- François-Xavier Branthôme
43% growth target for 2017
Tomcoex, the tomato sauce company that is currently owned by Aceitunas Cazorla and Conservas Vegetales de Extremadura (Conesa), is showing early signs of renewing with economic growth. The company was taken over at the end of 2016 when it was facing a financially difficult situation and was on the point of going into receivership, following the economic difficulties of its main shareholder, the Acorex Cooperative.
In this context, the Miajadas-based company ended the 2016 marketing year, which was fraught with difficulties, without being able to run its tomato season in 2015/2016. So volumes of sauces (tomato frito, ketchup and other tomato sauces) distributed last year only amounted to 5 100 tonnes, a decrease of more than 67% compared to the previous year. The turnover did not exceed EUR 4.2 million, down 61% against the previous year's result.
Yet the company intends to improve its results for the coming year, if only thanks to the way that the 2016/2017 season has unfolded. Tomcoex plans to achieve a turnover of EUR 6 million for sauces in 2017, which is a 43% growth against last year. The organizational stability of recent partnerships has a lot to do with this new starts. According to industrial sources, "the arrival of Conesa and Cazorla as shareholders of Tomcoex has given the company financial strength and operational and commercial stability."
Currently, the company is functioning normally and according to the same sources, it is in no doubt that it will "rapidly recover its rightful position thanks to its installations and its production capacity."
Amancio Prado (Cazorla), the new CEO of Tomcoex
On 13 July, the Spanish press announced that Mr. José Martinez Prado Amancio, from the Alicante-based cooking oil manufacturer Cazorla, has been elected as Chief Executive Officer of Tomcoex. He is joined on the Board of administrators by Mr. Rafael Vazquez Calleja and Mr. Rogelio Vazquez Calleja, representative administrators of the Conesa group, which is an equal shareholder of Tomcoex with Cazorla. The two groups acquired the Tomcoex company for EUR 4 million. Currently, the company's assets are valued at EUR 20.2 million, as recorded in the 2014 results declaration.
Accounting for 43% of the tomatoes processed in Extremadura, Conesa is the leader of the Spanish processing tomato sector and one of the biggest operators at the worldwide level. The group is the biggest tomato powder producer in the world. With this acquisition of Tomcoex, Conesa has extended its industrial capacity: over the past five years, it also acquired Tomix (another company that was previously owned by Acorex), Agro Conserveros Extremeños Vegas Bajas, and Agraz (another leader of the tomato powder sector, with factories in Villafranco del Guadiana, China and the United States).
"...major growth recorded abroad"
The Miajadas Tomcoex plant has been operational since 2009, after a EUR 26 million investment, and it currently has a production capacity of 100 000 tonnes of finished products per year (tomato frito, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, etc.). According to the processing plant's executives, conditioning lines for glass jars are expected to be improved during 2017.
Tomcoex distributes 90% of its production through retail sales outlets, mainly under private labels (86%), and its clients include major retail chains like Carrefour, IFA, DIA in Spain, Jumbo in the Netherlands and Intermarché in France. 28% of its turnover now comes from foreign sales, which is the reason why Tomcoex explains that "the presence of Cazorla among its shareholders is also indicative of major new developments of its foreign operations."