Amounts are expressed in millions of euros and rounded off to the nearest million. Ratios and variances are calculated based on underlying amounts, not rounded off amounts.
In 2019, the Bel Group reported consolidated sales of €3,403 million, up 2.8% on a published basis and up 1.0% organically. Excluding the negative impact of sharply contracting markets in the Levant region, particularly in the second half of the year, organic growth would have been 2.0%. The growth in full year consolidated sales also includes a positive 1.8%, or €59 million, foreign exchange effect, mainly as a result of the U.S. dollar’s appreciation against the euro.
Organic sales growth for the year was driven by branded products, up 1.7%, in particular Mini Babybel®, Boursin® and GoGo squeeZ®. Bel consolidated its competitive positions across all its products lines. Sales of industrial and unbranded products decreased 6.6%, penalized by low prices for surplus cream.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, consolidated sales advanced 3.5% to €878 million, including a 1.5% positive forex effect and 2.0% organic growth, with rebounding European markets largely offsetting the accelerated contraction in Levant region markets. Bel thus performed well, with buoyant organic sales growth of 1.8% in the second half of the year.