The largest market for Dutch flowers and plants is and remains Germany. Exports in this market increased by 7% to more than €1.6 billion, accounting for 61% of total export growth.
Exports to other European countries also increased further, with the exception of the United Kingdom, where the strong decline of the British pound had a dragging effect. Russian exports continued to be impacted by the trade sanctions that remain in place.
The auctions in Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk, Rijnsburg and Eelde, along with the online FloraMondo platform, processed more than 100,000 transactions a day, involving thousands of varieties of cut flowers, house plants and garden plants.
Royal FloraHolland chief executive officer Lucas Vos said: "We are on track to achieve our goals for 2020: improving profit margins for our members and their customers and promoting the sale of flowers and plants in the consumer market."
The turnover increase is driven mainly by the higher prices growers received for their flowers and plants. Price levels rose by an average of 4.2%, while total turnover from cut flowers reached €2.7 billion – an increase of 6.7%. Turnover in the house plants product group fell by 1.3% to €1.5 billion. Turnover from garden plants increased by 4.7% to nearly €0.4 billion.
Dutch exports of flowers and plants reached a record level of €5.7 billion in all, up 3% from the previous year. Exporters of floriculture products expect this positive trend to continue in 2017.
Royal FloraHolland’s revenue decreased marginally by 1.3%, to €378 million, while operating profit increased by 3.8% to €27 million. Operating profit excludes the costs of Strategy 2020, the recent corporate reorganisation and profit from participating interests.
The company’s financial ratios have remained level, with a solvency rate of 25.1% and a risk-bearing capital base of 54.9%. "Our revenue and ratios provide a solid foundation for the future," chief financial officer Steven van Schilfgaarde said.
Vos added: "Royal FloraHolland is the world’s largest marketplace for flowers and plants. The floriculture industry is constantly changing and evolving, with digitalisation being the main driver. We are responding to these changes by integrating all digital trading instruments into our upgraded Digital Trading Platform. Digital is the new standard.
"Our strategic programmes are finding their way to consumers and to new markets outside Europe.
"In addition, we are developing new concepts for the domestic and international markets. Examples of such initiatives include the international innovation project Let it Grow, which supports and connects 'green' businesses. This is our way of boosting innovative concepts and meeting consumers’ changing needs."