TOMRA Sorting Food has announced a positive six months trading since the start of 2017 due to a successful launch of three sorting platforms, new senior management appointments, and the implementation of an enhanced customer support service.
Revenues for the Q2 2017 were reported to have increased from the same period last year, and TOMRA Sorting Food’s order intake was up quarter over quarter.
The launch of the TOMRA 5A and TOMRA 5B platforms at the end of 2016 generated a positive order momentum during the first half of the year. In addition, the TOMRA 3C sorter for grains and seeds was launched earlier this year.
New senior management appointments in customer service in recent years, both globally and regionally, have been supported with the recruitment of additional customer service personnel. This has further enhanced TOMRA Sorting Food’s customer care proposition in terms of speed of response and overall effectiveness.
Commenting on the business’s half year performance, head of TOMRA Sorting Food Ashley Hunter said: "We are pleased to have maintained our positive momentum since the start of the year. The fundamental reason for our success is our absolute dedication to delivering our brand promise of trusted technology and partnership for better business and environment. This allows us to form highly effective relationships with our customers, clearly understand their needs and work with them to develop and grow their businesses.
"It is this approach that led us to develop the TOMRA 5A, which builds on the successes of the Halo and the TOMRA 5B, which was developed on the Genius’s reputation for performance and reliability with additional functionality. Both have been extremely well received. The TOMRA 3C, which was recently introduced in China for grains and seeds, has also proven popular."
Major trends influencing TOMRA Sorting Food’s performance in international markets going forward include the growth in the global middle class, which is anticipated to be more than 3.2 billion people by 2020, with a significant proportion within developing countries.
Similarly, the move towards urbanisation in China, South East Asia, and India is also creating opportunities for TOMRA Sorting Food’s technologies to be utilised, providing automation to replace labour as people move to the cities.
Ashley adds: "The developed world is being influenced by the growing demand of the increasing middle classes, especially in relation to exporting to developing countries, as well as sourcing raw food materials from them. This coincides with the need for brand protection and traceability for all food processors.
"As many of our customers undoubtedly have the potential to evolve into global brands, there are significant opportunities for TOMRA Sorting Food to support those businesses and share our collective knowledge of international markets with them."
TOMRA Sorting Food’s on-going positive momentum has been underpinned by successful sales and marketing strategies.
Explaining how the business maintains its market-leading position, TOMRA Sorting Food’s global sales and marketing communications director Thomas Molnar comments: "We are able to provide our customers with competitive advantage by constantly seeking to address the opportunities and challenges they face with the best application of our technologies, as well as the research and development (R&D) of new ones.
"This approach also leads us to invest in key world regions, while implementing sales and marketing strategies for the short, medium and long-term.
"In the short-term we are strengthening, sustaining and growing in Western Europe and North America, while in the short-to-medium term we are also seeking to develop in fast-growing markets in Eastern Europe, South America, China, and Asia."
In addition to the international markets TOMRA Sorting Food is targeting, further demand for the company’s technologies is being driven by the requirements of food processors to increase yields and maximise profits by enhancing the performance of existing production lines.
This is particularly the case with TOMRA Sorting Food’s vegetable and potato processing technologies, with the company experiencing high demand within the French fries sector for solutions such as the TOMRA 5A, TOMRA 5B, and Eco steam peeler. TOMRA Sorting Food has also concentrated on further ways to help its customers improve sorting performance and upgrade its systems to help increase yields.
The sorting systems the company has launched since the start of 2017 are augmented by a new intuitive user interface called TOMRA ACT, the option for remote access, and increased ease of sanitation. Sort-to-grade capabilities and upgradability also present the company with opportunities to develop sales in all markets.
Ashley Hunter says: "We understand that our customers’ challenges are increasing as consumers demand higher quality and safer food, without significantly increasing the price of their products. Automation and effective use of our sorting technologies will enable our customers to meet those challenges, especially as skilled labour increases in price and scarcity.
"Further global challenges come in the form of food waste, for example, around 45% of all fruit and vegetables are wasted, and energy efficiency. By investing in our sorting technologies, food processors can both limit waste and reduce energy usage, in turn improving yield and profitability.
"As we enter the second half of 2017, we are pleased with our progress so far and look forward to continuing to implement our plans for the remainder of the year whilst further delivering our brand promise to customers."