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Setbacks 'down under' define Saputo's result

June 11, 2024 - Klaas van der Horst

The Canadian dairy giant Saputo has achieved a less favorable result in the past year than usual for the company, despite a recovery in the fourth quarter. The revenue decreased by approximately €300 million, and the profit by €40 million.

This is evident from the recently published annual figures. The Canadian family business is particularly strong in its home country Canada and in the US, but in recent years has undergone strong expansion, especially in Australia and the United Kingdom. In the UK, it is the owner of the former Dairy Crest and Wensleydale Cheese. As a result, it is the largest cheese maker in the country.

Particularly in Australia, Saputo faced several setbacks last year. Dairy farmers were dissatisfied with Saputo's payment, milk supply dried up, and the company also made a few commercial mistakes. This resulted in an impairment of approximately €180 million in the third quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, some ground was regained, but the 'crack in the pants' that Saputo has suffered in Australia seems to define the annual result. And not only that. Shortly after the disappointing results for the third quarter were announced, CEO Lino Saputo Jr. announced his resignation and Carl Colizza was appointed as his successor. The decision was also made to close two factories in Australia.

Saputo's annual figures were met with a decline in stock market value. 

Klaas van der Horst

Klaas van der Horst is a senior market specialist in dairy at DCA Market Intelligence. He also closely monitors developments in politics and agricultural policy.