Finnish food company HKScan returns to profit, increases sales in China

The Finland-based food manufacturer HKScan on Thursday announced its best annual result since 2015. HKScan’s net sales in 2020 increased by 2.1 percent to 1,781 million euros (2,134 million U.S. dollars) from 1,744.4 million euros in the previous year.
Its comparable EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) for 2020 was 17.0 million euros, up 19.2 million euros compared to 2019, according to a company press release. Retail sales clearly increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while food service sales were significantly lower than in the comparison year.

The pandemic slowed down the company’s profit improvement and its impact was strongest in Finland, HKScan noted. HKScan has in two years progressed from a serious financial situation to a profitable company and the net result was profitable for the first time since 2015, HKScan’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tero Hemmila said in the press release.

Profit improvement was clear in Finland, Sweden and Denmark during 2020, Hemmila noted. HKScan’s pork exports to China increased from the comparison year. “The volume of exports was in line with our target,” Hemila said. He described exports to China as an important channel balancing the home market, although its direct impact on profit is still small. “In China, demand is forecasted to remain strong although China’s own pork production has also shown clear growth,” he noted, adding that “I see China interesting in terms of the exports of other meat types as well.”

HKScan continues to work closely with the Finnish authorities to obtain export licenses also for poultry and meat products to China, he said.