Nomad boss Stéfan Descheemaeker said frozen food consumption trends were ‘rebounding’

Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods has surpassed expectations with a record financial performance last year, with the frozen foods giant forecasting a return to volume growth in 2024.

The group – which also owns Aunt Bessie’s and Goodfella’s in the UK – said it finished 2023 on “excellent footing”.

It added given ongoing sequential improvement in its monthly trends, the business was on track to return to positive volume growth in 2024.

Revenues in the final quarter of the year increased 4% to €761m (£651.7m), with organic growth of 1.9% as a 7.5% hike in prices offset a 5.6% fall in volumes, while adjusted EBITDA climbed 2% to €117m (£100.2m).

It left annual sales 6% higher at €3bn (£2.6bn) as a 14.4% increase in price covered for a 9.5% slump in volumes and changes in its mix of products.

Adjusted EBITDA for the year remained flat at €535m (£458.2m).

CEO Stéfan Descheemaeker said frozen food consumption trends were “rebounding”.

“We are well-positioned to deliver attractive organic growth as we sharpen our innovation focus and raise our marketing and brand investments,” he added. “We are elevating our productivity agenda and aggressively managing costs, which, coupled with our effective capital allocation, positions us to generate stronger bottom-line growth and superior shareholder returns over the long term.”

Nomad expected organic net revenue growth of 3%-4% in 2024, driven by a return to positive volumes.

Co-chairman and founder Noam Gottesman said: “We are delighted to report a record financial performance ahead of our expectations, marking yet another milestone in our continuous growth journey.

“We are delivering on our commitments to drive long-term value creation – sustainable organic growth, robust free cash flow generation and disciplined capital allocation. As we enter 2024, we are excited to be playing offence.

“Strong business momentum, increasing investments in our brands, impactful innovation, and a more normalised operating environment position us for success in 2024 and beyond.”