Lockdowns help Nomad Foods achieve near double-digit sales growth
Nomad Foods, one of Europe’s largest frozen food manufacturers, has announced near double-digit sales growth in 2020, but more modest increases are expected this year.
Lockdowns have hit restaurant and cafe sales across the continent, leading consumers to spend more on meals prepared at home, including those made from frozen foods.
In preliminary results announced earlier this month[February], the company reported organic revenue growth of 8.7% for the full year.
The result for the UK-headquartered company was helped by brisk sales in the final quarter, when 9.5% organic growth was recorded.
This year, the company forecasts organic growth of 1-2%, in line with the figure achieved in 2019.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2020 were €467m, which was marginally above previous guidance, while adjusted EBITDA in the final quarter was €119m.
In a statement, the company’s CEO, Stéfan Descheemaeker, said fourth-quarter results, when announced in full later this month[February25], were “expected to exceed our prior guidance” in all key financial metrics.
“We enter the new year with a strong momentum and expect 2021 to mark our fifth consecutive year of organic growth, a feat that only a distinguished group of food companies has achieved,” he added.
“Notwithstanding our history, the growth prospects of our company remain exciting with multiple avenues for continued value creation.”
In 2019, Nomad Foods reported 1.7% organic growth and adjusted EBITDA of €432 million, which Descheemaeker previously described as representing “another year of solid growth”.
Nomad Foods is known as the owner of some of Europe’s most familiar frozen food brands, including Birds Eye, Findus, Goodfella’s, Lutosa and Aunt Bessie’s.
Although Nomad Foods was founded as an investment vehicle only in 2014, some of the company’s brand names have a long history. The Findus name can be traced back to 1905, while Birds Eye marks its centenary next year, with Clarence Birdseye having launched Birdseye Seafoods in 1922.
Nomad Foods’ tally of brands is set to increase, with the company having announced last month[January] that it was in exclusive negotiations to buy the frozen food business of Croatian-based Fortenova Group, which includes brands popular in southeast Europe such as Ledo and Frikom.