Danish speciality fats company Aarhus Olie yesterday reported mixed results for 2002 revealing strong market share growth in supplying the chocolate industry but increasing pressure on the bulk oil side of the business.
In line with expectations, the company reported a satisfactory result after tax of DK144 million, compared with DK166 million in 2001. Consolidated net turnover for 2002 was almost the same as for 2001 and reflects the fact that the group's lower sales in terms of tonnage were compensated for by the higher price of raw materials.
The value-added decline totalled DK25 million in 2002, primarily due to the generally lower volume sales within the bulk oil segment.
In the catering sector, which is primarily served by the UK company Anglia Oils, volume sales and income for the year increased. In addition, the company invested in a new, modern baking margarine factory, which aims to secure the company a solid foothold in this business area.
Further investments saw the group's associated company in Malaysia, United Plantations, acquiring the Malaysian plantation company United International Enterprises (Malaysia) Berhad, an acquisition that the company hopes will promote considerable synergy.
In a statement yesterday, the company said that in the coming year it is looking to defend and develop its position as a leading supplier of speciality fats for chocolate and other confectionery products and to increase turnover in the catering segment by at least 50 per cent as a result of growth in northern Europe. A further step for Aarhus is the development and commercialisation of speciality oils for health care, including cosmetics and dietary supplements.
Expectations for a marginally higher turnover in 2003 than in 2002 are based on unchanged raw material price levels and higher tonnage sales. In 2002, the turnover amounted to DK4.9 billion.