Raisio 3Q shows promise for new strategy

Related tags Stanol ester Raisio

New product launches and applications helped lift turnover at
Raisio's ingredients division by almost 40 per cent during the
third quarter, it reported today.

The company has also announced that it will extend capacity in its stanol ester plant this month to meet demand for larger ingredient deliveries.

The Finnish firm has seen continued improvement in ingredient sales this year, amounting to revenues of €30.9 million for the January to September period compared to €18.4 million last year.

While only a tenth of the turnover of the nutrition business, ingredients have been targeted for growth under the company's new strategy, launched following the sale of the chemicals unit that cleared long-standing debt.

The business currently only makes the stanol ester brand Benecol but says it is developing new products and investing in R&D. It recently acquired full ownership of nutritional lipid maker Camelina.

"We will focus on developing nutrition solutions that promote cardiovascular health and weight management, prevent type 2 diabetes, and improve intestinal health,"​ said Raisio​ CEO Rabbe Klemets.

"The introduction of new types of products can be expected in the course of next year."

Raisio Life Sciences, which also includes a diagnostics business, saw turnover of €11.7 million, up from €8.5 million in the previous year's third quarter. This was driven by new launches including yoghurt drinks with new flavours in the Belgian, French and UK markets, and Benecol olive spread and Benecol milk drink on the Finnish market.

At the beginning of October, its marketing partners introduced the Benecol yoghurt drink to the Italian and Icelandic markets, and Benecol soft chews to the US market.

The growth contrasts with Raisio's Nutrition unit that has been hit by declining volumes for its margarine business, with turnover falling 9 per cent over the nine-months to €89 million, and high soy prices and freight charges impacting its milling business.

The group's operating profits over the first nine-months have been buoyed by a €229 million profit from the chemicals unit sale, however the company also reported improved return on its ongoing business activities, up to €4.5 million from -€6.8 million the previous year.

"Our performance in the third quarter showed that our business operations are moving in the right direction. Ingredients and milling in particular have clearly improved their performance,"​ added Klemets.

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