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Outlook 2017: Viciunai Europe MD Rob Schreur

This past year was marked by Brexit, high salmon prices, exec tells IntraFish. Is 2017 going to be any different?

Rob Schreur, who was appointed managing director for Viciunai Europe in October this year, talks industry challenges, opportunities and future growth. 

What were the three most significant developments for your business in the seafood industry in 2016?

On a global scale, 2016 have been marked by Brexit and high salmon prices. Those have been the main challenges for all major seafood players, and one's ability to cope with them will largely influence not only the results for 2016, but for some years to come.

I'm confident to say, Viciunai Group has been handling the situation in Europe well. We've managed to continue increasing our market share in surimi and other categories in Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and many more countries.

Even under these rather demanding circumstances, Vichiunai Europe and other group subsidiaries managed to achieve sustainable growth. Firm, long-standing relationship with our partners here, alongside high service level, is playing a crucial part in this.

Looking ahead, what will be the three most important developments in 2017?

Talking about 2017 outlook, a lot will depend on the raw materials' prices. If the current projections of the salmon price drop are more or less accurate, it will naturally boost the whole market. But we‘re trying not to dwell too much upon the global macroeconomic factors we can't affect.

Instead of this, we're focusing on our own business strategy. And that is, along further boosting our private label sales, to increase gradually Vici brand weight in our western European portfolio.

What changes and developments do you expect your business to undergo next year?

It is to be achieved by applying more proactive approach with our partners, offering more effective pricing and introducing full range of Vici product portfolio. The biggest emphasis here is on the breaded fish, whitefish and gyoza dumplings. To accomplish these goals, Viciunai Group is also planning on expanding its sales teams in different markets.

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