Nutreco, a Dutch animal feed group, has put its compound feed and meat businesses in Spain and Portugal up for sale to focus on its core animal nutrition and fish feed operations, according to a report.

Last year, Nutreco said it was exploring options for the businesses, including divestment.

The businesses have sales of 1.4 billion euros (US$1.9 billion), or roughly one-quarter of the group's total, an operating profit of 40 million euros (US$54.4 million) and 3,500 employees.

"It's a very solid business," Gosse Boon, chief financial officer, told reporters on a February 6 conference call, during which it reported full-year results adjusted for the planned divestment.


Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) from continuing operations and before exceptional items fell 4.3 percent to 215.7 million euros (US$293.2 million). Revenue rose 1.2 percent to 3.87 billion euros (US$5.23 billion).

Chief Executive Knut Nesse said results had been hit by factors including high commodity prices that affected Nutreco's customers, lower results in the fish feed business especially in Norway and China, and adverse foreign currency moves.

Nutreco said the planned divestment and fewer-than-expected sizeable acquisitions meant it has revised its financial guidance.

It said it is now targeting a rise in EBITA margin to 5.5-6.5 percent, average organic sales volume growth in animal nutrition of 3 percent and in fish feed of 5 percent.