Plantion’s ambition is to become the no. 1 florists’ clock in Western Europe. The auction in the Dutch town of Ede hopes that by 2025, they’ll be supplying florists in for example Denmark and Belgium.
This is what CEO Peter Bakker said at Plantion’s general members meeting last Wednesday night. The ambition is the outcome of the mid- and long-term vision formulated by the auction in Ede.
This mid- and long-term vision is based on ten trends, which the auction identified in cooperation with market research agency Rijnconsult.
One of those trends is that FloraHolland is focusing more and more on the international trade. This gives Plantion an opportunity to expand its position as a florists’ clock. Another trend is digitization.
Plantion is going to focus even more on florists in the coming years. At the moment, 35% of Plantion’s turnover comes from florists. In addition, the auction is following and developing the virtualisation of the auctioning process. The physical clock won’t go though, assured chairman Jos Kersten. Plantion also aspires to play a more directive role as a link between growers and buyers.
Plantion considers the fact that physical clocks at many other auctions are disappearing, an opportunity to become the no. 1 florists’ clock in Western Europe.
“The last couple of years we mainly focused on our own region. We’re now moving further afield. The Netherlands will still be important, but borders are fading. We’re not blind to what’s going on outside the Netherlands”, said Bakker. The CEO pointed out that Plantion has already been developing relationships with customers in North Rhine-Westphalia. He feels that there are opportunities in Belgium and Denmark too.
Bakker doesn’t think they’ll be encroaching upon FloraHolland’s territory. “Looking at the trends, FloraHolland is focusing on the larger players in the market. We don’t really share a territory at all. FloraHolland wants to expand the global plant and flower market. They’re looking at China. Elephants will always team up with elephants. We’re only a mouse – too small for elephants. The bigger the elephant, the more grass there is between its legs and that’s what we need to try and eat.”
Florists outside the Netherlands could purchase through Plantion via remote buying. Plantion can subsequently prepare orders for shipment and maybe arrange transport.
Plantion’s clock sales behind
During the first five months of this year, Plantion’s turnover through the auction clock has gone down compared to last year. However, turnover for their intermediary services, Groencentrum (wholesale nursery) and digital marketplace, have all increased. The overall turnover has gone up by 0.8%.
Commercial director Guus van Logtestijn gave an overview of the turnover up until the 2nd of June. The turnover of the auction clock in that period was €22.4 million. Compared to €23.6 million for last year. That’s a decrease of 5.4%.
Van Logtestijn explained that clock sales went down because of the cold weather in Europe and Africa in the beginning of the year. The supply of certain products, especially rose, went down. “The intermediary services on the other hand, did brilliantly until Easter. For a long time we thought that we were going to have the best season ever. But then we got three weeks of frost and that put our intermediary services to a halt. Luckily, we’re past that now.”
Intermediary services is now showing a 4.5% increase. The total value for intermediary services up until 2 June was €28.7 million. Compared to €27.5 million last year. The Groencentrum is also doing better than last year: €900,000 compared to €800,000 in 2016. Thanks to the favourable weather and because of the recovery of the house construction industry, explained Van Logtestijn.
The digital marketplace has reached a total value of 400k so far, which is much better than in 2016. In that year, sales via Plantion’s digital marketplace didn’t reach more than 100k. Sales through Shopp-in stayed the same as last year with a total of 100k.
The total turnover during the first five months was €52.5 million, which is a 0.8% increase.
Last year was good for Plantion. Values went up for all sales channels. The intermediary services in particular, increased strongly, by 16.5%, reaching a total value of €48.1 million. The total turnover reached €99.5 million (+8.7%). Profits after taxes amounted to €1,090,000. In 2015, this was no more than €218,000. One of the reasons for the big difference is the compensation that Plantion got from the bank for an interest rate derivative which they had concluded in 2007.
CEO Peter Bakker: “To put it politely, the bank’s service wasn’t always great, so we sat down to discuss things with them and they offered a compensation.”
Plantion is going to start with auction presale in the summer. When exactly isn’t entirely clear yet.