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.
At September 30, 2020, in a global environment hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bel reported consolidated sales of €2,594 million, up 2.7% on a published basis over the first nine months of last year, after taking into account a negative 0.8%, or negative €19-million, impact from foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Organic sales growth for the nine-month period came to 3.5%.
In Q3 2020, organic sales growth remained strong, advancing 2.0% overall and increasing 3.0% excluding the Levant region, against an already high comparison base in Q3 2019. Consolidated sales totaled €857 million, down 1.1% versus Q3 2019, after factoring in a markedly negative foreign-exchange impact of 3.1%, or €27 million.
Organic sales growth for the period was notably fuelled by strong performances achieved in France and the United States, where the company’s core brands continued to make headway. Sales of The Laughing Cow continued to grow thanks to an effective promotional campaign at the beginning of the year, while Kiri and Boursin also reported strong gains in their markets.
These good performances offset the consequences of pandemic-related measures, particularly in Southern Europe, where consumer spending declined for lunch box single-serving portions following the closure of schools, and in-store promotional campaigns were curtailed owing to the pandemic. Markets in the Levant region remained in decline.