•  Sales up 6.9% in Q1, to US$918.3m
  •  Operating profit up 21.8% to $65.2m
  •  Net profit totals $58.6m, up 42.6%
Del Monte strategic initiatives boost result

Del Monte strategic initiatives boost result

Fresh Del Monte Produce has booked a jump in profitability thanks to higher sales and improved margins in the first quarter.

The US produce group attributed the 21.8% jump in operating profit in the period to 28 March to higher melon selling prices and volume gains in its prepared foods unit.

Chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh added the group was boosted by efforts to "hold the line" on costs, as well as steps to "expand" Fresh Del Monte's global market position and enhance its product mix.

Sales growth was seen across all of its business segments, Del Monte said.

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Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. Reports First Quarter 2014 Financial Results

CORAL GABLES, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 29, 2014-- Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE: FDP) today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 28, 2014. The Company reported earnings per diluted share of $1.04 for the first quarter of 2014, compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.71 in the first quarter of 2013. Comparable earnings per diluted share were $1.00 in the first quarter of 2014, compared with comparable earnings per diluted share of $0.71 in the first quarter of 2013.

"Our results in the first quarter of 2014 demonstrate progress toward our strategic initiatives. We benefited from efforts to hold the line on costs, achieved higher profitability in our offshore melon business and continued growth in our Middle East operations. We took steps to expand our global market position, enhance our product mix and bring our products closer to end consumers around the world. As we look ahead, we remain focused on maximizing returns to our shareholders, while continuing to invest in our global operations," said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2014 were $982.3 million, compared with $918.8 million in the prior year period. The increase in net sales for the quarter was the result of higher net sales in all of the Company's business segments.

Gross profit for the first quarter of 2014 was $106.7 million, compared with $98.6 million in the first quarter of 2013. The increase in gross profit was attributable to higher gross profit in all of the Company's business segments, driven by higher melon selling prices in the Company's other fresh produce business segment, increased sales volume in the Company's prepared food business segment, higher selling prices of bananas in Europe, a direct result of favorable exchange rates, and increased sales volume and selling prices of bananas in the Middle East.

Operating income for the first quarter of 2014 was $65.2 million, compared with $53.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. Comparable operating income for the first quarter of 2014 was $63.1 million, compared with comparable operating income of $53.6 million in the first quarter of 2013. The increase in operating income was primarily due to higher gross profit.

Net income for the first quarter of 2014 was $58.6 million, compared with $41.1 million in the first quarter of 2013. Comparable net income for the first quarter of 2014 was $56.5 million, compared with comparable net income of $41.2 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Original source: Fresh Del Monte Produce