Fresh Del Monte sales growth picked up in Q3

Fresh Del Monte sales growth picked up in Q3

Fresh Del Monte Produce today (27 October) reported a slide in nine-month earnings but the US produce giant saw its shares jump in early trading.

The company's shares were up 10.16% at US$46.40 at 10:39 EDT as investors likely reacted to improved third-quarter results.

Net income for the third quarter of 2015 was $28.5m, compared with $19.9m in the third quarter of 2014. Comparable net income stood at $30m, versus $20.1m a year earlier.

The US-based produce giant's third-quarter operating income was $34.4m. A year earlier, its operating income was $29.3m.

The company's third-quarter numbers were helped by an acceleration in its sales growth in the three months to 25 September. Third-quarter net sales were up 5.8% at $936.1m. Over the nine-month period, net sales increased 2.7% to $3.08bn.

"We are very pleased with our financial performance in the third quarter. We saw excellent growth in our fresh-cut and avocado businesses. We hold a commanding position as the global leader in the fresh-cut space, and avocados are becoming one of our fastest growing categories," chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh said.

However, Fresh Del Monte's profit numbers were lower when looked at over nine months. Its net income for the first nine months of 2015 was $140m, against $145m in 2014, hit in part by higher interest costs.

Its operating income stood at $164.3m, versus $169.8m a year earlier. The nine-month operating profits included higher impairment charges but also benefited from a gain on the disposal of an asset.