In line with forecasts made last year as the economic crisis took hold, sales for the quarter ended June 30 dropped 12.4 per cent from €111.6m to €97.8m, while EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) was €4.5m compared to €5.9m in the corresponding quarter last year.
But this figure included one-off costs of €0.8m for an unfinished acquisition.
The company noted it had restructured in 2009, selling off its margarine business and bringing the rest of its business under two umbrellas – Brands and Business to Business.
The Brands division, which includes Benecol, performed well, while Business to Business has struggled.
Chief executive officer, Matti Rihko, said the restructuring reflected a more grain-centric strategy, which was strengthening the company, but predicted volatility ahead.
“We are pleased with these results in what is a very difficult period and are feeling the benefit of our restructuring,” he told NutraIngredients.com this morning.
“Brand profitability doubled over the period, and Benecol users are demonstrating a great level of brand loyalty. Business to Business has faced greater challenges with feed and vegetable oil sales down and the situation not helped by the salmonella scare.”
Benecol volumes grew over the period despite the recession, he said.
Volatile markets and results would continue, meaning even if food consumption and demand remain steady, volumes may be reduced in the short run, ”either directly or indirectly, through the food chain infrastructure.”
Volatility in raw material prices was expected to grow.
Rihko predicted “moderate growth” in its volumes over the rest of 2009, with positive cash flows, but lower than 2008 levels.