German meat industry slows as crisis peaks in 2009

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, September 10, 2010

afz presents figures and structures in its sixth industry ranking list
The meat industry proved to be a stable sector as the crisis peaked in 2009. Most companies were not able to match the extremely dynamic growth of the previous year, yet the majority managed to post an - albeit slim - increase in sales. Further evidence of the sector's stability lies in the fact that seven companies once again posted sales exceeding one billion euros in 2009, although growth remained modest.

The industry ranking - compiled by the afz - allgemeine fleischer zeitung together with its sister publication Fleischwirtschaft along with Anuga - lists 150 companies ranked by their sales figures. The turnover of the pig slaughterers continued to rise, although the increase did not always keep pace with the rise in numbers of pigs slaughtered. Fewer cattle, by contrast, were slaughtered. Nevertheless, the owner-managed companies Gausepohl (Dissen) and Müller (Birkenfeld/Württemberg) have invested considerable sums and are planning further expansion.

The poultry industry, on the other hand, posted impressive growth rates again in 2009. The economic crisis has done nothing to reduce consumers' appetite for chicken and turkey. The PHW group (Visbek) is now ranked second in the meat industry, behind TönniesFleisch, the undisputed leader of the Top 150.

Last year, meat processors evidently benefited from the higher sales prices, achieving growth rates in many cases of around five percent despite a slight decline in volume.

Supermarket butchers are also continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace. Appearing for the first time in the afz ranking, with estimated sales totalling EUR 650 million, is Kaufland (Neckarsulm), the largest supermarket butchery business, ahead of Brandenburg (Frankfurt am Main) with sales of EUR 550 million, and Edeka Südwest Fleisch (Offenburg) with EUR 417 million.

Little has changed amongst the butchery chains. Having opened 40 new branches since the previous year, Vinzenzmurr (Munich) is the undisputed frontrunner and the strongest driving force behind the growth. The other chains in the Top 10 have kept their numbers of sales outlets more or less unchanged.
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