AMSTERDAM, April 24 (Reuters) - Dutch meat producer VION plans to sell its ingredients division, which derives products such as gelatine from the main meat processing business in a fresh attempt to cut its debt, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Owned by ZLTO, a Dutch agricultural and horticultural association, VION made an operating profit of 90.1 million euros ($117 million) on sales of 9.5 billion euros in 2011, the most recent year for which financial results have been published.
VION Food, the main meat business, has 14,000 employees while VION Ingredients has 6,000 staff.
Separate financial details for the two businesses are not disclosed, a spokesman said. He declined to say whether any advisers or bankers have been appointed to handle the sale.
'The ongoing poor market conditions, particularly in the European pork sector, have forced the company to make choices,' VION said, adding that acquisitions and an increase in scale at VION Food over the past decade, 'have not delivered the expected results'.
VION has already sold its food business in Britain and other non-core operations in an attempt to reduce debt.
The company said in the statement that 2012 had been a tough year, and that while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were positive, its recent divestments 'provided insufficient yields to arrive at a substantially reduced debt position'.
'Although the results (for 2012) are yet to be determined exactly, it is already clear that the impairments amounting to 500 million euros will affect the net result,' VION said, adding that the intended sale of Ingredients was expected to lead to 'a normalised financial position'. ($1 = 0.7683 euros)
(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Greg Mahlich) Keywords: VION FOOD/SALE
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