Last financial year was very different than anticipated, in many ways. Back in April 2021, at the start of our previous financial year, no one could have imagined the global macro-economic disruptions we have witnessed since. Contrary to general belief, the corona pandemic did not wind down in 2021, but reached its absolute peak in the fall. All over the world, this caused a myriad of complexities in every supply chain and directly impacted the availability of labour due to national quarantine measures.
Additionally, the world was confronted with an inflationary context unseen for several generations. It provoked discussions at the central banks on interest rate hikes, for the first time in two decades. The impact on the global economy was massive, with an explosion of costs for energy, raw materials, labour, transport and packaging.
And then, in February this year, the world was shocked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A horrifying conflict and a human tragedy, right here in Europe. The ongoing war is a catalyst for further cost increases and resource scarcity, with a strong effect on food availability and prices.
Any one of these events would have made for a challenging year, but having all of them in the course of one financial year is something else entirely. No company, no industry was prepared for this. Even in this unusual year, we showed to be a reliable partner throughout the chain, delivering on what we had promised before we even knew about these unexpected turns of events.
“Greenyard has shown to be a reliable partner, even when faced with the toughest circumstances in decades. We delivered on what we promised. This performance illustrates the strength of our unique business model, built on close and long-term collaboration throughout the entire food value chain.”
- Marc Zwaaneveld, co-CEO Greenyard
A solid performance in every way
Faced with the toughest circumstances in decades, we gathered forces with our grower network and our customers. We showed agility and creativity, using the long-term strength of collaboration rather than the apparent power of competition. Through the tireless efforts of our 9 000 committed colleagues, we ensured that our healthy, plant-based food products remained available for consumers across the world.
It was a collective effort that paid off in our financial performance. Building on the previous year of strong acceleration, we delivered on the targets we set out at the beginning of the financial year. Our performance has been a solid one, confirmed by a strong last six months of our financial year.
We continued on our path to sustainable and profitable growth. Net sales amounted to € 4 400,5m billion euro, an increase of 1,4% on a like-for-like basis. Adjusted EBITDA has risen from € 156,9m to € 166,5m. Our leverage ratio further decreased to 2,4x, realising a ratio between 2,0x and 2,5x earlier than we had promised. Due to the current very volatile times across many industries, it is not possible to give a precise guidance for the upcoming financial year 22/23. However, and in line with what we announced during the Capital Markets Days in December 2021, we repeat our ambitions of € 200-210m Adjusted EBITDA and € 5bn net sales by 24/25.
These results illustrate the strength of our unique business model in a context where many industries, including ours, suffered from the macro-economic circumstances. Close and integrated collaboration with growers and customers, and a focus on long-term relationships have enabled us to deliver these results. Our holistic approach to health and sustainability has proven to be the very foundation for our company’s performance.
Strategy 2030 – plant-based is the future
Navigating through these extraordinary circumstances was one thing. At the same time, we never lost sight of our long-term strategy. We never stopped thinking about our future. On the contrary. The year also marked another milestone for Greenyard: in December 2021, we presented our Strategy for 2030. Our ambition is clear: to improve life through plant-based food experiences, connecting healthy lifestyles and sustainable food value chains.
The time is now. People are increasingly health-conscious and they are genuinely concerned about the state of our planet. They are looking for healthy food products, but they do not want to compromise on taste, quality and convenience. Sustainability is a key priority, for everyone.
And rightly so. Every day, it is becoming increasingly clear that our current eating habits and food production systems are jeopardising our planet for future generations. We need to make fundamental changes in the way we produce and consume food. Part of the answer is not even that complex: by simply adding more fruit and vegetables to our diet, we can reduce the environmental footprint significantly and lead healthier lives. Plant-based is the future.
It is our duty to play a leading role in this global transition to healthier and more sustainable food systems. We are committed to make it easier for consumers to make the right choices by broadening our plant-based portfolio of convenience products. After all, why shouldn’t the healthy choice be an easy one?
Part of our DNA – starting from a strong base
We have always been, and still are, right at the heart of the transition towards more plant-based and healthy food. We have been actively promoting the consumption of fruit and vegetables as a healthy and sustainable alternative for almost 40 years. And it is what we continue to do today, and on which we will accelerate tomorrow.
Plant-based food has been part of our DNA since the start of our company. But we are much more than just a plant-based company. Fruit and vegetables – the plants themselves – are our core products, in all their pure, natural power. We believe in fruit and vegetables as the centre of the plate, where they belong based on their own merits. This is what we mean when we talk about plant-based at Greenyard – whether in this report or anywhere else.
Our current portfolio already encompasses more than 1 000 purely plant-based convenience products. All of them are low-processed, close-to-crop and super-healthy. By further expanding these, we will capture a fair share of this double-digit growing market, which is expected to grow to around € 150 billion by 2030. We expect growth will be mainly organic, and we are open to targeted M&A opportunities to further fuel our strategy.
"Plant-based food has been part of our DNA since day one. This gives us a head start. And we are much more than just a plant-based company. Fruit and vegetables – the plants themselves – are our core product, in all their natural power. They belong on the centre of every plate, based on their own merits."
- Hein Deprez, co-CEO Greenyard
Innovation and technology will be vital in our continued long-term growth and will be the focus for many investments in the coming years. We have already taken important steps in this domain last year: just think of the high-tech coating lines in our facilities in France, Poland or the United Kingdom, on top of the already existing ones in Belgium and also the citrus line in Ridderkerk (the Netherlands), one of the most advanced of its kind.
As we manage the entire supply chain, from fork to field, we have a unique level of knowledge and access to a vast amount of data. It enables us to match demand and supply, increase transparency and ensure fair and correct pricing. Combining these new technologies with our global scale and decades of experience, we are perfectly positioned to embrace our role as a frontrunner in our industry.
Needless to say, we prioritise our responsibility towards our planet in every step we take. We owe it to ourselves, as nature is the main provider of our products. If we want future generations to enjoy them, we need to do everything we can to protect and nurture our planet. Moreover, we firmly believe that sustainability – in every meaning of the word – directly contributes to economic value. We will be expanding on our efforts in this domain later in the year, when we publish our dedicated Sustainability Report, following the steep sustainability ambitions we introduced last year.
All the ingredients are there
Being a global player in the world of fruit and vegetables comes with great responsibility. If we want to make sure healthy and sustainable food is readily available for everyone, we need to work with everyone in the food value chain. At Greenyard, we have all the ingredients at our disposal. Our proven and incomparable business model connects 9 000 passionate people, a global network of committed growers and long-term relationships with the world’s strongest retailers.
This makes us confident that we will achieve our ambitions and our financial goals of reaching € 5bn net sales by 24/25. Even within the current unpredictable market conditions. We invite you to discover the progress we have made so far, along with the endless possibilities that fruit and vegetables offer for a healthier and more sustainable future.
Hein Deprez, Marc Zwaaneveld, co-CEOs Greenyard