Royal Cosun closed 2020 with a slightly higher group result than in 2019, the company says in a press release issued this week. The result was the outcome of the wide-ranging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business groups in an exceptional year.
Lockdowns exerted pressure on Aviko’s turnover in the foodservice channel, whereas other business groups benefited directly or indirectly from higher sales in the retail channel. Cosun Beet Company booked a positive result thanks to slightly firmer sugar prices and its ability to meet the high demand for bio-ethanol to make disinfectants.
The Royal Cosun group result was also boosted by both cost savings and non-recurring income. Despite the turbulent year, Cosun says it will pay its members a slightly higher bonus per tonne of beet than in the previous year.
Aviko had an exceptionally turbulent year, according to the Cosun press release. Following its record operating profit in 2019, volume fell sharply in March 2020 when the hospitality sector was shut down during the first lockdown.
With an 85% share in the potato products segment of the foodservice and out-of-home channels, Aviko was badly hit by the first lockdown in 2020. Sales rapidly recovered, however, after the summer. Aviko Rixona’s sales of flakes and granules developed according to plan.
Thanks to an upturn in sales in China, the softer impact of the second lockdown, when delivery and takeaway services provided creative solutions, and the contribution from granules and flakes, Aviko closed the year with a modest positive result.
Demand for potato fries collapsed under pressure from the pandemic. Aviko respected all its contracts with potato growers; the surplus potatoes were stored as fries, processed by Aviko Rixona, used for animal feed, sold to other businesses or fermented.
The acquisition of Unilever’s potato processing factory in Stavenhagen, Germany, the acquisition of Hongyuan Louis in China and capacity expansions in the Netherlands and Belgium are seamlessly aligned to Cosun’s growth strategy, the company says.
In view of these investments in combination with continued worldwide growth in demand for potato snacks and frozen fries, Aviko is confident it will pursue its growth strategy in 2021.
Source: Royal Cosun