ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Aryzta North America posted revenue of €353.4 million ($397.9 million) in the third quarter ended April 30, which was up 3.8% from the previous year’s third quarter. Organic revenue was down 3.8%, while disposals had a negative effect of 0.3%. Volume was down 4.9% in Aryzta North America while price/mix was up 1.1%.
“The volume performance was disappointing and relates to retail and food service channels,” said Kevin Toland, chief executive officer, during a June 4 conference call with analysts. “We are resolutely focused on improving the performance of our North American business.
“Let’s take a step back and outline what we have actually done. Our first step has been to reorganize the management structure. We have done that and that has reduced our overall total S.G.&A. (selling, general and administration) cost within the region by 25%. That of itself is contributing to improved profitability.
“Project Renew is 9 months into a 36-month program and will yield incremental benefits. We are focused on our commercial structures with the customer at the center of everything we do. While change is typically slower, given the B2B nature of our businesses, these initiatives, together with a more efficient operating structure, are starting to deliver margin stability and sequentially improved EBITDA.”
Project Renew remains on track in North America, Mr. Toland said, with the North American automation program “performing well” and the reorganization implemented at the start of fiscal year 2019 yielding “strong cost-reduction results.”
Zurich-based Aryzta Group companywide had third-quarter revenue of €847.9 million ($954.7 million), which was up 4.5% from the previous year’s third quarter. Aryzta Europe had revenue of €427 million, up 4.4%, and Aryzta Rest of the World had revenue of €67.5 million, up 8.8% from a year ago.
“Overall, we are encouraged to see ongoing stability in Group organic revenues in the third quarter,” Mr. Toland said. “We continue to address the challenges presented to our business, particularly in the North American market, where we have taken significant measures to protect profitability. Continued stabilization of the business, delivering for our customer base, and realizing the expected benefits in Project Renew remains our absolute focus within the current financial year.
“As you will have seen from our release, Aryzta now expects a low-single-digit underlying EBITDA growth rate, in line with current market expectations. A lower expected growth rate reflects a longer time period to stabilize North America on the revenue line and a slower start on Renew, which has now been caught up and is expected to exit the year fully in line with our expected full-year run rate savings.
“However, we are continuing to deliver consistent revenue and EBITDA improvement. We have now delivered four quarters of sequential revenue growth at a Group level and we are starting to deliver margin stability and sequentially improve EBITDA.”