Stef turnover falls 10% as Covid takes its toll

Paris, France: Stef’s first half results reflect the challenging trading conditions for the sector caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

Stef’s 2020 first half turnover dropped 10.5% to €1,491m (€1,665.9m in 2019) and Ebit was down 58.5% to €27.9m(€67.4m in 2019).

Net income of 14.9m was down 62.7% from 39.9m for the same period in the previous year.

Stanislas Lemor, chief executive, Stef, said in a statement: “Despite the resilience that Stef has demonstrated and the adaptation plan implemented, our results reflect the amplitude of the turmoil caused by the pandemic with regard to food consumption, and the resulting economic contraction.

“The crisis has highlighted the group’s major role in the food supply chain and its ability to rally behind all its stakeholders—in particular our employees, whom we care deeply about protecting, and our clients, whom we have steadfastly supported in their endeavours.”

Managing the crisis added to costs: Stef allocated of €9m to compensate its front-line workers and €4m to purchase protective equipment.

The two businesses within Stef France most affected were foodservice, following the closure of restaurants, and seafood, due to the near-shutdown of the fishing campaigns and the lack of wholesaler flows.

The chilled products businesses contracted as a result of the foodservice shutdown and the cancellation of festive events. The erratic swings in volume led to substantial production cost overruns and required a major effort to adapt production resources.

The frozen goods business was able to limit the effects of the crisis through high fill rates and an earlier resumption of business.

Stef’s international business had similar problems given that the health crisis effected other European countries in equal measure.

Stef is confident in the resilience of the agrifood sector, the suitability of its balanced business model, and the expected effects of the adaptation measures it has implemented, the company says.

www.stef.com

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