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Produce World Well Placed for Growth

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Produce World Well Placed for Growth

Produce World Well Placed for Growth
March 22
15:46 2011

Despite a 68% fall in operating profit to £2.3 million and a drop in sales to £218 million during 2010, leading UK fresh produce company Produce World is well placed to deliver continued growth over the next few years, according to chairman Neil Fraser, who joined the company at the beginning of 2011. “In just five years sales of the Produce World Group have grown more than two-and-a-half times, from around £87 million in 2005 to £218 million in 2010. Since I joined, I have been extremely impressed by the work that is being done to ensure that Produce World continues to grow by best meeting the needs both of its wholesale customers and of consumers.”

Neil Fraser adds: “The directors have a vision which goes beyond being the best fresh produce company in its sectors in Europe. We are bringing in expertise which will help to ensure we are at the cutting edge of best practice in the food industry, and in international commerce in general.”

As well as appointing Neil Fraser as chairman at the beginning of 2011, Produce World has also announced the appointment of Bob Moody as group chief operating officer. Bob Moody has a background in international sourcing for multi-billion dollar, multi-national businesses. He will be responsible for the further development of the group’s factories and supply chain. At the same time Produce World has re-structured its commercial department under group commercial director Jason Burgess.

“During the past year we have fully integrated the brassica business, which was previously part of Marshalls, and we have been examining the best structure to deliver outstanding service to our customers such as major retailers and foodservice companies. The new team includes dedicated account directors for all our major customers, and will make us more able to respond to their needs, and to grow together in the future,” explains group chief executive William Burgess. Produce World has also put in a place a dedicated group marketing team to ensure that it benefits fully from initiatives such as the re-branding of the group, and the recently signed fresh produce licensing deal with Green Giant.

“When you put these initiatives alongside the £15 million investment we are making in our potato business, increasing storage capacity and improving our processes, and improving the cool chain in our brassica business, you can see that we are in excellent health to target continued growth in 2011 and beyond.” William Burgess continues: “We were naturally disappointed that our sales growth fell off during the past year, and that operating profits were down at £2.3 million compared to £7.2 million in the previous year. However, given the costs of re-structuring, and the massive crop right-offs that we had to make, following the longest period of freezing weather in living memory, it is not surprising. Over the long term we have seen massive growth in the group, and we are confident that this will continue in the future.”

CAPTION:

William Burgess, group chief executive, and Neil Fraser, chairman of Produce World.

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