US-based produce group Fresh Del Monte is assessing new options for fresh vegetables unit Mann Packing.

Fresh Del Monte CEO, Mohammad Abu-Ghazaled, said the group was “exploring strategic alternatives for this business”.

The company booked a non-cash impairment of $131.2m in its fiscal fourth quarter to 29 December 2023, mainly linked to Mann Packing.

Fresh Del Monte acquired the Californian prepared fresh vegetables and salads maker in 2018 for a sum of $361m.

In the commentary alongside Fresh Del Monte’s fourth-quarter and full-year results, Abu-Ghazaled said Fresh Del Monte would “focus on improving profitability in all areas of our business, including innovations and strategic partnerships, in addition to controlling our costs this next fiscal year”.

The company saw its fourth-quarter net sales drop 3.1% to $1.01bn. Full-year net sales declined 2.7% to $4.3bn year-on-year.

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Low sales “of banana and other products and services segments” were to blame for the decline, it said.

The group’s fresh and value-added products segment saw a 1% rise in net sales in the fourth quarter compared to 2022, aided by “higher per unit selling price and sales volume of pineapple” due to higher demand for brands Honeyglow and Pinkglow.

The sales boost was slightly offset by a drop in sales of vegetables and other prepared foods “due to lower per unit selling prices”, it said.

Fresh Del Monte generated a fourth-quarter operating loss of $113.4m, compared with an operating income of $31.2m in the prior-year period. The losses were driven by $133.8m of non-cash asset impairment charges.

Adjusted operating income was $12m, versus $34.2m in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The company booked a fourth-quarter net loss of $106.4m, compared with net income of $18.3m a year earlier. It posted an adjusted net income of $11.8m, compared with $21.5m in the prior-year period.