Over the past three years, Greenyard has worked hard to recover and reduce its debt. The fruit and vegetable processing company now says the time is right to invest in new products with higher profit margins. The company may also be open to making further acquisitions.
Sustainable and plant-based products
Yesterday, the Belgian company presented a new ambitious growth plan: by its 2024-2025 financial year, turnover should grow to 5 billion euros, an increase of 650 million euros. The company also counts on annual growth of the gross operating profit of 6 to 7 %, Belgian newspaper De Tijd reports.
The growth should mainly come from new products. Over the next three years, Greenyard will invest 30 to 40 million euros in new production lines for ready meals, plant-based desserts and snacks, vegetable and fruit juices and the like. In other words, the company is responding to the plant-based transition that is in full swing. "Unlike the meat industry, we are already 100 per cent engaged in plant-based and sustainable products", co-CEO Marc Zwaaneveld explains.
Of course, this new strategy is not only driven by ecological motives. Compared to basic products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, processed products like ready meals, sauces and soups also have a significantly higher profit margin. In relative terms, the canned and frozen vegetable department is more than twice as profitable as the fresh department.
It is also noteworthy that Greenyard no longer rules out new acquisitions within Europe and beyond. However, the company almost went bankrupt due to an enormous debt burden, precisely by financing a series of acquisitions with debt. "In the past, things went wrong with the integration of the acquired companies. We have learned from this", Zwaaneveld says. The CEO intends to be very selective: "Acquiring companies just to book more turnover is not on the agenda."