Patties Foods profit down in wake of hep A issue

Patties Foods has recorded an 11.8 per cent drop in net profit for the six months to December 31, on the back last year’s hepatitis A berry scandal.

AAP reports that the group, which makes brands such as Four’N Twenty, Patties and Herbert Adams, suffered an 8.6 per cent fall in revenue; while revenue from frozen fruit business, which includes the Creative Gourmet and Nanna’s brands fell 62 per cent.

In February last year, more than 30 people become sick with hepatitis A after eating Nanna’s frozen mixed berries.

As a result, Patties decided to sell its berry businesses. Patties chief executive Steven Chaur told AAP that the sale of Creative Gourmet to Entyce Food Ingredients has now been completed. In addition, all Nanna's fruit stock is likely to be sold by May.

Commenting on the results, Patties Chairman, Mr Mark Smith said, “The solid growth of our core Bakery business is pleasing given our on-going focus on brand marketing and product innovation. The decision to comprehensively re-structure the business 12 months ago continues to deliver effective cost control and operational efficiency improvements.

“The strategic decision to exit the Frozen Fruit category is on track and the business continues to concentrate on its profitable core Bakery business of savoury and sweet pastry products and the management of our iconic food brands such as FOUR’N TWENTY, Patties, Herbert Adams and Nanna’s”.

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