Vegetables & Fruits

Greenyard Sales Surpass €5 Billion as Both Volume and Prices Increase

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Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium-headquartered Greenyard has reported record-high results for the year ending on March 31, topping the €5 billion sales mark with adjusted EBITDA increasing 11.5% to €186.5 million.

“We are very proud to realize these results in a challenging environment as we improved both in volume and prices,” said Francis Kint, chief executive officer of the vegetable and fruit processing and marketing company. “The Long Fresh segment (frozen and ambient product categories) reached sales just shy of the €1 billion, whilst further strengthening the operational profitability margin. This is the result of a successful expansion in value-added convenience products.”

He added: “In turn, the Fresh segment reached over €4 billion net sales, and has continued to expand its business with key customers in our unique business model of integrated customer relationships. Both segments clearly also benefit from the trend of consumers seeking to increase the intake of fruit and vegetables in all its forms, to eat healthier and consume food that is produced in sustainable food chains.”

CEO Francis Kint

Long Fresh sales advanced by +13.3% year-on-year to € 992.2 million, up €116.6 million from €875.6 million. This double-digit growth was driven by 14.0% price increases following several waves of price negotiations to compensate higher production input prices. The positive evolution was only slightly offset by negative volume growth of 1.9% due to temporarily lower stock levels held by customers.

Key Overall Results
The Greenyard Group reported that overall sales (including flowers and plants) increased by 10.9% or €496.6 million on a like-for-like basis, from € 4,575.8 million to €5,072.4 million. This was driven by both volume growth of +2.7% and price increases (+7.3%), the latter to cover higher input costs.

The Adjusted EBITDA rose €19.2 million from €167.3 million to €186.5 million, which represents a growth rate of 11.5%. The company was able to successfully increase its operational profitability in absolute terms thanks to high crop yields in Long Fresh, further process efficiency and growth within its unique integrated customer relationships. “This evidences the success and resilience of the business model in an economic context marked by inflation, consumer purchasing power reduction and climate change,” according to a press release.

Greenyard’s net increased by 63% from €9.3 million in the same period last year to €15,2 million thanks to the improved operating result and limited non-recurring costs partly compensated by the gain on the sale of assets in Brazil and the United Kingdom. The increase of the operational result has been partly offset by higher interest costs.

Net Financial Debt (NPD) was significantly reduced by €11.0 million compared to March 31, 2023, to €266.3 million on March 31, 2024. This translates into a leverage of 1.87x, down from 2.19x last year. This result was achieved thanks to the increased operational result and the successful management of the cash conversion cycle, despite the increase in inventory and the increased investments.

“The company has again shown a strong performance, particularly in these challenging market circumstances. There is an impact of inflation on the inventory levels, however, thanks to the strong working capital management, the net debt decreased,” said Nicolas De Clercq, chief financial officer. “Also, the increased interest rates had an important impact on the financial cost, but thanks to the increased operational result, net profit increased to €15.2 million. Volume grew further and inflation could be charged through in most cases, which creates a promising platform for further growth of the result and cash flow of the group.”

CFO Nicolas De Clercq

€3 Million Invested in New Sauce Kitchen

Meanwhile, on June 4 the Greenyard Prepared Belgium division opened a state-of-the-art sauce facility in Bree. The €3 million investment is in response to the growing consumer appetite for conveniently prepared and packaged sauces. The new production line produces thousands of liters of sauces per hour, significantly expanding new product development capabilities.

The demand for sauces at Greenyard has increased by 80% over the last 10 years. Picking up on this trend, the company finalized another round of major investments in its production lines in 2023. This includes the installation of a sauce kitchen, along with a filling station and packaging line. With this, Greenyard Prepared has enhanced annual capacity at the site in Bree by 15 million units.

“Our new sauce kitchen is a key chapter in our growth story, where the latest technology meets innovative product development. Automated cleaning systems and advanced cooking processes allow us to significantly reduce heating and cooking times for our sauces. This not only enhancing the quality of our products, but also opens opportunities for a wider variety of tasty and nutritious recipes,” said Johnny Van Holzaet, managing director at Greenyard Prepared.