Karro announces strong increase in earnings

Pork supplier Karro Food Group has announced an EBITDA improvement of £10 million in its first year as an independent business.

The company, which was acquired from Vion by UK-based private equity house Endless LLP in 2012, said its 2013 financial results “mark a significant milestone in the company’s turnaround strategy, bringing the business close to EBITDA break-even point at -£3.3m”.

Di Walker, Karro executive chair, said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress made last financial year – our first as Karro. We delivered a £10m improvement in EBITDA, well-ahead of plan, despite an extremely tough pork market characterised by margin pressures and escalating raw material costs.”

Karro reported a 2013 turnover of £533 million, and the securing of a £60m funding package from GE Capital. It has also gone through a “rebalancing” to expand its customer base and enable it to enter new markets.   

Walker added: “We now have the right foundations in place to operate an efficient, effective business, based on strong partnerships with customers and our farming suppliers. I’m confident that this gives us a strong basis on which to continue to transform the underlying performance of our business and deliver excellent product quality and service levels to our customers.”
Karro’s turnaround strategy has included the expansion of its retail foodservice and trade customer bases, and investment in manufacturing capabilities, for example £2m into its bacon slicing facilities in Scunthorpe.

“We are now 18 months into a five year turnaround plan and continue to make extremely good progress against that plan in 2014, with a focus on the ongoing development of our strategic retail and trade partnerships, and the expansion of our export business in the USA and China. I’m pleased to report that we are well on track to deliver a further £10m EBITDA improvement in 2014, which will see the group generating profit for the first time in many years,” said Walker.

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