Two more acquisitions by top French poultry firm LDC

LDC Group has reported improved production and turnover for the first half of its fiscal year. The French-based poultry meat company has also announced new acquisitions in France and Hungary.

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LDC Group has announced that its acquisition of Société Luché Tradition Volailles (Luché Traditional Poultry; LTV) from the Casino Group has been finalized. The firm says the move is part of its strategy to broaden its product offering to supermarkets and the hospitality sector.

LTV specializes in fresh poultry meat products. Since it acquired the business in 2015, Casino Group had invested heavily in the plant at LuchĂ©-PringĂ© near Le Mans. It carried out large-scale modernization, and focused on organic products, and those from animals raised without antibiotics. The business has around 131 employees. In 2018, LTV reported turnover of EUR39 million (US$43.2 million), and sales of 7,700 metric tons.

The parties reached final agreement on the deal within the past week, and integration of LTV into the LDC Group was scheduled for December 1. LDC expects its latest acquisition in France to contribute to the Group’s results by 2022.

New takeover in Hungary

While also announcing its half-year financial results, LDC announced the acquisition of Marnevall. Based in Hungary, the firm specializes in frozen breaded products. In its last trading year, Marnevall reported turnover of EUR20 million (US$22.1 million).

LDC explained that the move follows the successful acquisition of Tranzit in 2018, and is part of its targeted strategy focusing on high-value products.

Earlier this year, LDC Group acquired Kiplama. Based in Belgium, the firm imports and distributes French poultry specialties in its home market as well as in the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Kiplama was integrated into the LDC Group in June 2019.

Financial results for latest half

In its half-year results covering the period March-August 2019, LDC Group reports an increase of 7.9% in sales tonnage year-on-year to just under 508,000 metric tons (mt).

Over the same period, total turnover was up by 8.4% to more than EUR2.104 billion (US$2.32 billion). The firm reports increases in sales by all its divisions. On a like-for-like basis, the group’s sales were up by 3.9% in value, and by 1.2% in volume compared with the first half of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

At EUR88.94 million, LDC’s operating income was 3% lower than in the same period of the previous year. As a percentage of turnover, this equates to 4.2%, compared to 4.7% achieved in 2018-19.

Sales by the firm’s Poultry France division were up 5.7% in value year-on-year at more than EUR1.614 billion, while sales volume increased by 3.4%. Recent acquisitions helped drive these improvements, while further growth were held back by lower sales by supermarkets and less favorable summer weather than in 2018, according to LDC.

LDC reports strong growth in its international division. Sales for the half-year were more than 51% higher in value (EUR192 million) and by almost 47% by tonnage. This growth was driven by the integration into the Group of Hungarian firm Tranzit in September of 2018, and by a 17% increase sales by its affiliate in Poland. LDC attributes the expansion to improvements in the division’s product portfolio and rising exports.

Sales by the firm’s further processed product division are described as “solid.” Compared to the previous year, 6-month sales were up by 3.7% at just over EUR298 million, and by 1.7% in volume terms.

LDC Group: Europe’s No. 1 poultry meat producer

A family-run group based in Sablé-sur-Sarthe in the Loire Valley region, LDC Group operates mainly in France’s poultry and prepared meals markets. In 2018, it generated revenue of EUR4.1 billion. With 86 production plants in France, Hungary and Poland, the firm has more than 21,800 employees. Revenue is driven by its own brands– Loué, Le Gaulois, Maître Coq and Marie– but it also manufactures private-label products for retailers.

According to the WATTAgNet Poultry International Top Poultry Companies database, LDC Group is the largest poultry meat company in Europe. With annual slaughter output of 541 million head of poultry as well as egg facilities, the firm ranks 18th in the world for total annual output of chicken, turkey, goose and duck meats.

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