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Burger Boost and the animal welfare label governed by the Danish state (the heart label) have created two successful sales campaigns for Danish Crown Beef. In other words, these are examples of how focused and strategic efforts to accommodate consumer demands have made room for Danish Crown products in the market.

“We have dedicated our efforts to adjusting our range and products to consistently accommodate current demands – whether it is for the summer barbecue or steaks for New Year’s evening. Our adjustments were made based on data and consumer surveys. In short, we have refocused our priorities from what products we want to sell to what the customers want to buy, and we are very pleased with the success of our initiatives,” says Finn Klostermann, CEO of Danish Crown Beef.

The market for beef has been close to red-hot in the first half of 2021/22. Exceeding expectations, revenue in the six months from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 rose 30 % relative to the year-earlier period.

Overall, demand grew steadily throughout the period. A low supply of beef across Europe contributed to lifting prices, resulting in revenue of DKK 2.9 billion, against DKK 2.2 billion in the same period the year before.

“We are pleased with the current beef prices, which are very attractive. It is also worth noting that while revenue has risen by as much as 30 %, earnings have kept pace. Our strong operations are reflected in steadily increasing settlement prices,” says Finn Klostermann, who emphasises that the business will now aim to build even closer relations with the consumers.

“In our overall strategy for Danish Crown – Feeding the Future – we focus on sustainability and on creating a clear-cut line in Danish Crown Beef. Consumers have an opinion about the beef they prefer – and we can meet their demands through our concepts, whether they ask for pink veal or a red steak. It also gives our cooperative owners a target to aim for, says Finn Klostermann.

In addition to the animal welfare-labelled veal, he is referring to the two concepts Premium Kvier (premium heifers) and Friland Naturpleje (Friland nature conservation). With the Premium Kvier concept, Danish Crown Beef aims to optimise its meat production by crossbreeding dairy cattle with beef cattle to limit exports of calves. Friland Naturpleje is aimed at consumers and cooperative owners who want to protect Danish biodiversity concurrently with meat production.

Rising costs

Danish Crown Beef reported growing revenue despite soaring costs of energy and transport – a challenge also facing the farmer owners, whose profitability is squeezed especially by rising costs of feed. However, the rising settlement prices help farmers maintain profitable operations. From the start of the financial year until mid-May, average settlement prices have gone up by close to 40 % compared to last year.

“As owners, we have reason to believe in the future after a good half-year period. We are also encouraged by the rising value of our products – be it processing of raw materials to high-value products such as beef for burgers or concepts such as welfare-labelled ‘Dansk Kalv’. We have successfully identified future markets and customer needs,” says Karsten Willumsen, chairman of Beef Forum in Danish Crown Beef and a member of the AmbA board of directors in Danish Crown A/S.

Robustness across all markets

However, looking at the assets of Danish Crown Beef, it is not only the Danish abattoirs at Holsted and Aalborg and the processing factory at Sdr. Felding that are experiencing favourable winds.

The two factories in Germany have – like the operations in Denmark – scaled up production and recorded a sharp increase in revenue, while Scan-Hide, which processes cattle hides for the leather industry, is developing favourably through a dedicated focus on branding, optimisation, and enhanced efficiency. Overall, the various assets in Denmark and abroad contribute to strengthening Danish Crown Beef.

“Our business is fairly robust thanks to our production presence in both Denmark and Germany and our dedicated sales offices in France, Spain and Italy. As we receive animals from both Danish and German farmers, we can keep customers satisfied and supply products to match demand despite a low supply of slaughter animals,” says Finn Klostermann.

Read more about the half-year result in Danish Crown and Friland below:

Difficult market puts a damper on earnings

Friland growth driven by increasing preference for organic