Frozen food retailer Iglo has sailed some rough seas over the last six months. The group has seen its market share crumble away on the European mainland and its sale has been cancelled by lack of interest from candidate buyers.
Loss of market share on European mainland
Iglo sold 6.1% more fish products and 5.4% more chicken products over the last six months. Frozen vegetables on the other hand lost 1%. On comparable basis the turnover was equal to last year's, but thanks to currency effects and extra sales days, turnover was 3.5% more than during the first half of 2011. The operational profit in the same period increased 12.8%, up to 180.3 million euro.
The most disturbing trend however was that Iglo's market share on the European mainland is crumbling away, says the Financial Times. In Italy, where Iglo bought the Findus frozen food division from Unilever in 2010, the group is getting powerful competition from private labels. A similar trend is also noted in Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium, where consumers prefer discount stores, while Iglo is not, or hardly, represented there.
On the British market however, still good for one third of the total turnover, Iglo was able to surf the wave of the increasing frozen food sales (+3.1%) and on top of that, saw its market shares increase. France is also back on track, while Turkey and Russia are making a strong entrance.
Not enough interest from buyers
Iglo's owners Permira suffered a setback this summer, as it was forced to repeal its offer to sell Iglo. In March, it had announced wanting to sell Iglo, hoping to collect 2.8 billion euro - a significant bonus for the venture capitalist, who had bought paid 'only' 1.7 billion euro for Iglo 6 years earlier.
Because of the crisis and the lower results of Europe's biggest frozen products label, the number of candidate buyers was disappointing. Only two, Blackstone and BC Partners, remained and joined forces, offering to pay only 2.5 billion euro for Iglo, so Permira decided to cancel the transaction.
Translation by Sanne Raspoet