Hortifrut, the Chile-based berries supplier, has appointed sector veteran Héctor Enrique Luján Valladolid as its new chief executive.

Luján will next month replace Juan Ignacio Allende, who will continue in his role as a board member at Naturipe, which markets Hortifrut’s berries in the US.

For more than a decade, Luján has worked for California-based berries group Reiter Affiliated Companies. He was president and CEO from January 2017 to the start of this year.

Hortifrut chairman Nicolas Moller said: “On behalf of the board of directors, I thank Juan Ignacio for his outstanding performance as CEO in recent years. His vision and passion for berries have greatly contributed to consolidate the company’s position as the number one blueberry company in the world and leader in the berry category, with sales of more than US$1bn.”

He added: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to Hector. We are confident that his leadership, human qualities, and deep knowledge of the industry will be key to propel Hortifrut to new levels of growth, bringing the best “berries for the world every day.”

Hortifrut has operations in 13 countries. Outside Central and South America, the company is present in the US, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, China and India. Its products are marketed in more than 30 countries.

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In 2023, the group generated revenue of $1.03bn, up 6.6% on a year earlier.

An average price increase of more than 16% boosted Hortifrut’s top line. Volumes fell 10.7% amid lower volumes of blueberries from Peru, Chile and Morocco.

EBITDA was up 22.8% at $169.3m. Its annual profit fell 46.5% to $13m.