Rising sales and a focus on added-value products has led to a profit at US fruit and veg group Fresh Del Monte Produce.

The company booked net income of US$179.8m for the year ended 28 December, compared to a net loss of $142.2m in 2006.

Net sales rose 5% to $3.4bn; with net sales for the fourth quarter increased 15% to $848.2m.
 
Full year results include charges totaling $9.5m, or $0.16 per diluted share, from asset impairment, restructuring and other charges.
 
"We delivered the best fourth quarter in our history, driven by the improvements made in our business segments," said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and CEO.

"In spite of the fact that we experienced dramatic increases in fruit production, procurement and logistics costs that exceeded previous record highs, we were still able to remain flexible and use strategically creative methods to address these factors."