The Finish food firm, best known for its Benecol plant sterols, has implemented a new strategy to gain a foothold in healthy and ecological snacking in Europe. The acquisition of 85 per cent of Glisten’s shares for €2.2m in April was the first concrete step towards implementing that strategy.
The most recent reporting quarter, ended 30 June, was the first in which Glisten’s sales have come into play. Total sales for the quarter were €120m, compared to €97.8m for the same three months of last year.
The company said it expects 2010 and 2011 to be a new growth phase, and it is aiming to “grow through acquisitions as well as by entering small and growing product categories and new market areas.”
CEO Matti Rihko said Q2 had gone “according to plan”, and the results were given an extra push as Glisten increased its profitability after the acquisition had gone through – although signs of caution in its native UK market remain.
Glisten is now owned by Raisio UK, of which Raision Group owns 85 per cent and Glisten’s senior management 15 per cent. The original agreement entitled Raisio to buy back the remainder of these shares in 2012 and for the Glisten management to withdraw.
However it has now been discussed that the Glisten management will stay on after 2012, not only for the sake of the Glisten brand but also to help implement the company’s growth strategy in for all its Western European brands after 2012. With this in mind, it has been agreed to amend the shareholder agreement to increase Glisten senior management’s share in Raisio UK to 21.3 per cent.
Raisio Group’s other main brands, Elovena. Sunnuntai. Carlshamn and Nordic, also performed well in their local markets.
Benecol plant stanols already had considerable recognition for their role in reducing cholesterol even before the acceptance of a European health claim.
Net sales of the flagship international brand remained at a high levels of €12.3m between April and June 2010. The company had observed strong growth in usage in Europe during the economic downturn, but that has now levelled off – says the company as consumers are now incorporating it into their daily diets.
Romania saw the launch of its first-ever cholesterol-lowing food product in June, launched by Raisio’s Romanian partner Doprogea Grup.
“Volatility in sales volumes is characteristic when launching products on new markets,” Raisio said.