IAWS Food North America profit soars 93%

by Eric Schroeder
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DUBLIN, IRELAND — Operating profit of the Food North America segment of IAWS Group P.L.C. was €22,377,000 ($34,346,000) in the six months ended Jan. 31, up 93% from €11,568,000 in the first half of fiscal 2007. Sales within the segment grew to €229,614,000 ($352,525,000), up 58% from €145,693,000.

"IAWS Group has had an excellent start to 2008 with strong growth across the entire business," said Owen Killian, chief executive officer. "In an environment where food inflation has become a reality and economic conditions for consumers are changing, the Lifestyle Food business continues to see strong consumer demand across all channels for its always fresh and convenient offering. Origin, of which IAWS Group owns 71.4%, has also had an excellent performance in the period, benefiting substantially from a strong performance in agricultural markets."

IAWS said growth in North America continued to be driven by product and concept development as well as brand awareness.

"The Lifestyle Food Group is the U.S. category leader in freshly baked cookies and freshly baked artisan bread," IAWS said. "The group has 5% market share of the value-added bakery market with substantial strength and depth in both the food service and retail markets."

Companywide, IAWS reported sales of €1,127,473,000 in the six months ended Jan. 31, up 35% from €838,456,000 in the previous year’s six months. Operating profit of €72,968,000 for the six months compared with €50,585,000 in the previous year’s six months.

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