Baldew to Succeed Zekhout as Nomad Foods Chief Financial Officer

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Ruben Baldew has been appointed as chief financial officer of Woking, England-headquartered Nomad Foods. He is to assume the post on June 17, subject to, and conditioned upon, receipt of applicable work authorizations.

The new CFO (pictured above) will succeed Samy Zekhout, who is leaving his position to explore new opportunities outside of Nomad Foods. Zekhout will remain with the company until July 31 to assist in the orderly transition of his duties.

Baldew joins Europe’s leading producer of branded frozen food products with over 20 years of global consumer goods experience, most recently as chief financial officer of Accell Group from November 2018 to October 2023.  During his tenure at the Heerenveen, Netherlands-based company he led multiple value creation initiatives before the successful sale of the business.  Prior to Accell Group, Baldew spent over 15 years at Unilever in various finance roles with broad, international experience in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Thailand.

In welcoming Baldew, Noam Gottesman, Nomad Foods’ co-chairman and founder, stated: “We are pleased that Ruben is joining the team. He is an accomplished CFO with a strong track record of developing and leading key strategic initiatives. We look forward to working together and welcome his contributions to our business.”

Gottesman continued, “Samy Zekhout made a huge impact over his tenure, driving strong shareholder value as Nomad became the undisputed frozen food leader in Europe. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank him for his leadership and celebrate his accomplishments which helped to deliver great business results, build a strong organization, and position us for future success.”

Samy Zekhou

Q1 2024 Results

Meanwhile, the company recently reported first quarter 2024 financial results for the three-month period ending on March 31, showing an increase in sales revenue of 1.1% to €784 million. However, gross profit decreased 5.9% to €211 million, while gross margin declined 200 basis points to 26.9% as anticipated impact from balance sheet inventory revaluation due to lower inflation. This more than offset positive contribution from favorable mix and higher productivity.

Quarterly volume declines moderated to -2.2%, a marked improvement from -8.0% during the fourth quarter of 2023. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 16.4% to €122 million, and Adjusted EPS amounted to €0.37.

Pleased with the Q1sales increase, Nomad Foods CEO Stéfan Descheemaeker stated: “Our volume and market share trends improved sequentially as targeted investments and exceptional execution at retail is driving accelerated growth in our core must-win-battles. Looking ahead, I am excited about our building momentum as our growth flywheel starts to spin faster, fueled by our outstanding progress on productivity initiatives and a more favorable costs environment.”

Gottesman added: “We are delighted with the trajectory of the business as our strategies to return to volume growth in 2024 are working. Frozen food categories remain healthy and we are well-positioned to leverage our strong brands, impactful innovation, and excellent supply chain into delivering sustained, top-tier sales and profit growth in 2024 and beyond.” Our attractive organic growth outlook coupled with strong cash generation, and disciplined capital allocation gives us the confidence that we will continue to generate superior returns for our shareholders.”