DENMARK - Despite weaker demand in Europe and lack of access to the Russian market, Danish Crown is posting an operating profit before special items on a par with the prior-year period.
"The world market has, for the past six months, been characterised by the Russian import ban on pork from the EU as well as the PEDV virus which has hit the US pig production hard. In such a difficult market, Danish Crown's strength is its wide market access globally. It gives us room for manoeuvre, for the benefit of our owners," said Danish Crown's Group CEO, Kjeld Johannesen.
The world market has, for the past six months, been characterised by the Russian import ban on pork from the EU as well as the PEDV virus which has hit the US pig production hard. In such a difficult market, Danish Crown's strength is its wide market access globally. It gives us room for manoeuvre, for the benefit of our owners, said Mr Johannesen.
"The interim results can be ascribed to the stable operations of a company which is successfully navigating a market with strong fluctuations," said Mr Johannesen.
In February, Danish Crown entered into an agreement on the acquisition of HK Scan's 50 per cent ownership stake in Soko?ów, Poland's leading producer of processed meat products. Danish Crown already owns 50 per cent of the company, and the transaction is currently being considered by the EU competition authorities.
"Soko?ów is a growth company, and with full ownership we will be able to further strengthen our efforts to exploit the synergies which can be realised within the group. This is perfectly in line with the overall strategy for Danish Crown's processing companies," said Flemming Enevoldsen, Group Executive Vice President of DC Foods, which comprises the processing companies in the Danish Crown group.
Among Danish Crown's owners, the pig producers have in recent years seen declining prices in the market. This is due to the outbreaks of swine fever in wild boar in Poland and Lithuania, as a result of which Russia introduced a ban on pork imports from the EU in February.
"This is an extremely unfortunate situation. The outlook for the first half of 2014 was pretty good for the Danish pig producers, but the situation has now grown quite a lot more challenging. Despite the very difficult market situation, Danish Crown is paying very competitive prices compared with the rest of Europe," said Erik Bredholt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Danish Crown.
TheMeatSite News Desk