Frosta AG’s consolidated sales increased by 2.7% year-on-year to EUR523m in 2019, with the Frosta brand growing faster than the overall market in Germany. By contrast, the consolidated profit for the 2019 financial year was EUR12.6m, significantly below the previous year’s value of EUR20.0m.
In the first half of 2020, group sales grew by 7.8% when compared to the previous year, reaching a value of EUR283m. Demand for the Frosta fish sticks developed particularly well at over 50% compared to the previous year, the company says, citing data gathered by Nielsen in January – May 2020. “We were surprised by the strong growth of our fish fingers. It is certainly because the schools and daycare centers have been closed since March and the children are now eating our fish fingers at home,” Hinnerk Ehlers, board member of Frosta, said during a virtual general meeting of the shareholders. “But not only fish, also vegetable products and dishes contributed to the good development that lead to double-digit growth rates.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Frosta has implemented extensive measures to protect employees and maintain production. As a result, production costs have increased by around 5%. In the first half of 2020, loss-making supply contracts were terminated and business in Italy improved significantly. Accordingly, the group result improved to EUR13.8m in the first half of 2020.
Despite this good start, a forecast for the further course of business is only possible to a limited extent under the current volatile, COVID-19-shaped general conditions, the company said. From the current perspective, sales growth in the mid single-digit range and a consolidated annual result of approx. 4% of sales should be achieved. Against the background of this positive development, the shareholders of Frosta AG decided at the Annual General Meeting to pay a dividend of EUR1.60 per share. This corresponds to a total dividend of EUR10.9m.