AG Thames Group; specialists in the supply and production of fresh fruit, remain passionate and proactive in facing the challenges of today’s highly competitive fresh produce industry.
Publishing its financial results for the 2018 financial year, the Kent based group saw turnover of £190m, a decrease of 23% and gross margin fall by 0.6%. This significant shift in performance was caused, in large part by the change in business model of key subsidiary, Chingford Fruit.
2018 brought a year of change with Chingford Fruit transforming its business model to meet the new requirements of its main customer. Alongside this, was the launch of the Fruit Logic brand, as a provider of fruit packing, warehousing and supply chain services to overseas growers. The group are pleased with the development of this service, which has fundamentally changed the business shape of Chingford Fruit, away from solely being an importer. The volume and activity at its site in Crayford has stabilised and the future of this business looks fruitful, with new growers committed to utilising the service over the coming year.
Soloberry the soft fruit business within the group has had a year of increased brand presence in Europe, since rebranding on 1st December 2017. The company has been actively shifting its focus in order to take advantage of growth in continental Europe, whilst dealing with the reduction in their involvement in UK strawberry sales. Soloberry will continue to focus on their own production, using licensed berry varieties, such as EarlyBlue™ blueberries, in line with growth plans. Sales in Soloberry were down 8% from 2017 as the business shape changed with supply into new markets, whilst profit before tax increased slightly, due to refining the operating model.
“We are pleased at how well the group has responded, to the significant challenges it has faced in its key markets over the course of 2018. We have restructured to maintain our competiveness but recognise that we will need to continue to adapt.” Leon Aichen, AG Thames Chairman.
Looking ahead, the AG Thames group remains committed to providing innovative and cost effective solutions to their growers. The group has responded proactively to challenges, amending its own business models in order to compete in a continually competitive environment.
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Tel: +44 7918741003