AMSTELVEEN, The Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 13, 2003--The Executive Board of Koninklijke Wessanen, the international food group, today announced that the net earnings before goodwill amortization and exceptional income and expenses over 2002 will amount to EUR 35 to 40 million, which is in contrast with the previous outlook of EUR 50 million.
As a result, the earnings per share will arrive at 50 to 57 eurocents, contrary to the previous outlook of 71 eurocents.
The primary grounds are the development of the results at Tree of Life North America at the end of the fourth quarter of 2002, as well as a number of necessary changes in the balance sheet of this division. All other Wessanen companies are performing at least in line with expectations.
Meanwhile, the following measures have been taken at Tree of Life NA. Rick Thorne, member of the Executive Board, has also taken over the position of the CEO of Tree of Life NA. At the same time Tree of Life NA's CFO has been replaced. Both officers have left the company.
As previously announced, the results over 2003 will exceed the 2002 results. However, the impact of the adjustments in the 2002 results on the outlook for 2003 are currently further examined. This will be further specified during the publication of the 2002 annual results.
Nevertheless, it is apparent that the previously stated expectations of earnings per share of 82 eurocents over 2003 will not be met. As a direct consequence, Mac Zondervan, Chairman of the Executive Board, has decided to resign. At the request of the Supervisory Board, who regret but respect his decision, Mr. Zondervan will not step down before, in the course of this year, through an orderly process, a successor has been appointed.
The implementation of the wellness-strategy will be continued unchanged. This is in view of the successful results in Europe and the fact that the problems of Tree of Life NA are mainly operational and incidental, and not strategic.
Supervisory Board and Executive Board
Koninklijke Wessanen nv
February 20, 2003: Publication of annual figures 2002
April 2, 2003: General Meeting of Shareholders
May 14, 2003: Publication of quarterly figures Q1-2003
August 27, 2003: Publication of half-yearly figures 2003
November 21, 2003: Publication of quarterly figures Q3-2003
Koninklijke Wessanen nv is a Netherlands-based multinational food group operating in the European and North American markets. We market, distribute and produce wellness products that the consumer perceives to be natural and healthy, easy to prepare or tasty & indulgent. Knowledge of consumer trends and a clear emphasis on innovation form the basis for growth and continuity in all our businesses.
Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This announcement contains certain statements that are neither reported financial results nor other historical information. These statements are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe-harbor provisions of the US federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Wessanens ability to control or estimate precisely, such as future market conditions, the behavior of other market participants and the actions of governmental regulators. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Wessanen does not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.