Bel cheese unit bolsters revenues

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 2nd March 2010

Sales of French cheesemaker Groupe Bel’s flagship cheese products have partially offset a decline in revenues at the company’s industrial products business, the company has revealed.In a regulatory filing on Friday (26 February), Bel said that 2009 sales edged up by 0.2%, rising to EUR2.22bn (US$3bn).

However, organic sales fell by 0.4%, the maker of Laughing Cow, Mini Babybel and Boursin said.

“The core activity of the group – the cheese brand – has experienced positive growth in sales that was not enough to offset falling sales of industrial products, strongly impacted by lower prices,” Bel revealed.

Targeted advertising supported sales levels in western Europe. However, revenues in the region were dented by increased levels of promotions and discounting as well as lower prices – resulting in a 5.3% drop in the region.

In contrast, the company’s international and Americas units posted growth of 15.2% and 14.3% respectively.

Bel is the world leader in branded processed cheese packaged in pre-cut portions, and the number one cheese spread producer in France and the rest of Europe.
Its brands are distributed in more than 120 countries. The Laughing Cow brand is sold in almost 100 countries, Kiri and Mini Babybel in over 60. The company also recently acquired European Swiss-style cheese brand Leerdammer.

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