US-based produce group Fresh Del Monte has posted a profit for the third quarter of the year on the back of rising banana sales.

The company, which booked losses of US$83.2m in the third quarter of 2006, recorded earnings of $25.9m this year. Profits came amid rising sales, which rose 3.8% to $757.1m.

Fresh Del Monte pointed to rising revenue from its banana sales and an "improved performance" from its prepared foods business.

"Our team did an exceptional job in terms of focusing our sales and marketing efforts and increasing efficiencies," chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh said.