LDC Group reports higher sales, profit in last fiscal year

These improvements were achieved by France’s largest poultry company, despite substantial disease and business challenges.

Case Farms Humane
Yurii Bukhanovskyi | Bigstock

In a year of considerable business challenges — not least widespread avian influenza outbreaks in France — the LDC Group based in France has posted a double-digit increase in revenue for the year just ended, 2022-2023.

At almost EUR5.85 billion (US6.39 billion), the firm’s revenue was 15% higher year-on-year, despite a 5.6% contraction in sales volume. As a percentage of revenue, Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) increased from 7.9% in the previous fiscal year to the latest figure of 9.4% to over EUR547 million. Operating profit is reported as just under EUR300 million, giving a margin of 5.1%. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, these were EUR213 million and 4.1%, respectively.

By revenue, Poultry continues to be the group’s largest division at EUR4.21 billion, accounting for almost 72% of the total. The balance was achieved almost equally by its International and Ready Meals businesses. All three operations achieved double-digit increases in revenue compared with 2021-2022, at 12%, 42%, and 10%, respectively.

Overall, LDC’s operations in France generated 78% of total group revenue at EUR4.53 billion — an increase of 13% year-on-year. Meanwhile, revenue of the balance “International and Export” was more than 24% higher than the previous year at almost EUR1.32 billion.

Just over 69% of LDC Group’s shares are owned by the founding families Lambert, Chancereul, Huttepain, and Guillet. 

LDC Group overcame “unprecedented problems”

Significant rises in raw materials and other operating costs as well as two serious avian influenza outbreaks were among the greatest challenges to LDC’s operations in 2022-2023, according to Group CEO Philippe GĂ©lin in the company’s annual report.

With cooperation from employees, farmers and local authorities, he reported that operations continued to supply the market.

Volume reductions were minimized by a plan of mutual help between its production facilities. To help support the industry and the business, LDC’s customers accepted price increases, and sales efforts were focused on frozen produce and products with higher margins. 

Latest business developments

Despite the operational challenges, executive board chair Denis Lambert reported that LDC Group had kept to its five-year strategic plan. By 2026-2027, its targets are EUR7 billion for annual revenue, and EBITDA of around EUR560 million.

Among the keys to reaching the required growth is the development of high-margin egg-based products, he said, as well as a focus on vegetable-based foods, and maintaining a competitive business edge.

Lambert reported that its egg businesses posted more than EUR300 million in revenue over the past year.

LDC has achieved recent growth in this sector through the acquisition of Matines in November of 2022, and Ovoteam in April of this year. Together, these give LDC a market share of two billion out of France’s total market of 15 billion table eggs, according to LDC’s latest annual report. 

Group focus for 2023-2024

Looking ahead to the coming 12 months, GĂ©lin highlighted the importance of restoring sales volume. This can be achieved by improving customer service, and increasing overall poultry consumption by relaunching special offers, he said.

Goals for 2023-2024 are to achieve revenue of more than EUR6 billion, which maintaining the operating profit margin of the year just ended.

Meanwhile, Lambert announced that capital expenditure by LDC Group will be increased to EUR300 million for the coming year. This will be focused mainly in France to meet the growing demand for locally sourced poultry. 

More on LDC Group

According to the firm’s web site, LDC Group is the leading company in France for poultry labels, duck, turkey, and poultry-based products, as well as for ready meals. It is also at or near the top of the market for Asian foods, sandwiches, pizzas, and quiches.

With a workforce of 23,400, the company operates 95 plants across Europe, including 14 logistics centers.

In France, it works with 6,800 poultry breeders, making a total of 8,300 partners across Europe.

Slaughtering an estimated 456 million birds annually, Lambert Dodard Chancereul Group (LDC Group) is among Europe’s leading poultry producers, according to WATTPoultry.com’s Top Poultry Companies survey. Among its product range are poultry meats — chicken, duck, geese, and turkey — as well as table eggs.

Earlier this month, LDC announced it was in talks to acquire Polish turkey producer, Indykpol.

Two years ago, the group was reported to be seeking opportunities to expand its business interests outside France.

Page 1 of 153
Next Page