Leading European meat supplier Dumeco has warned that the entire pork production sector in the Netherlands is faced with increasing overcapacity due to further falls in the number of pigs.
Reporting a doubling of pre-tax earnings to 164.4m on sales up 40% to 12.3bn in 2001, Dumeco said it was moderately optimistic about 2002.
But it warned that if the Dutch authorities did not permit a collective reorganisation initiated by the sector itself, overcapacity could only result in an imposed reorganisation leading to an unhealthy balance between production and supply.
Improved figures last year were attributed to improved cost controls and synergies achieved by integrating newly acquired companies SturkoMeat (pork), Gebr Kroot Vlees (beef), and De Groene Weg (organic).
This offset the effect of foot and mouth which meant plants in the north were out of action or operating on a limited scale for weeks. The disease led to export limitations, increased stocks and quality problems caused by higher pig weights.
The group said its acquisitions had helped reinforce its position at the value-added end of the British bacon market.