Net profit was flat at €33m.
DFG is the largest operator at the Aalsmeer flower auction Flora Holland. The increase in its sales last year was due largely to several small acquisitions and improved sales in Germany and Asia.
DFG was pressured by Brexit and the decline of sterling, the FD said. Sales in Britain account for about €350m a year and the group operates several storage and processing facilities there.
Sales this year so far lag those of 2017, with plant sales ‘dramatically’ low according to CEO Marco van Zijverden. He is holding out hopes for improved results around Mother’s Day on 13 May, which is the peak of the flower and plant year in mainland Europe.
Consumers have become much more aware of sustainability issues when choosing plants and flowers, Van Zijverden told the paper. They want to know where flowers were grown and to be sure that no child labour was involved. Buyers also want to know about the growers’ social policies and use of pesticides.
DFG hopes 90% of the flowers and plants it sells to be grown sustainably by 2020, up from 70% at present.