Irish fresh produce firm Fyffes has announced a sharp rise in profits to €94.7m (US$124.45m) in 2004, compared with €71.6m in 2003.

Turnover was €2.146bn, compared with €1.925bn in 2003.

“Fyffes is pleased to report record results for 2004, with profit before tax, excluding goodwill amortisation, exceeding €100 million for the first time, helped by good profits from property activities, said chairman Carl McCann.

“Strong performances in Continental Europe, together with first time contributions from acquisitions, have generated increases of more than 30% in adjusted profit before tax and earnings per share,” he said. “Trading has been satisfactory in the first two months of 2005, particularly in Continental Europe.”

“The Group continues to pursue the price increases necessary to compensate for the significant increases that have occurred in shipping, transport and fuel costs,” he said. “Fyffes continues to seek opportunities to apply its substantial resources to further develop the Group through acquisitions and alliances.”