Karro Food Group is back in the black

Karro Food Group has delivered a significant annual profit, following a period of transformation, by posting an EBITDA profit of £8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. This represents an £11 million EBITDA improvement on the previous year and the group’s first profit for many years.

To support the focus on future growth, Karro has secured a £74 million funding package from GE Capital and RBS Invoice Finance, providing additional capital to support the group’s UK and international expansion and acquisitions strategy.

Karro Food Group’s management team, led by executive chairman Di Walker (second from right), has driven growth at the company 

Karro Food Group’s 2014 performance highlights include:

  • an £11 million improvement in EBITDA, the second consecutive year of delivery of EBITDA improvement of more than £10 million;
  • turnover of £528 million, similar to the previous year;
  • the launch of a £10 million capital investment programme, financed from cash generated by the business, into processing and production across its UK manufacturing facilities, including an £8 million leading investment at its largest facility in Northern Ireland;
  • further expansion of the group’s customer base at both national and international level.

“Following its acquisition from Vion by private equity house Endless LLP in January 2013, Karro Food Group implemented a five-year plan to transform the underlying performance of our business through operational improvements that could deliver value to both Karro and its customers,” the executive chairman of Karro Food Group, Di Walker, said. “It is therefore extremely pleasing to announce that Karro Food Group will have achieved the targets set out in that plan – namely to ensure Karro is fit for the future and firmly focused on growth – within just three years. This is an achievement reflected in these stand-out results and a clear recognition from our customers that the revitalised group is a very welcome market participant.

“Our firm focus moving forward is to continue this positive trajectory. We have an appetite to make acquisitions and this strategy will be supported by our recently announced £74 million funding package.

“We also continue to be focused on organic growth and will further develop our retail and trade partnerships, as well as  expand our international customer network in markets including Australia, China, Japan, Korea and the United States.”

Chief financial officer Michael Kestemont said that the second year of Karro’s profit growth had been realised in a year characterised by significant competitive pressure within the UK pork industry.

“With ongoing support of our funding partners, Karro Food Group is confident that 2015 will bring significant EBITDA and cash generation progression, driven by further capital investment and continuous operational and commercial improvements across the group,” he added. “The increasing success of Karro Food Group and its strong financial performance is giving both suppliers and customers the confidence to want to grow long-term strategic partnerships with the group, cementing our position as a leading player in the UK and international pork industry.”

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