Irish banana group Fyffes has booked a jump in earnings for 2012, with gains driven by higher sales and improved margins.

The company said today (7 March) that operating profit for 2012 rose 44.9% to EUR29.4m (US$38.3m), while EBITDA was up 38.4% to EUR41m. Net profit was EUR24.6m, up from EUR11.4m a year earlier.

Commenting on the result, chairman David McCann said the company benefited from higher sales and progress in improving efficiency during the year. “Revenue exceeded EUR1bn for the first time since de-merger, driven by continued organic growth, and the result for the year also reflected further operational efficiencies, particularly in logistics,” he said.

Sales at the firm rose 19.7% to EUR1.02bn.

The company raised its payout to shareholders, with EPS up 45.8% and the group’s total dividend up 7.5%. Shares in the group were up 3.33% in morning trade, climbing to EUR0.62.