Aryzta boosted by rare sign of revenue growth

Aryzta boosted by rare sign of revenue growth

Aryzta shares have surged nearly 10% on the back of the Cuisine de France owner reporting revenues of €862.3m for the first quarter of its financial year.

The group’s shares, down nearly 80% in the past year, closed up by just under 9.8%.

Despite the Dublin and Zurich-based group, which also makes burger buns for McDonald’s, seeing a 0.3% rise in organic revenue for the three months to the end of October, overall reported revenue was down by 5.2%.

This was due to the impact of asset disposals and currency fluctuations. Chief executive Kevin Toland said management had continued to work at addressing the challenges facing the business during the quarter.

“We remain resolutely focused on our core, frozen B2B bakery market and have the management team and resolve to implement what is a multi-year turnaround strategy,” he said.

Aryzta has been hampered by underperformance in the US and investor ire at the lack of certain asset disposals, including that of its stake in French food retailer Picard.

A contentious near €800m rights issue with the funds to be used to pay down part of Aryzta’s €1.5bn debt pile and strengthen its balance sheet was narrowly approved by shareholders at the start of this month, with investor support less than unanimous for the leadership of Mr Toland and chairman Gary McGann.

Aryzta has reiterated its outlook for its current financial year of mid-to-high single digit percentage growth in organic earnings.

Mr Toland said that the newly strengthened capital structure and improved liquidity would stabilise the business and help to return to performance and growth.

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