The decline of Belgium-based multinational Greenyard’s (Euronext Brussels: GREEN) sales steepened in its third quarter, amid lower volumes and prices of many produce items.
Sales over the first nine months of the financial year were 4.2% down year-on-year at €2.9 billion, slightly greater than the drop of 3.6% in the first half.
“That is largely due to underperformance of Fresh, related to further impact of ongoing competition in the retail sector,” the company said.
In the third quarter alone, sales came in at €927.9 million, down 5,4% versus last year. Foreign exchange rates had no material impact at group level, it said.
Fresh segment sales in the quarter were 6.6% lower at €730.2 million, which Greenyard attributed to “volume decline and continuing price pressure due to fierce retail competition in most of the key markets”.
“Volume decline was predominantly felt on bananas, apples, grapes, pears, melons, stone fruit, bell peppers and tomatoes, with growing volumes in avocados,” it said. “Pricing in general showed a negative trend across most of the categories. Specifically in Germany and Belgium, the negative volume trend persisted in Q3, combined with lower pricing.”
‘Long Fresh’ sales were down 0.4% at €197.8 million in Q3, helping to slow the decline of -4.1% seen in the first half to 2.8% in total over the nine months.
“The flat performance in Q3 can be explained by the non-realised price increases and some delayed orders in Prepared,” Greenyard said.
“In Frozen, delays in certain sales ramp-up after the recall in the summer, combined with weaker private label performance in France induced lower sales that were only partially offset by better price/mix.”