SCHLIEREN, SWITZERLAND — Fiscal 2021 performance at Aryzta AG exceeded expectations as the Swiss company implemented its simplification and de-layering process to remove the global cost structures and focus on its multi-local structures and decision making.
Underlying EBITDA from continuing operations totaled €173.4 million ($202.5 million) in the year ended July 31, down 8% from €188.3 million in fiscal 2020. Group revenue fell nearly 9% to €1.53 billion ($1.77 billion) from €1.67 billion.
During fiscal 2021 Aryzta sold its North American baking business (now operating as Aspire Bakeries) to private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg, its sandwich business in Switzerland to Bell Food Group, and its Brazil businesses to Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, setting the stage for a renewed start for the company after a difficult past few years.
“Aryzta begins its new fiscal year FY 2022 with a growing confidence having completely transformed the business strategy to a multi-local focus,” said Urs Jordi, interim chief executive officer and chairman. “We have improved operational efficiencies and de-risked the financial profile. Organic growth has returned after years of decline and expect to sustain this positive organic growth trend in FY 2022.
“We have exceeded expectations in delivering on our disposal program in terms of timing and level of proceeds. This in turn has allowed us to agree to a new five-year credit facility and to pay the accumulated deferred and current interest on our hybrids. Excessive costs of a global cost structure have been removed and local management is now empowered under our multi-local business strategy, which has greatly benefited confidence and morale.
“I want to personally thank all employees for their ongoing team efforts in rebuilding the business from the ground up. Sustaining this will ensure that we rebuild trust and credibility with our investors, lenders, customers and suppliers.”
In an Oct. 4 conference call with analysts, Mr. Jordi spoke briefly about product innovations in the pipeline for Aryzta.
“There is an overall trend towards artisan and artisanal products, towards starter products,” he said. “So not really the white roll or the white baguette, it’s rather a handmade-appearing product. We start the flour with sourdough in with plant-based ingredients. This is a big trend.
“CO2 footprint is a big question now coming up. There are a lot of efforts going into customized products on the different regions. There are QSR initiatives toward more exclusive products. So having then a lower end of the pricing scale and the higher end of the pricing scale. And it’s different from country to country, customer to customer.”