AarhusKarlshamn (AAK) has recorded strong second quarter (Q2) results driven by volume growth in its ingredients segment.
Group operating profit was up 11% on the same quarter last year to €25.7m (SEK 218m), while sales rose 8% to €493.8m (SEK 4.2bn).
Record-high Ingredients profit
Growth was driven by profit in the group’s ingredients segment, which grew 30% to €18.4m (SEK 156m) largely due to a 21% rise in volume.
The company said this was a record high operating for the ingredients business, helped by developments in speciality product areas, particularly bakery and infant nutrition.
However, AAK saw profit declines in its other two business segments. Operating profit for both its Chocolate & Confectionery Fats division and its Technical Products & Feed arm nosedived 7% and 29% respectively.
Cocoa butter price hits Chocolate & Confectionery Fats arm
Volumes in the Chocolate & Confectionery Fats business remained stable, pressured by low cocoa butter prices.
AAK said: “The record low cocoa butter price (approximately 30-40% lower than the three year average) represents a clear challenge in the short to medium term.”
“The business area remains challenged and is expected to be under pressure even during forthcoming quarters.”
The company hopes results for this segment will improve in the latter quarters of the year as confectioners prepare seasonal offerings for Halloween and Christmas.
Arne Frank, AAK CEO and president, said: “The impact on our industry from the more difficult general economy in Europe is difficult to predict.”
“However…we continue to remain prudently optimistic for the future, mainly driven by a very strong Food Ingredients business.”
The company is looking to capitalise on fast-growing economies in China and Brazil and already increased its sales volumes in these regions during the quarter.
During Q2, AAK made two acquisitions in the foods service segment with its purchase of US firm Oasis Foods and Danish company Crown-Foods.
The company’s third quarter (Q3) results are due on 7 November this year.