Irish produce company Fyffes said it expects 2009 earnings to be at the top end of its September forecast.

In the autumn, Fyffes increased its target for adjusted EBIT for 2009 to a range of EUR18m (US$26m) to EUR22m.

Fyffes admitted today (11 January) that trading conditions had been "difficult" towards the end of the year due to the cold weather throughout Europe in December.

However, Fyffes said it expects adjusted EBIT for 2009 to be in the order of
EUR20m to EUR21m, towards the upper end of the target range, and "significantly" up on the EUR15.3m result in the previous year.

Looking forward to 2010, the group said it will continue to pursue higher selling prices to offset increases in input costs.

"The exceptional cold spell across Europe is having an adverse impact on current trading in the early weeks of the year. Fyffes is currently targeting an adjusted EBIT in the range EUR17-22m in 2010, based on an expectation of achieving the required increases in average selling prices in all markets," the company said.