Greenyard tops debt mountain | The time

Greenyard tops debt mountain | The time
Greenyard tops debt mountain | The time

The fruit and vegetable giant is gaining more control over its debt burden and promises to speed up a major debt refinancing.

Greenyard

took advantage of his role as covid winner in the first half of the year to ease his heavy indebtedness. The ‘fresh vegetables’ segment in particular is benefiting from the covid crisis thanks to the increase in the number of home-cooked meals.

Thanks to the improved profitability and cash flow, the listed greengrocer was able to significantly reduce his debt mountain in the past six months. The debt mountain amounted to four times the annual gross operating profit (EBITDA) at the end of September, compared to 7.2 times six months earlier.

This acute crisis phase is now over, which can also be deduced from the stock price (see graph). The co-CEOs have set themselves the goal of further reducing debt by the end of the financial year. By March 2022, debts may be up to three times operating profit and must remain permanently below that threshold thereafter.

In December 2021, a significant portion of the debts will reach maturity. “We aim to complete the refinancing before the end of the current financial year,” said the press release. So before March 31. The aim is clearly to postpone the maturity date of the debts further into the future and thus give Greenyard more breathing space.

In terms of turnover and profit, Greenyard scores slightly above its own expectations with a significant improvement on both fronts. In the first six months of its broken financial year, the company saw its turnover grow by 10 percent to 2.2 billion euros.

Gross operating profit (EBITDA) rose by 19 percent compared to the same period last year and ended at 56.6 million euros. Net – after deduction of, among other things, 22 million interest charges – Greenyard is narrowly in the black with a profit of 0.8 million euros. A year earlier, there was still a loss of 45 million euros.

Greenyard is not increasing its forecasts any further. The group remains committed to its previously (already increased) target of writing a gross operating profit of 106 to 110 million euros in the books this year.

Durability

The corona crisis is causing the vegetable group from Sint-Katelijne-Waver to reflect on its values. Deprez’s company sets itself four new sustainability criteria around climate action, water consumption, raw materials use and waste recycling. It intends to become a leader in the sector.

“Our sustainability efforts will go hand in hand with value creation,” says the press release. Co-CEOs Hein Deprez and Marc Zwaaneveld are looking for a sustainability manager to shape the new goals.

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