Greenyard suffered a tough first half to 2018, making a €113 million loss after Europe’s “exceptional” weather hit operations.
The Belgium-based company said the persistent drought that hit Europe this summer affected the growth of fruit and vegetables, with a high impact on availability.
The crop drop resulted in a 3.6 per cent sales decrease, down to €1.98 billion euros. Greenyard’s figures were also further hit by a Listeria scare in July, traced to its Hungarian packing facility, resulting in a €28m loss.
In September Greenyard sold its horticulture business to Belgian investment fund Straco for €120m to help pay its debts. The company said it was not planning to sell any further core activities.
Greenyard CEO Hein Deprez said the company had faced “challenging market conditions” but was confident of returning to stable growth.
“As communicated in August, the first half year of our accounting year 2018/2019 was challenging for Greenyard. Our results reflect the fierce competition and difficult market circumstances in our key markets. Consolidation in these markets puts pressure on all suppliers to find ways to deliver their products, even at low prices.
“We continue to work hard to further strengthen our company and are fully focused on further internal growth. Despite this hard market reality, we continue to believe in our strategy to form partnerships with our retailers by working closely and transparently together with them to rationalise the entire supply chain to the benefit of all: consumers, retailers, growers and Greenyard.
“We already see good examples and stable growth for those retailers and Greenyard where we are able to build such partnership model. We will do that in the current combination of our Fresh and Long Fresh segments as a unique player in the market offering all categories in fruit and vegetables in all its forms: fresh, frozen and prepared. We are convinced we have the right people, heart, assets and strategy to defend our market position, grow our base and build these partnerships for the future.”