Business groups 2018-11-12T17:24:56+00:00

Business groups

2017 was a good financial year for our group and all of our subsidiaries. This shows in the financial results as well as in our achievements in other areas like cost management and sustainability.

Many millions of tonnes of sugar beet are processed into granulated sugar in Suiker Unie’s factories every year. From growing the sugar beet to delivering sugar and other products to its customers at home and abroad, the company insists on high quality and sustainability throughout the supply chain.

In the Netherlands the beet are processed in sugar factories in Dinteloord and Vierverlaten. The company also has two speciality factories: the one in Roosendaal makes mainly liquid products and the one in Puttershoek makes dry specialities. A third sugar factory is located in Anklam in the northeast of Germany. From its home market in the Netherlands, Suiker Unie is spreading its wings ever wider, especially in northwest Europe.

Performance and results in 2017
Suiker Unie’s profit for the year was higher than that for 2016. Its performance was underpinned by high sugar prices in the first half of the year and favourable prices for its other products. About 1.5 million tonnes of sugar were produced during the 2017 campaign. The abundant harvests and high international sugar stocks resulted in historically low prices on the world market. The knock-on effect in the European market and in the sales contracts Suiker Unie concluded during the year will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the business group’s results in 2018.

Sugar production is increasing throughout the world. Stocks are high and so is the pressure on prices. Suiker Unie expects them to remain high for the foreseeable future. Suiker Unie has been extending its market to European countries with a shortage of sugar for several years. A hard Brexit may lead to Suiker Unite exporting less to the United Kingdom. The outlook in southern Europe is promising. In the longer term North Africa and the Middle East may also become export markets. The sugar factories have the advantage of being located close to Dutch ports that can ship sugar in sea-going containers.

Investments to increase the processing capacity of the sugar factories in Dinteloord and Vierverlaten and reduce costs were brought to a conclusion in 2017. The final phase involved the renewal of the washing houses. Investments will be made in further efficiency gains and sustainable production methods in the years ahead. Suiker Unie has taken significant steps in recent decades to structurally reduce its energy consumption. Its two sugar factories in the Netherlands produced more than 23 million m3 of green gas and 4 million MW of electricity in 2017.

A larger area under beet, a harvest of more than 8 million sugar beet with an average sugar content of 16.6% added up to record sugar production in the Netherlands in 2017. The average sugar yield came to 15.5 tonnes per hectare. The 2017 campaign in the Netherlands began on 11 September and ended on 10 February 2018. It will therefore go down in the history books as the longest beet campaign in the Netherlands so far.

The Aviko group is a world leader in the production and sale of a wide range of potato products that satisfy the wishes of customers all over the world. The company exports to more than 100 countries. The product range includes fresh and frozen fries, a variety of potato specialities, steamed, pre-cooked potato products and granules and flakes. Aviko supplies the foodservice, supermarket and industrial channels.

Performance and results in 2017
Aviko had an excellent year in 2017 and earned a slightly higher profit than in 2016. Both the fries operation and the granule and flake activity, Aviko Rixona, performed well. A structural cut in its costs boosted the group’s competitiveness.

Aviko is buying more potatoes on contract. Contracts might be slightly more expensive to the group but they add stability to the cost structure. The group was able to pass on most of the higher purchasing prices during 2017. Higher priority was given to added value products that stand out in the market, such as specialities for air fryers. As this segment is growing faster than the traditional fries market, Aviko will continue with this policy. Aviko Rixona took a new drum dryer for flakes into operation in Venray This investment has enabled it to meet the growing demand for flakes in certain parts of the world.

Potato products are appearing more often on the menu. Potato consumption is increasing sharply outside Europe. Sales in central and eastern Europe are developing well and the south European market is also growing. Aviko Norden’s results for the year were similar to those for 2016. Production of both flakes and fries in China was up to expectations. Demand for fries there is currently outstripping supply The Far East is therefore an interesting export market for European producers. The programme launched in 2017 to improve the performance of the facility in Amberger (Germany) has not yet had the desired results. Everything is being done to improve its performance in 2018.

Aviko invests in its people as well as its production facilities. Better use is being made of its production capacity and more is being produced by the same number of people. The products are known for their consistently high quality. Aviko will focus on further cost savings in its logistics and product storage operations in 2018.

Sensus produces and supplies the innovative food ingredients inulin and oligofructose. These are prebiotic fibres that are perfectly suited to replace sugar and fats in foodstuffs that are essential to a healthy and nutritious diet. The company has two production facilities, in Roosendaal and Zwolle, where it makes not only standard products but also completely new concepts and applications in cooperation with its customers. The customers are professional buyers in the food industry in Europe, North America and Asia, working mainly in the bread and pastries, dairy, breakfast cereal and baby food industries.

Performance and results in 2017
Sensus reported a slightly lower profit in 2017 than in 2016. Sales of inulin were higher on the European market. They were boosted by the growing demand for sugar substitutes in foodstuffs. Sensus expects this trend to continue in the coming period. The outlook on the European market is therefore encouraging.

Prospects on the North American market are not as bright. For various reasons, sales there were lower than expected. They were affected by certain customers modifying their formulae at the expense of inulin. The US Food and Drug Administration, moreover, has still not taken a decision on inulin’s status and the product cannot yet be listed as an approved dietary fibre.

Inulin sales in Asia were stable. The baby and infant formula market is a large but mature sales segment. Sensus has identified other growth opportunities in the Asian market in the form of applications for food supplements and products for healthier gut flora.

Sensus ran a good chicory campaign in 2017. Cleaning the chicory before they were supplied reduced the amount of tare soil attaching to the roots. It also reduced the number of transport movements: limiting the transportation of tare complements Sensus’s sustainability policy
Strides were also taken towards the target of 10 tonnes of inulin per hectare by 2023. Sensus is investing in crop optimisation and in assisting its growers. The abundant harvest in 2017 was processed quickly and produced high quality inulin. Stocks of end products accordingly increased again. Fewer hectares will be contracted in 2018.

SVZ supplies high quality fruit and vegetable ingredients to food manufacturers all over the world. It produces purees, juices and concentrates for a variety of applications in drinks, dairy products, ice cream, jam, cakes, soups and baby food. The company has more than 150 years of experience processing fruit and vegetables. This wealth of experience in combination with modern factories and sustainability initiatives guarantee the consistent high quality of SVZ’s ingredients. SVZ tailors its services and products to meet the customers’ wishes.

Performance and results in 2017
SVZ’s result for 2017 was lower than that for 2016. Modest volume growth was achieved in the European market but volumes in the USA were slightly lower. The trend in all SVZ’s sales markets is towards natural, healthy and authentic products. Red fruit and vegetable juices performed particularly well.
Sales of vegetable juices such as leaf, carrot, red beet and pomegranate juice were higher in Asia, the United States and Europe. This favourable market development did not feed through directly into higher turnover. In Europe, SVZ had to cope with rising pressure on prices due to key customers driving down their own costs. In addition, raspberry prices and margins were lower after a very strong 2016. This decline was largely offset by a sharp improvement in the operating profit of SVZ USA in response to the focus on process improvement and initiatives to increase staff engagement.

SVZ joined the international Sustainable Juice Covenant in 2017. The aim of this worldwide initiative is to make the entire fruit and vegetable cultivation and procurement chain 100% sustainable by 2030. Customers are increasingly demanding more sustainability. SVZ is convinced that the initiative will enable it to source sufficient sustainable raw materials of good quality in the long term. SVZ invests in the know-how and skills of its growers by offering them training courses, having more of them grow on contract, keeping good crop records and offering a fair price.

Duynie extracts as much value from organic co-products as possible. Its raw materials are mainly residual flows from the food industry, chiefly from European sources but also from elsewhere. Raw materials are becoming scarcer all over the world and sustainability – in all respects and in all production processes – is one of society’s urgent demands. Duynie therefore upgrades co-products into core products that can be used in all manner of applications.

Performance and results in 2017
Duynie turned in a higher profit in 2017 than in the previous year. Duynie Group processes more than 4 million tonnes of co-products (residuals) from the food industry every year.
The animal feed activity is by far its largest by volume and is still growing, thanks chiefly to expansion in Central Europe. Sales of pressed pulp reached record levels at good prices during the year.

Novidon, a producer of starch and starch products, also had a good year in 2017. Sales of wallpaper paste were substantially higher. After being awarded the necessary certification at the beginning of January 2018, the company began producing starch for food applications in the same month. Demand for starch and starch modifications is developing well and the outlook is positive.

Duynie Ingredients develops and produces ingredients for pet foods, focusing on the higher end of the market. This is a growing and interesting segment, especially for suppliers that can respond to trends such as organic, vegetable and gluten-free pet foods. Further investments will be made in production facilities for these products in 2018. AgriBioSource is a trader in biomass for biogas and water treatment plants. This unit had a good year.

A digital trading platform for animal feed was introduced in 2017 under the name CheapFeed. Despite the low level of publicity, more and more customers are active on the platform. The platform was opened up to third parties in early 2018 in order to increase the supply of raw materials.