Record sales wilt for JZ Flowers but new Aldi deal underlines strong position of East Yorkshire specialist

Supermarket-supplying JZ Flowers saw sales fall by almost £18 million in its last financial year, after a bumper bloom in 2021.

The East Yorkshire packaging and distribution specialist’s turnover dropped 11 per cent from £155.3 million to £137.4 million in 2022, a year on from record results. Profits did however marginally improve for the retail supplier, from £1.7 million to £1.8 million, while a new four year, £400 million deal with Aldi brought confidence and cheer for the Newport-headquartered team.

Staff numbers increased from 740 to 774, with the uplift focused on production, however, plans to close a Lincolnshire pack house when the lease expires later this year have been outlined. It has yet to be confirmed what the impact on headcount will be.

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A venture into Turkey has also been brought to an end, with high inflation and a weakening Lira highlighted, with demand softening to the point where the business was no longer viable.

In the strategic report accompanying the recently filed results, finance director Joanne Davison said: “2022 was a further challenging year. The group experienced a decrease in sales volumes whilst faced with the challenges of rising costs, particularly the impact of rising fuel and energy prices both directly and indirectly within the supply chain, whilst supply in the labour market remains a challenge as a result of Brexit.

“Despite the challenges faced during the period, the business continued to deliver and uphold our high service levels to our customers. As a result Aldi UK, Ireland, and Aldi Süd KG have signed a combined new four-year sole supplier contract with the group. The new deal will see JZ Flowers supply circa 200 million bunches of cut flowers to Aldi stores across the UK and Ireland. The directors are satisfied that the group remains in a strong position going into 2023.”

As part of the business’ “ongoing focus to remain competitive and operate efficiently” it has also reviewed the production capacity and capabilities at sites, reducing the operating footprint at Newport, while not renewing the lease at Moulton, just outside Spalding, which expires in December.

“At the same time we will invest into the remaining sites, so we can increase the production capacity and leverage further packing at source capabilities where appropriate,” Ms Davison added. “These savings and efficiency plans will help strengthen our position for the future.”

The Dianthus Business Park headquarters and main production site was established by JZ founder Jelle Zwemstra in 2010 as several sites were consolidated, but advances in production saw excess space marketed late last year, ahead of it becoming surplus to requirements in May.

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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