HKScan CEO Tero Hemmilä resigns in the wake of poor business performance

FINLAND- Tero Hemmilä, the CEO of HKScan Corporation, has announced his resignation at a time when the company is wading through a challenging business environment.

The Poultry processing company has lowered its financial guidance and subsequently called for the need for immediate actions to increase the profitability of the core business and strengthen its balance sheet.

The company last month disclosed the loss of over 100 jobs at its Forssa factory as it started a EUR5 million (US$5 million) renovation to increase cost efficiency and competitiveness.

Juha Ruohola, a member of the group management team and former executive vice president of the company’s Baltic and Polish operations, has taken over as Hemmilä’s interim replacement.

The company attributed its lower EBIT to the significantly changed situation in the energy market but did not provide a specific figure.

“HKScan’s comparable EBIT is expected to decrease from the comparison year, but remain positive,” the statement read.

The corporation reported a US$26.2 million net loss for the first six months ending on June 30 in its half-year results.

Sales increased by 8% to US$917.6 million after passing through inflation-related price hikes, but EBIT suffered a US$22.6 million loss.

Board chairman Reijo Kiskola said: “On behalf of the entire board and the company, I would like to thank Tero for his valuable contribution and work in HKScan’s turnaround.

“The transformation into a versatile food company in line with our strategy is proceeding. Right now, urgent measures are needed to improve the profitability of the core business and to strengthen the balance sheet in a rapidly changing operating environment.”

Earlier, HKScan expanded into the growing market of value-added vegetable products by partnering with Finland's leading vegetable trading company, Vihannes-Laitila.

Earlier, HKScan expanded into the growing market of value-added vegetable products by partnering with Finland’s leading vegetable trading company, Vihannes-Laitila.

The joint venture between HKScan and Vihannes-Laitila will increase the added value of vegetables and renew the supply of fresh vegetable products.

“We believe we can grow the market by raising the added value of fresh vegetables. Interesting new fresh products with added value will make it easier and tastier for both the consumer and the food service sector to add vegetables to the diet”, says Jari Paavola, Managing Director at Vihannes-Laitila Oy.

The collaboration will promote HKScan’s strategic target to grow into a versatile food company.

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