Aryzta’s European arm experienced a 1.6% growth in revenue to €321.2m (£260.8m), while underlying growth declined by 0.2%, in its first-quarter financial results.The Swiss-based speciality bakery firm, which owns brands such as Delice de France, La Brea and Honeytop, published its latest financial results this morning (3 December) for the 13 weeks to 31 October.It revealed a 9% increase in Group revenue to almost €1.1bn (£892m), alongside a 7.9% rise in its food business’ overall revenue to €747.5m (£607m) during the first quarter.Aryzta said the drop in underlying revenue in its European Food business during Q1 “illustrates a sequential improvement, compared to the larger declines experienced over the previous three quarters”.Owen Killian, chief executive, Aryzta, said: “Our performance during the period was satisfactory, given that the global trading environment remains very challenging and has not improved since our year-end results announcement in September. As previously highlighted, FY 2013 will be another year of substantial transformation and reorganisation for Aryzta.“Based on the Q1 performance, we continue to view the outlook and guidance issued with our 2012 full-year results as valid.”He added that Aryzta Europe remains very challenging, reflective of the weak macro consumer dynamics in the region and widening government austerity measures.Looking ahead, Aryzta said: “Our strategy to deal with this challenging market environment remains the completion of its reorganisation and transformational ATI program. Based on the continued progress of this program, and the performance during the period, our previous outlook and full-year guidance of 5-10% growth in underlying fully diluted EPS remains unchanged, despite the overall challenging trading conditions related to weak consumer dynamics.”
As part of the Theology on Fire series, Beth Knobbe, relationship manager at Catholic Relief Services in Chicago, presented “Living Single with Faith, Purpose and Passion” at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday.Knobbe, who intentionally lives a single life, began her talk by addressing the anxiety students feel about having a plan after graduation.“There is no predetermined plan for our life,” she said. “God’s plan is that God is going to love us and not abandon us.”Knobbe said she believes there is no superior way of life and that people can find happiness in both marriage and the single life; it all depends on what truly brings the person the most happiness and what they feel called to do.“My purpose in being here is not to convince you that God is calling you to the single life,” Knobbe said.She emphasized that living the single life is an active and intentional response to God’s call.“He may be calling you to marriage, a religious vocation or a life of absolute surprise,” Knobbe said. “Recognize that when we say yes to that, what we receive in return is a great sense of abundance of God’s love for us.”Knobbe said she had dated throughout college but never found a relationship that made her feel full. She said she felt anxious in her 30s because she thought married life was the ideal way of life. She said she had a heart-to-heart with God after attending a wedding that made her feel like a wedding was everything people expected from life.“Something in me broke — I was furious with God,” Knobbe said.“What I experienced at the wedding, I thought was the plan for me.”But she said she realized God’s calling for her did not involve that ideal. She went to graduate school and said she found the richness most people find in romantic relationships in her friends and peers.“Your vocation is the place where you feel most at home,” Knobbe said.“It doesn’t mean it isn’t hard sometimes. It’s easy to get lonely as a single person. There’s a temptation to be selfish with my time and money. But it feels right for me.”Knobbe said being single for God’s kingdom is different from being single just by circumstance.“Somebody who recognizes that single life is their call also expresses that there’s a purpose to it,” she said. “It’s embraced and chosen. It involves service to others, be it in the Church or other professions.”Sharing life stories, debating, team sports, laughing, making music and attending mass are all ways to experience intimacy, Knobbe said.“As a single person, I think about all the ways my life are creative,” she said. “I wonder what my legacy will be, and I see it in my work and my relationships, from visiting someone in the hospital to making cookies with friends. It all gives my life energy. Service is my way of leaving a legacy and giving to the world.”Knobbe said she believes a single life is a life full of love if one can take on a new perspective.“We need to look at life a little differently,” she said. “It’s taken me a long time to see it, but once I began to see it, I saw it everywhere.”Tags: dating culture, single life, theology on fire
Sponsorship is as sought-after as it is misunderstood, but there’s no doubt about the fact that it is extremely prevalent in the alternative sports world today. Massive companies like Red Bull and GoPro, alongside smaller industry manufacturers, are putting significant portions of their marketing resources into sponsorship. They align themselves with top athletes to benefit their own bottom lines alongside the athletes’ careers, and a great deal of money and product exchanges hands every year through these relationships. For athletes who truly understand the game, it really is as close to “living the dream” as you can get.The trouble with the whole system is that many athletes don’t know what to do beyond just being an exceptional athlete to set themselves apart. In these economic times, it is not acceptable to simply perform well in your sport and call it a day.After 11 years of working as a sponsored athlete in the paddlesports industry, and one year working as Pro Team Manager for Dagger Kayaks, I have learned a bit about the ins and outs of corporate sponsorship. Here are my top 10 recommendations for securing (and retaining) your ideal sponsors:DO protect your personal brand.When a company endorses you as a sponsored athlete, they are linking their brand with you and all of your actions. Your personal brand is the image that is generated by everything that you do and everything that comes out of your mouth. Due to the Internet, our world is shrinking and information about all of us is much more readily available. You need to know what online and social media searches for your name will turn up and make sure that they showcase you well.DON’T burn bridges. These industries are very small places, and negative dealings tend to reverberate far beyond any single relationship. You never know when an opportunity has been closed off due to a bad reference. Do good work and maintain good relationships.DO realize that it is about far more than just being a great athlete.Of course you need raw skill and talent, but what separates the truly successful athletes from those who soon fade into another profession is what goes on behind the scenes. Resourcefulness and the ability to create value for sponsors whenever possible is the most important thing.DO think about and create your niche.What is your individual hook? What are you better at than anyone else? Team and marketing managers do not want a whole team of athletes who are chasing the same thing. When I look at Team Dagger, I see Freestyle World Champions, non-profit owners, 6-year-old prodigies, expedition paddlers, incredible videographers, and grassroots ambassadors in their local communities. Each individual comes at it with their own style and brings something different to the table. It can be helpful to consider the main needs of the companies that you are working with: big picture marketing, sales account support within each region, R&D feedback, photo and video generation for the website, and other collateral. Sometimes it can be helpful to leverage those to guide your pitch.DON’T use improper management introduction techniques.Cold-messaging a marketing or management employee on Facebook or other social media is an invasion of privacy… that is set up for their personal use. Short of getting an introduction from a mutual contact (the ideal scenario), take the time to at least find a company email. And (this goes without saying), don’t have typos or grammatical errors in your correspondence!DO work in advance. Most team budgets are finalized and committed by shortly after the first of the year. That means if you want to work with a company beyond getting a pro-deal, you need to get on it! November and December are good months to check in, and the professionalism exhibited by planning ahead will go a very long way.DO keep your Team Manager updated. The more that you can stay top-of-mind and in focus for the company, the better. Regular email updates with competition results, exposure, and trip plans will position you as a professional—someone who is worthy of sponsorship dollars.DO work hard.Many people think that being a sponsored athlete is a gravy train. I will tell you that the most successful athletes that I know absolutely work their asses off. They are always shooting media, emailing, facilitating, checking in, helping with product R&D and launch, and planning their own exploits. These things are done alongside the physical demands of training and maintaining fitness as an elite athlete. It’s not easy at all, and requires great time management and self-motivation skills, but it is worth it.DO hang the carrot.One thing that I have found very useful in my own dealings with different sponsors is something that I refer to as “hanging the carrot.” This means always keeping them up-to-date on upcoming projects, and what you need from them to position their brand in the best way possible. If you are thinking like this, you are doing an excellent job as an athlete. The final step to this is to follow through and deliver on all promises and commitments made.DO have fun.Taking these steps requires you to look at your sport as work. While it can be very smart to cover all the sponsorship angles, it’s equally important not to lose sight of the original passion that got you into it in the first place. If that ever goes away, the whole house of cards falls. Go outside and play—that’s why you got into this in the first place.Chris Gragtmans is sponsored by Dagger Kayaks, Chaco Footwear, Speedboard USA, Immersion Research, Shred Ready Helmets, Astral Buoyancy and Adventure Technology Paddles.