Aryzta Slides to Lowest in Two Years as Sales Miss Estimates

Aryzta AG fell to the lowest price in almost two years after the Swiss owner of bakery chains reported third-quarter revenue that missed analyst estimates and forecast continued weakness in North America and Europe.

Shares declined as much as 7.4 percent and were trading down 7.3 percent at 55.60 francs by 9:50 a.m. in Zurich on Tuesday, the weakest since July 2013. That values the company at 5.1 billion francs ($5.4 billion). Some 356,000 shares exchanged hands, about 83 percent the average three-month daily volume.

Sales in the period that ended April 30 fell short of analyst estimates, amounting to 973.2 million euros ($1.07 billion) compared to a predicted 976.8 million euros in a Bloomberg survey. Underlying revenue in North America dropped 6.7 percent and was expected, Chief Executive Officer Owen Killian said in a statement, adding that the weakness is set to continue into the fourth quarter.

In Switzerland, Aryzta’s food business still awaits recovery after the Swiss National Bank’s January decision to abolish the cap on the euro weighed on local consumption, while “security concerns” weighed on consumer confidence in France, the company said.

“We see no evidence of sales growth acceleration and improved return on invested capital yet,” Jean-Philippe Bertschy, an analyst at Bank Vontobel AG in Zurich, wrote in a note to clients.

Aryzta has declined more than 4 percent since its March 31 announcement of plans to buy a stake in French retailer Picard for 446.6 million euros, a surprise move into frozen foods. The company is still waiting for regulatory approval.

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