Europe, UK, Ireland, Seed, Studies/Reports, Varieties

HZPC reports on positives after challenging corona year

HZPC realised that the financial year 2020/2021 would be difficult. Last year, the potato distributor was operating in a global economic recession. With enormous consequences for both multiple corporate sectors and for HZPC. However, there are always positives. Even now.

“We have seen a rise in volume sales, we are proud to have started the Connective Growers programme and we are delighted with the efforts made to realise a competitive price for our growers,” says HZPC CEO, Gerard Backx.

On 7 October 2021, the Supervisory Board at HZPC Holding B.V. discussed the accounts for the 2020/21 financial year. On the same day, the general meeting of shareholders adopted the annual accounts. The turnover of HZPC amounted to EUR 312 million, compared to EUR 360 million for the previous year.

The dividend payment remained the same, at EUR 1 per share; the consequence of a lower operating result. Despite turnover having been reduced and the dividend payment having remained the same, we have, however, seen sales increase. 

Growth in tonnage

In the year 2019/2020, we sold 892,000 tons of seed potatoes either directly or via licences. In the past year, 2020/2021, we crossed a new boundary. This resulted in overall sales of 904,000 tons of seed potatoes.

This growth in tons primarily took place outside Europe, in America and Asia. The margins on these extra tons, however, failed to compensate for the substantial reduction in the margin that HZPC suffered in the Netherlands and France, as a result of much lower sales to the fries industry and a number of significant export countries, including Algeria.

Operating result

The company’s after-tax result comes out at EUR 0 million. This was EUR 1.2 million last year. The same result could have been realised in 2020/2021 had we decided against starting up the Connecting Growers programme. This cost EUR 1.35 million in 2020/2021. With this programme, we have bought certificates which have then been distributed to 70% of our active growers in the European Union.

From growers, for growers

The success of HZPC equates to success for our growers. We believe it is extremely important for HZPC certificates to be held by active growers. Through Connecting Growers, we aim to ensure their loyalty and allow them to benefit from developments within HZPC. This programme has led to a significant increase in the number of certificate holders. As well as the success of the Connecting Growers programme, and despite the many challenges faced by the company, it says it is delighted with the efforts that have been made to realise competitive prices for growers.

Future perspective

Gerard Backx: “We are focussed on growth. Although this process has been hindered over the past year, nothing is broken. HZPC did have to implement re-organisation at several locations within the organisation and this has unfortunately impacted on the number of available workplaces. “It is hard when you have to make decisions you would rather not make. Thanks to the robust foundations of the organisation, however, we were able to limit this as much as possible but it does not detract from the fact that we would have rather found ourselves in a different situation.

“Luckily, HZPC has a healthy foundation. Furthermore, our presence in many countries has actually been strengthened over the past year, as have product packages and interesting projects.”

A great example of this is the recently presented Even Greener, a selection of sustainable varieties with a lower impact on the environment, Backx says.

“Thanks to these positives and the energy that we feel within the company, we can move towards the future with confidence towards further growth.”

Source: HZPC B.V.

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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