A deep dive with our new CEO & CFO - greenyard.group
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A deep dive with our new CEO & CFO – Francis Kint & Nicolas De Clercq

As our 40th anniversary year comes to a close, we join our CEO Francis Kint and our CFO Nicolas De Clercq for a deep dive into the financial year and an outlook on what the future will bring. Both have been appointed as the new Executive Management during the previous financial year. Nicolas joined the company in September 2023, while Francis moved from his role as Managing Director of the Frozen division to the position of CEO in January 2024.


Greenyard celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2023, reaffirming its pioneering role in the world of fruit and vegetables. How have you experienced these celebrations?

Francis: “It is a great legacy. From very humble beginnings, Hein Deprez built Greenyard into a game-changing food-tech multinational. Revisiting the highlights, it is amazing that our unique vision was there from the very beginning. Hein always had his eye on the end-consumer and realised an entirely new business model was needed for our sector. It was an honour to have witnessed a significant part of that history first-hand.”

Nicolas: “For me, there was an immediate connection with the entrepreneurial spirit and the unique purpose of the company. Combined with my experience at a listed company with a strong family as shareholder and my personal background as the son of a grower, all the pieces of the puzzle came together.”

Looking back on the Fiscal Year 2023-24, what are your most important takeaways?

Nicolas: “Our financial results speak for themselves. We have once again taken significant steps in both turnover, volumes and Adjusted EBITDA, while the leverage decreased below 2. like-for-like sales increased with +10,9% to € 5 072,4 m, the first time we hit the 5 billion mark. In Long Fresh, turnover increased with 13,3% to € 992,2 m. We see significant growth in revenue thanks to growing volumes and we have been able to pass on increased costs for energy and labour to our customers. In Fresh, like-for-like sales increased with 10,3% to 4 080,1 million euro.”

Francis: “We have been able to grow our business and outperform the market in all segments, and we are thus growing our market shares. In Long Fresh, there is a strong appetite for frozen and preserved products, particularly in the convenience category. They not only offer value-for-money in times of inflation, but they also answer the need for time-saving food solutions. We also see a change in perception towards private-label products. Consumers realise these are not the cheap products of yesteryear, but products that can rival and even outperform many A-Brands when it comes to quality, taste and innovation. Greenyard is the perfect partner to help retailers tap into this trend.”

“The growth in the Fresh division was also remarkable, as the overall European market for fresh produce was showing a decline over the same period. Growth not only comes from additional business at existing customers, but also from the new customers that have joined our Integrated Customer Relationship (ICR) model, including Aldi Nord and Dohle HIT. It’s proof that our business model and our way of working is appreciated in the market.”

How can Greenyard capitalise on the growing demand for healthy food? And how will this contribute to the growth of the company, today and in the future?

Nicolas: “We are clearly on the right side of the fence. A major shift to pure-plant food is inevitable, both for people’s health and the sustainability of our food production. We have the wind in our sails. And even if the market stagnates temporarily, or if people down-trade to cheaper alternatives, we are able to grow on our own strength because we have a portfolio of pure-plant products in every segment and for every budget. A great advantage that ensures we have a robust basis, no matter the circumstances.”

Francis: “As a food-tech industry leader, we have the knowhow and the industrial capacity to develop and produce the products that are needed for this transition. We turn natural ingredients into pure-plant food experiences that bring real added value for consumers. Over the years, we have successfully introduced many ground-breaking innovations together with our customers, including our meal-kits which have become part of the cooking habits of millions of consumers in Europe. We have more than 1,000 convenience products in our portfolio, and we’re adding new ones every day. Last year, we even made a move into an entirely new category with the frozen, pure-plant snack Gigi Gelato, a healthy and guilt-free indulgence. We are already disrupting that category today.”

Nicolas: “Targeted investments in technology and innovation enable us to tap into new consumer trends, particularly in our Long Fresh division. Last year, we concluded another round of investments in our Prepared division, including a brand-new, state-of-the-art sauce kitchen. These investments will not only boost capacity for our convenience products but will also speed up product development to further diversify our product portfolio, always in line with what consumers are willing to pay for. With the acquisition of Crème de la Crème, we added even more knowhow in the production of dairy-free desserts to support our entry into the promising market of frozen snacks.”

Nicolas 2024

The last few years we have seen major disruptions in worldwide supply chains. How does this affect Greenyard’s business and how do we ensure the availability of our products?

Nicolas: “Scarcity of produce is becoming an important issue, that’s true. Only a few years ago, it was unthinkable we would be seeing empty shelves in supermarkets. Yet here we are, in 2024, with geopolitical tensions on the rise and the effects of climate change taking hold. Extreme weather conditions also affect our growers, for sure. Scarcity means that prices change, of course, but the scale of our operations and the geographical spread of our sourcing regions mean we can mitigate these risks.”

Francis: “Retailers are increasingly aware of these issues and the importance of our integrated collaboration is only growing. Despite some tough negotiations about price increases, many customers have thanked us for being able to deliver the volumes that we promised. This is not a given anymore in today’s market. The old model of trading and tendering will not fill the shelves in times of scarcity. Our long-term partnerships with thousands of growers around the world will.”

Finally, what do you think makes Greenyard an inherently sustainable and future-proof company?

Nicolas: “It all starts with our core products. Fruit and vegetables have a much lower environmental impact than any other food category, while providing an unrivalled variety and nutritional value. It’s simply the food of the future, and they are delicious too. But it’s also in our unique fork-to-field business model. By connecting growers and retailers in a seamless, data-driven supply chain, we make the match between what is grown in the field and what is demanded in the market. It’s a model that reduces waste, improves quality and ensures healthy products remain affordable for everyone.”

Francis: “We also should not forget the importance of our people. Despite our global scale and all the advanced technology we are using, our business is still essentially a people’s business, based on close collaboration and long-term partnerships. But most of all, it’s about passion for great, healthy food. I’d like to thank all of our employees and stakeholders for helping us realise our purpose and I invite everyone reading this to join us on our journey to a pure-plant future!”

Annual Report 2023-2024
Our integrated Annual Report combines commercial and financial reporting to inform shareholders, employees and the general public about Greenyard’s 2023-2024 financial year.