Gerrit den Bok, Managing Director of Marel's Further Processing Industry Center

“In 2014, Marel strengthened its position as a world player in the field of processing equipment of cooked products. The year began slowly but order intake and operational results improved during the latter half of the year. The division finalized some important sales and numerous markets continue to look positive.

Gerrit den Bok, Managing Director of Marel’s Further Processing Industry Center

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Improved market situation and proven strategy

The year began slowly for Marel’s Further Processing segment, but order intake picked up to a good level during the second half of the year. Positive signals were visible in various markets and important sales were finalized. A strong driver is the positive economic situation in the U.S.

Operations in Further Processing were streamlined in Q4 and the team and market approach strengthened. The Further Processing segment accounted for 13% of Marel’s revenue in 2014.

A strong driver is for the segment’s success the more positive economic situation in the United States. With some exceptions, Europe was still reluctant to invest. Parts of Asia and Oceania also showed positive developments.

The segment’s strategy to focus on different product lines has proven to be successful. Product groups Fresh and Linkers & Peelers showed successful results in equipment, service, and spare parts.

The product group CoExtrusion Technology created an increased interest in 2014. The newly developed and introduced high capacity solution was very well received.

During the year, the segment took considerable measures to bring the innovation expenses in line with the company benchmark. These actions have put Further Processing activities in a far healthier position, supported by the refocusing program Simpler, Smarter, Faster, which Marel introduced at the beginning of 2014.

Growth supported by strong trends

The trend of increasing wealth in many emerging markets will further stimulate the consumption of value added, convenience products. People have more money to spend and will consume more convenience products, in and outside the home.

In more mature markets, people are so busy that cooking times need to be further reduced, thus stimulating the purchase of easy-to-prepare products, heavily influenced by the will to eat more healthy.

Marel has the perfect solutions for these trends, as is evidenced by the repeat business that the division had last year from market leading customers in emerging and mature markets. Many customers expanded their production with a second or third production system.

Marel’s innovative focus

The segment can clearly see its convenience solutions being increasingly recognized as innovative solutions that bring its customers higher yields, reduced labor requirements and lower costs. The MOS (Modular Oven System) had a breakthrough in the U.S. in 2014. Various well-known processors purchased this top-of-the-line solution.

Another important development is the entry of the RevoPortioner into red meat and fish, building on its past success in poultry. Fish processors are increasingly interested in the company’s RevoPortioner technology and in 2014 HB Grandi, one of the largest fishing companies in Iceland and a leader in its field, finalized its investment in a RevoPortioner. HB Grandi, which places great emphasis on using the very latest in fish processing technology, recognized the system was a unique opportunity for them to add value to their fish products, turning trimmings into profitable opportunities.

The RevoPortioner technology for processing red meat has also made major inroads into the market. Marel sold the first RevoPortioner for fresh red meat in the demanding French market, a good indicator of future successes. In early 2015, the segment will launch a new development in the market. This will further stimulate the RevoPortioner as the successful and most innovative low pressure portioning solution available today.

The product group Linkers & Peelers launched the 2800 Sausage Peeler in 2014. This new high capacity peeler has been improved based on market requirements.

Product group Fresh has a clear focus to bring the developments of last year to the market, such as the fresh sausage line and the CoexSkin.