Bonduelle Frozen Vegetables Sales Fare Well in Q1

Bonduelle's frozen operating segment achieved positive growth in the first quarter of FY 2015-16 (July 1-September 30), posting a 10.4% gain at current exchange rates. Turnover generated amounted to EUR 136.9 million, compared to EUR 123.9 million during the same period a year before. The gain was attributed to "retail sales dynamism" of the proprietary Bonduelle brand and growth in the foodservice sector.

Total turnover for the Villeneuve d’Ascq, France-headquartered Bonduelle Group, which produces and markets a wide range of value-added vegetable products, was EUR 462.9 million, down -0.3%. While sales denominated in US and Canadian dollars had a positive impact on the bottom line, the declining value of the Russian rouble weighed negatively.

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Prior to Q1's results, Bonduelle had racked up four consecutive quarters of growth, as previously reported by FrozenFoodsBiz.com. The increase during the last quarter was + 2.2% on a like-for-like basis, and +3.8% for all operating segments (canned, frozen and fresh processed) combined during the fiscal year. Sales in the frozen sector posted a 6.5% gain at EUR 561.9 million, while the canned vegetable turnover dipped a marginal -0.1% to EUR 1,023.6 million. The fresh processed segment advanced +7.6% to EUR 396.3 million.

Frozen sales during the most recent quarter accounted for almost 30% of all revenues. While canned product sales ranked first at approximately 47%, turnover slipped 9.8% to EUR 217 million. In the fresh product segment sales rose 9.2% to EUR 109.1 million.

During QI approximately two-thirds of Bonduelle's business was rung up in the Euro Zone, where turnover of EUR 311.8 million dipped by a slight -0.4%. Growth outside of Europe was reported at 3.7% on a like-for-like basis, and -0.1% when expressed at current exchange rates.

The compamy was especially pleased with the +9.2% gain in the fresh processed operating segment (bagged salads, prepared salads and snack items). Historically a challenger in this business, the Bonduelle brand is now ranked No. 1 among bagged ready-to-eat salads in France, and is gaining ground among competitors in Germany and Italy.

While a sharp decrease was registered in private label canned segment turnover due to termination of unprofitable contracts, Bonduelle and Cassegrain branded product sales rose 7.7% during the quarter.