Non-dairy products boost Bel profits

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk

France-based dairy group Bel this week posted strong results for
the year 2007, although the firm said profits were dampened by
weaker growth in cheese sales.

2007 results ​ Net sales for the year totalled €1.9bn, a 10.6 per cent increase compared to 2006, and operating income for the year increased 19.9 per cent to €129.1m, the company said. Non-cheese food products sold particularly well during the year, with sales increasing 37.2 per cent. However, the company said that its global cheese brands such as Laughing Cow, Port Salut and Picon were impacted by high commodity costs during the period. Sales of cheese products went up by a smaller increase of 8.5 per cent, Bel said. "Downward pressure was exerted on the group's bottom line as the impact of higher raw material prices, which could not be fully passed through to selling prices,"​ the company said. Milk prices were especially steep, hitting "historical peaks in all markets in the second half of 2007",​ Bel added. 2008 outlook ​Bel warned that the uncertain economic conditions of fluctuating exchange rates and volatile raw material prices are likely to continue over the next two months, although the company also said 2008 will be a 'promising' year. The company said it expected future growth to come from its recent acquisition of Boursin, a creamy garlic cheese previously owned by Unilever. "The acquisition fits in perfectly with Bel's business mode and brand portfolio,"​ the company said. "Building on its historical brands…. the group has - with the Boursin acquisition - achieved another step in its strategy to drive profitable growth."

Related topics: Manufacturers

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