SCHLIEREN, SWITZERLAND — Revenues continue to improve across most of Aryzta’s global operations, as lockdowns and restrictions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have eased in some parts of the world. Even so, concerns about a second wave of restrictions could be a challenge moving forward, the Swiss-based company said in an Aug. 11 update.
Sales in North America improved during July, but Aryzta said it is still experiencing volatility as some states and major cities reinstate restrictions. Specifically, quick-service restaurant and retail remain relatively strong whereas foodservice continues to be challenged by COVID-19 related restrictions, the company said.
In Europe, most economies are re-emerging from lockdown, Aryzta said, but there is concern about a second wave of restrictions in some countries. QSR and retail are gradually improving in Europe while the foodservice industry remains sluggish.
Elsewhere, Aryzta said its performance in Brazil is improving but remains challenging, while there is growing concern over the impact of a second wave of infections in Australia and Japan.
“Management has taken decisive action to protect and maximize liquidity since the consequences of COVID-19 became visible in mid-March,” Aryzta said. “This included pausing productions in bakeries to reduce capacity in line with demand, furloughing headcount, availing of government relief initiatives, suspending capital expenditure and eliminating discretionary cost to the maximum extent possible.
“While restrictions are loosening in markets and more localized regulations appear, Aryzta has adjusted production upward using adapted shift patterns. However, many lines are still operating at reduced capacity.”
As some markets have loosened restrictions, Aryzta said it has begun to adjust production. In North America, only one baking facility is still fully paused, which compares with five that were paused as of April 30, and 63 of the company’s 70 lines are operational. In Europe, only one baking plant is fully paused, which compares with three on April 30, and 69 out of 83 production lines are operational.
Aryzta also has cut back on the number of employees on furlough. As of July 31, approximately 14% of Aryzta’s workforce was furloughed, which compared with 30% on April 30.