Finland's HKScan Group has reported a modest recovery in sales for the period January 1 -- September 30. The company reported net sales of EUR1,838 million (US$2,483 million) for the period with earnings before interest and taxes of EUR15.3 million.
In the company's interim report, Hannu Kottonen, HKScan CEO comments: "Demand in both consumer and away-from-home businesses remained at a lower level compared to the previous year. Price competition was tough. In general, consumers' purchasing behavior has shifted towards lower priced products. The increase in animal purchasing prices has stopped or turned towards a decrease as grain and feed costs have declined.
"Net sales for the third quarter increased compared to the same period of the previous year. Even though the group EBIT decreased during the quarter compared to 2012, the market area Baltics recovered and showed improvement. Of the other market areas, Sweden also continued to improve, though from a low level, and Poland kept up its good performance."
The company revealed that, to date, it had met its targets under the development program, launched in 2012 to reduce annualized costs by more than EUR20 million and reduce capital employed. The improvements will reach their full effect from the beginning of 2014. In September this year, a new development program was launched which further seeks to reduce costs and debt.