Healthy financial result in 2013 for VION
2 May 2014 – Through the sale of VION Ingredients, VION Food achieved a healthy result for the 2013 financial year, increasing group equity to € 425 million. The 2013 financial year was an eventful one for VION. At the start of the year, it became clear that the measures taken in 2012 for restoring the financial health of the organisation were insufficient for reducing the debt position. In April 2013, it was announced that the two main activities, Food and Ingredients, would be made independent. Action was taken in 2013 to improve the company’s competitiveness and future prospects.
Restructuring and divestments
In addition to selling VION Ingredients, the emphasis in 2013 was on restructuring the food activities in the Netherlands and Germany. This involved the closure of a number of production sites in the two countries. Within VION Food Netherlands, pork production at the Helmond site was discontinued in September 2013. Necessary changes were also implemented within VION Food Germany in order to bring the food activities back to a healthy position through investments, integration and reorganisations. Financial position Through the sale of VION Ingredients, VION Food is starting with increased group equity and its own financing. The book profit from this sale totalled € 781 million, increasing group equity to a total of € 425 million. Once the Ingredients sale has been finalised, the financial basis for the independent VION Food will be formed by a solvency of more than 40%.
Outlook for 2014
Through the sale of Ingredients, the foundation has been laid for the independence of VION Food. This means that 2014 will concentrate on consolidation and the implementation of a new strategic course for the future. In this, the focus will be on food safety and quality, combined with the improvement of operational and commercial policies. The task that lies ahead for the management and staff of VION is to make VION operate as one market-oriented and socially responsible company, in which all stakeholders are confident.
New structure for the Supervisory Board
All the members of the Supervisory Board stood down at the shareholders’ meeting held on 24 April 2014. At the meeting, the board of the Stichting Administratiekantoor SBT decided that the Supervisory Board should be restructured. The composition of the Supervisory Board was reduced from eight to six members, with two members to be appointed from ZLTO and four members being independent, self-employed professionals. This means that the governance structure of VION Food will continue to be professionalised and strengthened in 2014.
Supervisory Board 2014
Hans Huijbers – chair, ZLTO, reappointed on 24 April 2014. Toon van Hoof – member, ZLTO, reappointed on 24 April 2014. Ton van der Laan – new member, appointed on 24 April 2014. The recruitment process for the three other external supervisory directors has been started.
Michiel Herkemij, CEO, VION Food: “This change to the governance structure is in line with the new strategy for VION Food. I am pleased with the reappointment of Hans Huijbers and Toon van Hoof, which guarantees continuity. I am also happy that Ton van der Laan is joining the Supervisory Board and I look forward to working with him. Over the coming weeks, I expect to be able to announce that the Supervisory Board is complete.”