Background
Report of the Executive Board

Creating Value

Essential data

 

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
x 1 million euro          
           
Results          
Net turnover 283.9 229.2 280.0 282.7 241.6
Gross margin 43.2 39.1 45,8 47.5 41.3
Result after tax 8.6 4.4 1.0 9.2 4.5
Depreciation tangible fixed assets 2.1 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.7
Investments in tangible fixed assets 1.0 2.9 2.1 2.8 3.4
           
Balance sheet          
Group equity 37.1 38.6 38.8 42.3 44.0
Cash flow from operating activities 3.4 0.5 12.3 18.6 5.8
Cash and cash equivalents 20.6 12.4 17.8 32.9 27.6
Growers depositis 20.0 16.6 20.8 23.8 20.9
Total assets 79.8 82.9 91.1 96.4 94.1
           
Group equity as % of total assets 46.5% 46.6% 42.6% 43.9% 46.8%

R&D and innovations

HZPC continues to invest in R&D and innovation in order to meet future customer wishes and to realise our growth strategy. In recent years, investment in R&D has increased.

We have established a new company, Solentum BV, to stimulate and commercialise different solutions to deliver better harvests for our growers and better production processes for our customers.


Read more about Solentum B.V. *

Turnover

Over the last decade HZPC has seen significant growth in tonnage. For the total tonnage volumes we aggregate seed potatoes sold and tons produced under license. In 2013/14, HZPC sold or licensed to cultivate 676,000 tons. In 2014/15 that figure dropped to 642,000, however HZPC has not changed its plans for continued growth.
The expectation is that HZPC shall in 2015/16 again see a growth to somewhere round 700,000 tons. This would be an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent. Net turnover has lowered by 14.5 percent due to lower sales volumes. Due to market conditions, sales volumes in the Processing and Retail Fresh market were lower, while Traditional had lower sales volumes in North Africa but higher sales in Asia.

Margins, operating result and net earnings

As a result of these market conditions, HZPC’s gross margin has fallen 13.1 percent to EUR 41.3 million. HZPC aims not only to increase its tonnage, but also the gross margin, which is determined by the net income minus all expenses for raw materials, services of third parties, transport, loading and packaging expenses. In accordance with agreements with seed potato growers in the various production areas, the margin per ton of potatoes that HZPC realises in 2014/15 is less than in a year like 2013/14, when a larger percentage of the seed potato harvest could be sold as seed potatoes.

Net profit (result after tax) fell from EUR 9.2 million to EUR 4.5 million. This net income resulted in a Return on Equity (ROE) of 10.6 percent.

HZPC’s personnel costs have increased. In addition, HZPC has made more use than last year of external consultants for special projects.

Tax

At the end of the fiscal year 2014/15 HZPC made an important agreement with the Dutch tax authorities. This concerns an ‘Advanced Pricing Agreement’, whereby HZPC has undertaken to ensure that for the coming five years it meets international regulations for corporate taxation in the area of transfer pricing. The effective tax rate percentage for the Group has risen slighly form 16.9 to 17.1 percent. This is explained by the fact that last year we had an exceptional tax advantage and in the current year the possible deffered tax advantage on compensable tax losses abroad has not been included.

Investments

Our invested capital at the end of the financial year 2014/15 was EUR 24.3 million, an increase of EUR 2.3 million. In the past financial year investments have predominantly been in ICT and R&D facilities, as well as our investment in the joint venture in India.

Cashflow and solvency

In the financial year 2014/15, the cashflow from operating activities of HZPC reduced from EUR 18.6 to EUR 5.8 million. This was due to a lower operating result of EUR 5.2 million compared to an operating income of EUR 11.0 million in 2013/14. The solvency of the business has risen from 43.9 percent in 2013/14 to 46.8 percent at year end 2014/15. This increase is explained by the net income in conjunction with the decrease of total assets. The healthy balance sheet total, in conjunction with a good liquidity position, has enabled HZPC to achieve its international growth strategy in a responsible manner.

Financing

In January 2015, a major change occurred in the financing of the Group. This new financing means that all financial participations in Europe are interconnected in such a way that mutual liquidities can be offset against each other at lower bank costs. HZPC has complied with all loan covenants that were made at year-end against the standby credit facility of EUR 15 million.

Dividend and shareholder returns

Our dividend payout targets a dividend of two-thirds of our net income. HZPC is proposing to pay out EUR 3.75 per certificate share for the past financial year. The value of HZPC certificates rose sharply again last year, despite the difficult market conditions for seed potatoes and expected resultant lower profits. Also in the light of the low interest rates, the share price increase and excessive demand for certificates are a vote of confidence in HZPC.

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