Toland: Aryzta sale ruled out

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Toland: Aryzta sale ruled out


Turnaround: Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland is overseeing the Project Renew plan he says will put the business back on its feet and save €90m annually
Turnaround: Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland is overseeing the Project Renew plan he says will put the business back on its feet and save €90m annually

Selling baked goods group Aryzta was never an option, even when it emerged its difficulties were “deeper” than previously envisaged, according to CEO Kevin Toland.

And he insisted yesterday that the Swiss-Irish company – working to slash costs and knit together and realign a business that had expanded rapidly but with an “increasingly unfocused” strategy – will emerge in strong shape after a multi-year turnaround begun in earnest last year.

The company, which employs 18,400 people at 56 bakeries around the world, raised almost €800m via a controversial equity raise last year that gave it breathing room and the finances to start cutting debt and bankroll its cost-savings plan.

That Project Renew plan aims to generate annual savings of €90m by 2021. That will involve about 200 individual projects, with a large number of them focused on increased automation.

Aryzta owns brands such as Cuisine de France and Otis Spunkmeyer. It makes products for a large number of high-profile quick-service restaurant chains, including McDonald’s and Subway.

Mr Toland, who was parachuted into Aryzta in September 2017 to formulate and effect a turnaround strategy, said that despite Aryzta’s difficulties, customers had remained “sticky”.

The group reported revenue of €3.4bn in its last financial year, and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €301.8m, which was a 28.2pc fall year-on-year.

Mr Toland said that there had been “massive strategic and operational challenges” in recent years. Aryzta has also faced headwinds from issues outside its control.

Mr Toland said Aryzta’s strategy is ‘back to basics’, and will include “taking care of the customer, focus on operations, driving operational improvement through Project Renew, and working better in unlocking the knowledge and value and opportunities”.

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Irish Independent

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