved the operating income in the first half of 2009 by 40% to CHF 1.245 billion. The sales growth can be attributed to last year's acquisitions. The operating result (EBITDA) improved as well to CHF 83 million. Burdened particularly by acquisition-related goodwill writedowns, the net profit was down year-on-year.

Bell Group held its position in the first half of 2009. Sales trends were very pleasing for the entire Group, and at CHF 1.245 billion, the operating income reached a new all-time high. The sales growth of around 40% (CHF 355 million) can be attributed to last year's foreign acquisitions. The operating result (EBITDA) improved by CHF 24 million to CHF 83 million (+40.7%). Burdened particularly by acquisition-related goodwill writedowns of approximately CHF 8 million, the net profit of CHF 21.8 million was down CHF 1.4 million year-on-year (- 5.9%). As planned, the already announced refinancing of the liabilities on the balance sheet of Bell Group was successfully concluded in April of this year.

All business divisions of Bell Switzerland posted substantial sales growth in the first half of the year. The trend was very positive in the first few months in particular, but the pace slackened slightly at the end of the first semester. Sales volumes grew by 1.7 million kg to 60.3 million kg (+2.9%), with sales prices on average 3% lower year-on-year.

Meat production from slaughter animals improved by more than 8% to 47,487 tonnes, with slaughter volumes increasing mainly for beef cattle and pigs. Sales volumes in the Fresh Meat division increased once again (+1,500 t). The Poultry division enjoyed above-average sales growth, and Swiss poultry in particular did very well. The integration of the German and French companies acquired in 2008 is going according to plan. The ham specialist Abraham has been included in the consolidated accounts from 1 January 2009. Bell International’s operating income for the first half of the year amounted to CHF 377.6 million. As Polette, ZIMBO and Abraham only joined Bell Group in the second half of 2008, it is not possible to compare the result with the prior year's figures.
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