Royal Swinkels reports healthy growth and is investing in a sustainable future

Despite challenging market conditions in 2023, Royal Swinkels achieved a solid increase in revenue. Geopolitical tensions, war in sales markets, inflation, the energy crisis, and climate change have shaped a turbulent world and a volatile market. Nevertheless, the family business continued to drive forward, and positive results were achieved. Investments in sustainable growth ensured that the circularity score rose to 61%, 2 percentage points more than in 2022.

CEO Peer Swinkels: “In terms of business, this decade cannot be compared with the previous decade. The lack of predictability forces businesses to be extremely resilient. In 2023, we again proved our ability to adapt, and that is a great compliment to our people. Together, we are a strong company, and we reap the fruits of - what we call - our winning family culture. 

We want to pass on a better, healthier, and more sustainable business to the next generation. For example, we are working on a major digital transformation enabling the entire company to run on one platform. This involves implementing the most advanced systems, with the first benefits becoming visible in 2023. Our processes and organization will be substantially improved as a result. Financially, the company is also performing well. There is a healthy basis for further growth and investment. In 2024, we are continuing to work on our ambition to become a fully circular company.

We want to serve consumers and customers a wide variety of high-quality drinks and malted barley, as effectively and efficiently as possible. In this way, we are confidently building the future of our company. And we are now doing so under a new name: Royal Swinkels. Royal Swinkels is simple and strong. Together, we are one family, one team: One Swinkels.”

Financial results of the group

Royal Swinkels increased its turnover from 1,032 million euros in 2022 to 1,128 million euros in 2023, a growth of 9%. The EBITDA rose by 16%, from 109 million euros in 2022 to 127 million euros in 2023. As a result of turnover growth and cost savings, the family business further improved its financial targets and, despite the market challenges, was able to invest in the future.

Circular entrepreneurship
In 2023, Royal Swinkels scored 61% in circular entrepreneurship, an improvement of 2 percentage points on the Swinkels Circularity Index compared to 2022. This growth is, amongst others, the result of the improved sustainability of Point-of-Sale (POS) materials and more sustainable transportation.

Royal Swinkels continued to invest in new methodology to improve insights into its circularity-related performance. In addition to the company’s Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) commitment (2022) to be fully climate neutral in 2050, an additional methodology was therefore developed last year to chart scope 3. This will enable Royal Swinkels to monitor progress with respect to the net zero targets throughout the chain.

Swinkels Family Brewers division

In 2023, the Swinkels Family Brewers division faced challenging market conditions. Inflation, reduced purchasing power and consumer confidence, put pressure on volumes throughout the beer market. Weather conditions with heavy rain in the spring and fall also caused a negative impact. A combination of effective price policy, cost control and portfolio management enabled Swinkels Family Brewers to limit these negative effects. Furthermore, there was more focus on the assortment and market approach. For example, in Japan a new distribution model was launched for alcohol-free beers and more production took place locally. In 2023, a partnership was also started with a local brewery in South Africa which produces several alcohol-free beers under the Bavaria brand locally, close to its market. With these and other initiatives, Swinkels Family Brewers increased its market share in several countries in 2023.

Holland Malt division
The Holland Malt division, consisting of the malt house in Lieshout and the malt house in Eemshaven, again made a positive contribution in 2023. The division’s turnover increased along with its profit contribution due to efficient production and a smart procurement and sales policy. Furthermore, in 2023 Holland Malt took ambitious steps towards a more sustainable future by converting the malt house in Eemshaven into the world’s first emission-free malt house. Its festive opening was held recently. Based on innovative heat pump technologies, this change not only offers considerable advantages in terms of energy efficiency, but it also marks an important step towards fully circular entrepreneurship. Various customers have joined this project, ensuring that this investment immediately contributes to making the chain more sustainable.

Habesha and Cuba divisions
Despite the sharply declining purchasing power caused by hyperinflation, the results of the Ethiopian brewery Habesha were positive. The Habesha brand is popular in Ethiopia, and Negus, the alcohol-free malt drink, sells well. Putting Habesha on tap and introducing a pricing policy to respond to the circumstances also boosted sales. All Ethiopian brands showed strong growth over the past year. A new local production facility also opened in Cuba last year. For Royal Swinkels, Cuba has been an important export market for decades. In July, the local brewery in the port town of Mariel started operations and launched its own local beer brand: Parranda.

Swinkels Real Estate division
In 2023, Royal Swinkels established Swinkels Real Estate, an entity which merges and optimizes real estate activities in the Netherlands and Belgium for hospitality, distribution, and production locations. The company plans to further develop the portfolio over the coming years in terms of visibility, profitability, and sustainability.

Read the full annual report for 2023 on: