Fresh Del Monte 2Q profit rises, banana sales drop

Fresh Del Monte Produce 2nd-qtr. profit rises; sales of bananas, prepared foods drop

Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Weaker sales of bananas, other produce and prepared foods pulled Del Monte's revenue down in the second quarter, but net income rose 63 percent thanks to lower charges and expenses.

The company posted earnings of $57.2 million Tuesday, or 99 cents per share, in the period. That compares with $35.2 million, or 59 cents per share, a year earlier.

Earnings were $1.01 per share when stripping out asset impairment charges and other items.

That easily topped the 91 cents per share that Wall Street was looking for, according to a poll by FactSet.

Selling, general and administrative expenses fell to $45.6 million from $48.4 million.

For the period ended June 29, revenue dropped to $957.6 million from $1.04 billion.

Wall Street forecast $1.01 billion in revenue.

Sales of bananas fell 9 percent, hurt by lower volumes in the Middle East secondary markets and Europe. It also dealt with lower selling prices in North America and Asia. Fresh produce sales declined 5 percent as sales of pineapple, melon, tomatoes and non-tropical fruits softened.

Sales of prepared foods dropped 19 percent on lower selling prices of industrial pineapple products and lower volumes for canned pineapple.

Cost of products sold dropped to $841.2 million from $936 million.

Shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., based in Coral Gables, Fla. Company, are trading close to a 52-week high of $26.94. Shares closed Monday at $24.34.

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