Regional markets Europe Despite challenging market conditions in Russia, Ukraine and parts of Eastern Europe we were able to strengthen our market position during 2015 given that growth in Western Europe was double the market growth. UK commodities sales remained under pressure and were offset by the strengthening of our speciality and semi-speciality business. We have completed the integration of the oils and fats business in Merksem which is now an integral part of the AAK grid. We are comfortable delivering on our promises made. Chocolate & Confectionery Fats remains a strong engine of growth while we grew our Bakery business in line with the market and made further inroads into Dairy. Delivering sustainable growth in what is considered a mature market requires the closest possible connection with our markets and opportunities. Being “in sync” with our customers is therefore mission critical. We are progressing on this journey and we are leveraging our internal capabilities, competencies and skilled resources. Our knowledge is so much more than the products we sell. We possess an in-depth understanding of the applications, whether in Chocolate & Confectionery Fats, Dairy or Bakery. We understand production processes and can turn challenges into solutions that enable our customers to be better at competing in the market. A great proof of our AAK winning formula and a huge accomplishment was winning two innovation awards (best confectionery innovation and best bakery innovation) at Food ingredients Europe in Paris, France in December 2015. Latin America AAK’s operations in Latin America have developed relatively well during the year and the company’s strategic work has been successful. AAK has relatively large market shares in Mexico, a market where customers now have begun to recover from the additional direct tax on industrially produced bakery, confectionery and other indulgence products which was introduced in 2014. The operations in Colombia, which were acquired in 2014, has begun to establish itself in the local market and is now a recognized supplier to food manufacturers in the country. Our greenfield investment in Jundiaí, Brazil is progressing according to plan and the plant will be inaugurated in the spring of 2016. The production facility, which will include a state-of-the-art Customer Innovation Center, will position AAK as a key supplier of speciality and semi-speciality oils in the strategically important Brazilian market. Operations in Uruguay, which is particularly strong in Chocolate & Confectionery Fats, have developed nicely during 2015.
AAK Annual Report 2015
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