Frozen foods company Iglo Group grew net sales by 3% in 2H12, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) increasing by 12.8%.
The company noted, however, that the sales increase was largely attributable to currency movement and a higher number of trading days in the period. As such, underlying sales performance was broadly flat.
Total frozen food sales in the first half grew faster – Iglo described their performance as ‘robust’ - than total food sales over the first half, which the company said might indicate a trend. This is the first time that total frozen food has grown faster than total food, said the company, and it will be an indicator Iglo said that it will be watching closely.
This contrasts with Unilever’s strategy: in July, as part of its programme to exit the frozen foods market because of lack of growth, Unilever sold its North American frozen foods business to Con Agra.
“Following a successful 2011, the group continued to grow strongly in fish and poultry through the first half of 2012, while our focus on operational execution drove EBITDA growth despite a challenging retail environment,” said Martin Glenn, chief executive.
“The first half of 2012 has seen several new product launches which have delivered strong performance in their respective markets. In particular, our innovative fish portfolio delivered strong year-on-year growth in Italy, demonstrating our ability to deliver revenue synergies from acquisitions. We are now investing in the business at record levels and up-scaling our core product production capabilities.”
“While we expect markets in the second half of the year to remain challenging, we remain on track to deliver full year core category sales growth. Through the ongoing support of our owner Permira Funds, our category approach, and our industry leadership, we will continue to innovate and grow across both existing and new markets; organically and as Europe’s natural consolidator of the frozen food market,” he concluded.