Issue Aug/Sep 07
After acquiring the business of Swedish Meats, the HKScan Corporation (earlier HK Ruokatalo Group) officially launched its subsidiary Scan in January 2007
In January 2007, the HKScan Corporation (earlier HK Ruokatalo Group) acquired the business of Swedish Meats, the largest meat company in Sweden with a 65 per cent share of slaughter and 40 per cent share of meat processing within the country. Producing and marketing meat products, poultry meat, processed meat and convenience foods across Finland, Sweden, the Baltic States and Poland, HKScan is a prosperous European meat production and processing company. Specialising in the processed pork and poultry, the group is renowned for its high levels of customer satisfaction and top quality products, paying particular attention to the health and welfare of its production animals, using choice raw materials, skilled production and suitable transportation methods.
Together with HKScan’s existing business, the takeover created a major meat processing group, present in nine European countries and generating a turnover of approximately two billion euros. Following the move, the group also officially launched Scan, a Swedish subsidiary that immediately took Swedish Meats’ position as the largest company in the Swedish meat industry.
The newly formed business was named after one of Swedish Meats’ brands, as along with Pärsons, Scan is one of the most recognised names in the Swedish food industry. Developed over 50 years, the brand is recognised by almost every Swede, and as a result the name was seen as a great way to build on past successes while moving the new subsidiary forward.
Linked with Swedish origins, security and quality, the brand is renowned for working from stable to table, with a unique control over animal welfare, environment and quality. It is a reputation that has been developed as every product sold under the brand is clearly profiled as tasty, Swedish, fun and innovative, with a clear focus on making everyday life easier for consumers, and it is an idea that the company wants to extend.
Under the Scan name, the new business is able to provide a more versatile and efficient service to both its retail customers and end consumers, as it takes advantage of a number of synergies, covering raw material sourcing, production, new product development and innovation, commercial activities and the integration of administration and support functions. The company works under the vision that its activities should benefit consumers, be carried out with respect for animals and nature, give pride to its staff, and create profitability within the business. By focusing on the needs of the consumer, Scan also aims to drive developments within the Swedish meat, processed meat and ready-made meal sectors, through the provision of quality meats from local farms.
The prioritisation that Scan places on the health of its animals is quite unique in the industry, with the company’s animal welfare programme working to BRC control systems and its payroll including qualified veterinarians. In 2006 the company’s stock totalled 1,805,370 pigs, 237,559 cattle, 155,501 sheep, 67,602 sows, and 17,546 calves, all of which are treated with the greatest respect. The company assumes full responsibility for ethics, the environment and the welfare of its animals throughout the entire value chain, and this is seen as crucial for Scan to achieve its aim of being a profitable company, with a strong brand that customers and consumers can trust.
While emphasising the importance of product development, brand progression and animal welfare, the company is also working to enhance its cost effectiveness. As part of a wider development programme, Scan has recently entered into a joint venture with Team Ugglarp AB, one of the largest family-owned businesses in the Swedish meat sector, to help reduce industrial overcapacity. Enhancing the company’s operations in Southern Sweden, this agreement means that the slaughtering of all beef cattle and sheep produced in this area by Scan will be centralised at Team Ugglarp’s operations in Hörby, in the heart of the meat-producing region of Skåne. The relationship is solely focused on consolidating the slaughtering process, with the new production company expected to be ready to launch its operations in spring 2008.
As a market leader, Scan has to continually develop and modernise to maintain the strength of the brand if it is to retain its strong position in the industry. After the acquisition of the business of Swedish Meats and the subsequent launch of Scan, the company sees the next two years as a time of reorganisation, as HKScan invests into the new subsidiary. Looking to the future of the business, HKScan’s CEO Kai Seikku commented: “The efficiency measures already introduced by the owners and
management of Swedish Meats together with a very strong market position and the strong Scan brand puts us in an excellent position to deliver profitable performance in the near future, while the arrangement has created an important player that can pursue growth in Northern Europe through further acquisitions.”