France: Groupe Bel H1 profit down as raw material costs rise
The France-based multinational dairy company Groupe Bel, which owns brands including Babybel, Boursin, Kiri, Leerdammer and La Vache Qui Rit, has posted a profit fall for the first six months of its 2014 financial year.
Net profit for H1 ended 38.9% down at €82 million ($106 million) while operating profit was down 48.4% to €47 million ($61 million). The company blamed the profit decline on rises in raw material costs and unfavourable currency exchange rates.
Total revenues for the period were up 1.7% to €1.344 billion ($1.732 billion) and the company pointed to "sustained top line growth" with sales rising organically by 3.9%.
In Western Europe, sales rose by 6.9%, "supported by positive results for our core brands in a difficult economic environment", the company said.
In the Americas and Asia Pacific, sales were down 9.6%, a result attributed by the company to unfavourable currency effects and distribution changes in Japan. Groupe Bel meanwhile cited political difficulties in Ukraine among the contributory factors in a 6.1% sales decline in its Northern & Eastern Europe division.
Source: Groupe Bel