Europe: Greenyard "returns to normal business" after challenging period

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Europe: Greenyard

Belgium-based multinational produce company Greenyard says it has returned to financial health and normal business operations after the successful implementation of a transformational plan that brought it through a difficult period.

The 2019-20 fiscal year was a year of recovery for the company, it said.

This was driven by the revitalization of its commercial relationships; the improvement of Greenyard’s operational performance and leveraging its scale; and the "rationalization" of its footprint, refocusing on its core business and executing divestments where necessary.

The company posted a net loss from continued operations amounted of €68m, up from a loss of €192 last year.

Adjusted EBITDA landed above the upper end of the initially given guidance, rising by 48% to €96m.

Hein Deprez, co-CEO said: “We live in turbulent times. Our society and our customer landscape have changed. Also, our company has changed. This change was needed and will gear us up for the future.

"The way we have responded to the challenge of securing the food supply chain during the COVID-19 quarantine period, clearly demonstrates Greenyard’s strength and relevance.

"Therefore, I am grateful for the resilience and hard work of all our colleagues in order to regain our position in the market and increasingly earn the confidence of our customers, growers and suppliers.”

Marc Zwaaneveld, co-CEO adds: “This fiscal year started just after the announcement of the Transformation Plan, followed by the strong implementation thereof.

It was paramount to install an agile organisation with a continuous improvement culture. From the start, the Transformation Plan showed an untapped efficiency and profitability potential.

"Throughout the year, the recovery continued and exceeded expectations. Greenyard is o"n its way to regain financial health and will be ready for sustainable growth.”

The 2019-20 financial year saw overall net sales rise 4% to €4bn. The frozen and canned segment increased by 10% to €798m, while the fresh business rose by 2% to €3.3bn.

The additional frozen and canned volumes were mainly sold to customers in the foodservice and industry in the first half of the fiscal year, while sales to retail customers boomed in the second half of the fiscal year, in part due to the new partnership with Tesco in the Frozen division.

The fresh segment increase was mainly thanks to the revitalization of the commercial relationships and ramping up of the partnerships in the second half of the fiscal year. This also includes a recovery of the loss-making volumes that were terminated in the fresh division.

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