2017/2018 was a good year for HZPC, even if it didn’t quite live up to the previous year. Sales of seed potatoes were somewhat more difficult primarily due to the lower price of ware potatoes in Europe. Our business in Asia was also faced with a few setbacks.
Despite this, the overall volume of seed potatoes that HZPC sold and sold under licence worldwide rose from 797,000 tons to 816,000 tons. This is a limited increase just over 2% compared with last year. HZPC succeeded in retaining or increasing its market share in almost all market segments. Globally, our company has a strong position. The turnover for HZPC Holding remained virtually steady at 300 million euros, with the gross margin decreasing from 59 million euros to 55 million euros. Costs were well managed and have remained at pretty much the same level.
The result after tax has reduced from 8.5 million euros last year to 4.7 million euros. Nonetheless, the profits realised in 2017/2018 for a commercial business such as ours were perfectly acceptable. HZPC Holding has a good capital position with solvency of 40.2%. The return on shareholders’ equity is 9.6%. The dividend for shareholders for 2017/2018 is very respectable. In total, it will be 2.4 million euros lower than our previous exceptional year, which amounts to a difference of around 3.00 euros per share. This should not come as too much of a surprise to our certificate holders.
‘The potato sector is used to ups and downs’
Gerard Backx, CEO
HZPC has a range of highly-qualified employees; it is a very international group of people. Their expertise and skills are a vital part of business progress.
It is not always easy to find exceptional talent and the company works hard in this area.
CEO Gerard Backx: ‘We have noticed that many young people feel attracted to our company as HZPC aims to create a better world. Our mission speaks for itself.’
Mr Backx holds regular sessions with groups of employees. During these, experiences are shared and the passion that employees have for their jobs is discussed. The CEO also refers back to the values of HZPC:
• Think in terms of solutions
• Be creative
• Bear the long term in mind
• Dare to make decisions
• Dare to take responsibility
• Be committed to the worldwide food supply
Gerard Backx: ‘HZPC believes it is important that its employees regularly check their own standards and values against those of the company. I would very much like them to think about whether this is the organisation they want to work for. And, of course, I sincerely hope that they are able to answer ‘yes’.’