The profit figure – excluding one-off items – represents 4.4 per cent of Raisio’s sales of €443m for 2010 compared to €375.9m in 2009.
Q4 sales jumped 28.8 per cent to €117.8m compared to €91.5m in Q4 2009.
In analysing the results, the company said it expected its growing Branded Foods division – which swelled with two British acquisitions in the snacks and confectionery markets in the past 12 months – to be a focus of growth going forward, and that further acquisitions could be expected.
“In the first half of 2010, we carried out the acquisition of British Glisten. The acquisition gave us a foothold in the snack and confectionery market in Great Britain,” said CEO Matti Rihko.
“The acquisition of Big Bear Group in February 2011 was a natural extension of our growth strategy. With the acquisition, Raisio will gain a stronger branded foothold in the snack and breakfast markets in Great-Britain and Western Europe.”
He added: “We will continue to be active in the acquisitions front. The Group’s strong balance sheet and cash flow provide a good foundation for acquisition activities as far as there are suitable companies available fitting our strategy and meeting our preset criteria. During the growth phase, Raisio aims to maintain the earlier 4-5 per cent level of profitability.”
He said Benecol had performed well with increases in sales in several product categories and in new markets in Asia and South America.
Raw material price volatility, particularly in wheat, continued, but diversification into nuts, cacao and sugar had been realised as the company’s sourcing priorities changed.
“Risk management of raw material prices will be essential also in the future, regarding both value and volume,” Rihko said, adding, “Raisio is growing by combining ecology, health and snacks suitable for mobile lifestyle into a whole that meets the needs of consumers and customers in all our market areas.”