Europe, UK, Ireland, News October 2022

HZPC CEO positive, says ‘results good, and company back on course’

In the 2021/2022 fiscal year, HZPC managed to bring its results back on course after a challenging 2020/2021 fiscal year.

Says Gerard Backx, CEO HZPC: “Times remain uncertain. The fact that in 2021/2022 we brought the profit figure back in line with our ambitions makes us cautiously positive about the results for the coming years.”

On Thursday 6 October 2022, the Supervisory Board of HZPC Holding B.V. discussed the annual accounts for the 2021/2022 fiscal year. On the same day, the General Meeting of Shareholders determined the annual accounts. HZPC’s turnover was €350 million, compared to €312 million the previous year. In 2021/2022, HZPC sold almost 900,000 tonnes of seed potatoes directly or through licensees.

Good results and higher dividend payout

The result came in 2021/2022 in at €7 million. In 2020/2021, the result was still €1.4 million. The results of both years does not include the cost of the Connecting Growers programme.

The programme costs €1.5 million this year. The Supervisory Board made €4.7 million available for dividend payment. The General Meeting of Shareholders was able to set the dividend at €6 per certificate, compared to €1 in the previous year.

Improved market conditions and reduced costs

Financial year 2020/2021 was particularly difficult due to the corona crisis and the impact of the Lebanon crisis. HZPC was forced to reorganise, which resulted in lower cost increases from financial year 2021/2022. In addition, the improvement in the profit figure was the result of better market conditions that increased sales. At the same time, after the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine on 24 February, net sales were close to zero.

Usually, HZPC still manages to sell a few per cent after February. The war caused increasing uncertainty among ware potato growers, and at the same time, prices of several cereal products rose. This affected HZPC’s results.

Strong growth foreseen outside of Europe

“What we have learnt from the past few years is that HZPC is a tremendously resilient company,” says HZPC CEO, Gerard Backx.

“The world has become more unpredictable. And yet we manage to hold our own in uncertain times. I am therefore cautiously positive about the coming financial year with more sales and a similar level of profit. We are facing high inflation and energy costs, forcing growers and potato processors to make different choices than we are used to.

“The war in Ukraine has not yet stopped. Its effect on the potato market is difficult to predict. There is uncertainty. But one thing is certain: the demand for sufficient food remains. We foresee substantial growth in countries outside of Europe, such as India, China, Africa and America. In recent years, we took important steps in the development of new varieties and invested in market development. This will begin to bear fruit in the coming year. I have full confidence in that,” says Gerard Backx.

Source: HZPC

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