Despite a 7% increase in turnover during the year to €9.5bn, the company reported a drop in its operating results, down 53% to €90m.
The markets in the UK, Netherlands and Germany showed particularly poor results, which the company attributed to a stagnating economy and restricted consumer expenditure, which had made it difficult to pass on increased costs of livestock to consumers. Competition in the pork market was high, but there was also pressure on the company’s beef activities. However, progress had been made in the BRIC countries, due to an increased demand for meat.
CEO and chairman, Uwe Tillmann: “In 2011, Vion paid high purchase prices for pigs and cattle. Unfortunately, the prevailing economic conditions prevented us from consistently transferring these increases to Vion Food’s sales markets. As a result, our financial results in 2011 were disappointing.”
It said that in order to achieve sound returns, improvements in operational cost efficiency would remain a key focus.
However, the company was able to capitalise on key drivers of quality, health, sustainability and animal welfare and successful developed added value food and ingredients products in 2011 including convenience products and Hackplus®, the hybrid meat product.