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Bolton Invests Millions In Saupiquet Expansion France, January 28, 13

Bolton Alimentari, owner of the canned tuna brands Rio Mare and Saupiquet, has invested “several millions” in Euro’s in its French cannery in Quimper.

From January till October last year, 80 percent of the production lines have been renovated, with most of the work being done by a Danish equipment supplier.

The investments show Bolton has regained confidence in Saupiquet, after the brand had been underperforming and lost nearly Euro 900,000 in 2009. Then in 2010, Saupiquet seemed to have turned a corner after it posted a profit of Euro 3.72 million, and boosted this result in 2011 to Euro 9.38 million. Revenues in 2011 reached 200 million, still down 30 percent from its 2008 turnover.

The Quimper plant of Saupiquet, is mostly geared towards the production of canned mackerel (80 percent), since most of the canned tuna production was out-sourced to other canneries outside of France.

In France, Saupiquet is the market leader on canned mackerel, while MW Brand’s Petite Navire has taken over canned tuna leadership. The country’s mackerel market is about half the size of the canned tuna market, which has a 92 percent penetration under consumers.

The cannery in Quimper, in Brittany, which now employs 200 workers, is the group’s last remaining factory since the closure of its Saint-Ave tuna cannery in 2010.