Fresh growth for French reefer group


Pan-European refrigerated road transport and logistics giant STEF says it continues to increase sales against a backdrop of "further decline in food consumption in Europe and a difficult economic environment."

The French group’s third quarter turnover (for the period July-September) reached €620.9 million, up 3.6% on a like-for-like basis. Growth was driven by STEF’s logistics activities in France and its European operations. 

While the unfavourable economic climate and the drop in food consumption led to a decrease in “frozen storage,” STEF’s French logistics business was still able to achieve 9.1% growth in the quarter thanks to new contracts coming on stream, mostly in the “fresh” category and also to a "dynamic" “restaurant and catering segment. 

Last week, STEF announced the acquisition of KL Services, which supplies logistics services to 500 restaurants in France and operates a temperature-controlled warehouse in the suburbs of Paris. 

Turnover from the group’s European operations was up 8.5% for the quarter. Highlights included major new contracts with manufacturers and external growth in Portugal while in Italy, STEF continued to see development in its transport activities in the seafood market and in international traffic flows. 

The reefer operator also reported a buoyant business performance in the Benelux countries. 

Turnover for the first nine months of the year reached more than €1.83 billion, up 5.9% like-for-like on the same period last year.