World News: 17:00 GMT Wednesday 15th May 2019. [Fromageries BEL via Globe Newswire via SPi World News]
In Q1 2019, the Bel Group generated consolidated sales of €810 million, down a slight 0.4% versus €813 million in the prior-year period.
The appreciation in the U.S. dollar against the euro accounted for the lion’s share of the foreign exchange effect, which positively impacted consolidated sales by 2.2% or €18 million. Accordingly, Bel’s consolidated sales declined 2.6% organically y-o-y in Q1 2019.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, the Bel Group announced a transformation plan and a new organization to monitor operations via its Executive Committee. Sales reporting is now broken down into two segments, including Global Markets (or mature markets) and New Territories (or growth markets). New Territories encompass the business activities of MOM, as well as markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
The sales performance for the period is presented by segment in the following table:
Q1 sales were driven by New Territories markets where the Bel Group’s product offering has been tailored to meet evolving consumer trends, particularly in the United States where intense marketing was undertaken. Sales in New Territories grew 1.3% organically for the quarter.
In the mature global markets of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, the decline in consolidated sales stemmed from a decrease in volumes. In this segment, sales contracted 3.3% organically for the period. The shift in the Easter holidays from the month of March in 2018 to April in 2019 also had an unfavorable calendar effect that negatively impacted sales in France and the United States. Further, higher selling prices enacted with major retail chains in Europe at the beginning of the year have not yet fully borne fruit.
Enhancing the product portfolio through product innovations remains a priority to provide consumers with an offering that meets their changing expectations.
Steering the course of operations remains complicated in an uncertain environment. Reaching a historically high level, raw material prices continue to weigh on operating margin.
Implementing the transformation plan to accelerate its growth remains Bel’s priority, notably in the areas of industrial productivity and operating efficiency.
As a reminder, the Annual General Shareholders Meeting will take place at the Bel Group’s headquarters on May 22, 2019.
Globe Newswire: 17:00 GMT Wednesday 15th May 2019
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