Targeted growth for a greenhouse construction and installation company with a new European course


Horconex announced its European ambitions last year. The Franco-Dutch greenhouse builder and installer will serve customers in more European countries. The completion in 2021 of yet another phase 3 for a tomato producer in the Czech Republic is a good example of this, as is the construction of a greenhouse for breeding ball chrysanthemums in Belgium.

At Poeldijk, at the head office, one thing is never overlooked. “Over the past 35 years, we have grown in France and Switzerland thanks to this orientation, and this will continue to be the case, even now that we are active in more European countries”, emphasizes commercial director Vincent Kuijvenhoven.

Since January 1, 2021, he and COO Xander van der Wilk and CFO Jeroen Heemskerk have formed an ambitious three-person board of directors. The details of those plans weren’t entirely clear at the time. Now they are. We do it on our own and in stages. The additional physical space we now have will help us achieve our ambitions.

The Management Board with, from left to right, Vincent Kuijvenhoven, Xander van der Wilk and Jeroen Heemskerk

New domestic markets
Initially, Horconex will focus on Germany and Austria. Both countries were added as “home markets” last year, thanks to the appointment of sales manager Markus Balan. “His appointment and his excellent network there are already bearing fruit. We hope to have a series of great projects in these countries soon.” From there, Horconex would also like to open a local branch in Germany, as it did in France. “We certainly intend to establish a local branch there, but we want to do a number of projects first. It is important for us not to be a ‘one-hit wonder’ in the countries we are targeting. .”

Producers often receive a bike as a thank you gift for their projects. This has already resulted in some funny scenes, because the coaster brake is relatively unknown abroad. “Everyone stayed in one piece,” laughs Vincent.

When the ambition for European growth was announced, the inhabitants of Poeldijk were asked by their French colleagues what was still possible to do in the Netherlands. Horconex had never really been active there. “We often asked them this question about France, so logically we bounced the ball. Here in the Netherlands we mainly see opportunities for screening and heating. We have been active in both branches for years, but never in the foreground. We want to change that by taking part in HortiContact, among other things. We can see that there is still room here for a good installer, especially for heating. Good personnel are rare here.

When raw material prices started to rise, Horconex management decided, after careful consideration, to act quickly and stock up on heating pipes. “It was just then and it still is now.”

Construction activity in Belgium
For this year, Vincent expects there to be a lot of new construction activity in Belgium. This is why Horconex is focusing this year specifically on new construction for their neighbors to the south. “The last year of cogeneration-friendly subsidies puts pressure. You will see that many projects still have to be completed before the end of this year for this reason.”

The fact that Horconex will build in more European countries does not mean that it has not already done so. Vincent talks about Finland, projects in the UK, including a heating project last year, and other Eastern European countries in addition to the Czech Republic. “This country crossed our path once thanks to a project there. In the past, we often did something outside of France and Switzerland in this way. Now we want to do it more and not only occasionally, but permanently. So starting with Germany and Austria. “But over time, for example, also further into Eastern Europe, where we are already well known in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with several greenhouses. You could say that here, outside of French-speaking countries, we have really made our mark. “

For more information:
Vincent Kuijvenhoven


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