Fresh Del Monte has enjoyed an operating profit boost in its Q3

Fresh Del Monte has enjoyed an operating profit boost in its Q3

Fruit producer Fresh Del Monte Produce has posted a rise in operating income despite higher costs and unfavourable exchange rates.

For the three months ended September 30, the company's operating income rose to US$17.6m, compared with $14.4m in the prior year's third quarter, despite higher selling, general and administrative expenses.

Net income dropped from US$13.4m in the third quarter last year to $12.9m, however, net income was only down because of a US$3m exchange rate boost last year. The figures for the first nine months of the fiscal year shows a rise to $105.7m, up from $71.5m in the same period in 2010.

"Given the global economic uncertainty and its impact on consumer markets, I am pleased with Fresh Del Monte's solid operating results for the third quarter," said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and chief executive officer.

"Our performance was driven by three major factors: We balanced product supply with market demand in spite of competitive and economic pressures throughout the world.

"We controlled costs while improving our operating efficiencies through our continuous process improvement model, and thirdly, we succeeded in expanding sales to non-traditional food channels and sustaining our growth in emerging markets."