No buyer found for Vitana | E15.cz

No buyer found for Vitana

Ilustrační foto
Ilustrační foto
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ZDROJ: Pastorius, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Dušan Kütner

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Norwegian international foodstuffs group Orkla has abandoned its attempt at selling Vitana, one of the largest Czech food producers. The Norwegians have been in negotiations to dispose of the firm – with a history dating back nearly a century to the First Republic – since the start of the year, but according to sources of E15 daily they have not received an offer they view as adequate.

“Vitana continues to be part of Norwegian company Orkla,” Vitana spokesman Milan Linka told the daily. “Orkla has decided to keep on with its business activities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, particularly because of the strength of the Vitana commercial brand, its exceptional position on the market and the potential for further improvement. Orkla supports the growth of Vitana and believes in it making a contribution to the successful future of the group,” he added.

Vitana has thus met a much different fate than have the Polish activities of Orkla. The Norwegians’ business in Poland, which takes the name Rieber Foods Polksa, was during the spring sold to an investment fund managed by Innova Capital.

Orkla contemplated selling Vitana after it last year fell to a loss of CZK 25m, having earned CZK 74m during the previous year. In 2011, Vitana reported a net profit of CZK 137m, while the year before that it accrued five percent more.

The company’s revenues last year declined year on year by three percent to CZK 2.09bn. Income from the domestic market, which accounts for two-thirds of Vitana’s turnover, last year fell year on year by five percent to CZK 1.49bn. In contrast, revenues from foreign operations last year gained five percent on an annual comparison, rising to CZK 601m.

Orkla acquired its stake in Vitana from the previous owner of the enterprise, Norwegian family firm Rieber & Son, in April last year. Rieber & Son had been the owner of Vitana since the company was privatised in 1992.

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