Fabulous Forty 2011 – Second edition: 40 fastest growing F&D companies
The Fabulous 40 survey is the survey which charts the growth of food producers in the Netherlands. The Dutch version is executed by BlueMind in conjunction with Elsevier Foodmagazine. The figures relate to the period 2007, 2008 and 2009 and are based on data which the companies themselves deposited with the Chamber of Commerce. The survey shows a completely different picture this year than the first edition of May 2010, which related to the years up to and including 2008, the year in which the crisis had not yet been felt. In 2009 virtually everything stood still and companies were hurt.
‘It may sound strange, but in 2009, sixteen of the forty fastest growing companies saw their revenues drop. Many will therefore have viewed that year as a lost year. Farm Frites, last year’s number 40, scored a growth of 7.5 percent per annum last year. This year the Van Rijsingen Group is only just meeting that, even though it is on the 21st place. Producers stepped on the brake in 2009’, says Jan Willem Jonkman, managing partner of BlueMind Corporate Finance Strategy.
In 2009 there were only four acquisitions done by companies on the list. Acquirors were Van Loon Vlees, Storteboom Food Group, De Kuyper and Royal Cosun. A few companies did dispose off activities during that year. In the period of 2006-2008, on the contrary, there were substantial more acquisitions than in 2009. This has contributed to the lower growth. After the start of the crisis in 2008 there were substantial commodity price drops. In the meantime – almost a year and a half has passed after the reporting of the figures – the prices of many products have returned to the old level. ‘There is definitely an impact on the food market. Banks were cautious and working capital is definitely an issue. Especially companies which are in the hands of investors and which aim for a rapid growth will be marking time’, says Jonkman.