Finnish meat firm Atria is reviewing its Russian operations for possible structural changes following a drop in net sales.

The main aim of this strategy is to rapidly improve its business operations in Russia, which would entail increasing sales and margins, as well as turning the profit trend into a positive one.

Atria is also exploring possibilities of divesting its Russian operations, in addition to reviewing the scope of reorganising the global legal structure associated with its Sibylla fast food business.

Atria CEO Juha Gröhn said: “In the future, we will increasingly focus on our core business and the healthy growth of our businesses.”

“The increase in costs has been the strongest in Russia, where the raw material costs increased especially towards the end of the year by more than 30%.”

Its Russian operations saw a drop in sales from €85.7m in 2017 to €75.1m in 2018 due to cost increases of more than 30% year on year.

Its net sales were down in Sweden from €307.2m in 2017 to €287.9m in 2018, but this drop was attributed to weak Swedish krona, the divestment of the Nordic Fast Food business operations in December 2017, increased raw material costs and the poor profitability of poultry operations.

Its Denmark unit witnessed a comparatively modest dip in sales from €98.9m in 2017 to €97.4m in 2018. The group, however, experienced increased sales in the Estonian market. Sales in the company’s Finnish division grew from €986.4m in 2017  to €1,019.2m in 2018 due to rising sales in retail and food service segments.

Gröhn said: “The results of Sweden and Russia did not meet set targets. The increased costs of animal feed caused by the dry summer were transferred to meat raw material costs.

“The increase in costs has been the strongest in Russia, where the raw material costs increased especially towards the end of the year by more than 30% compared with the same period in the previous year.”