Dole has reported a drop in its sales and profits during 2012, as lower banana prices hit the group’s fresh fruit business.

The group said EBITDA from continuing operations, adjusted for the sale of its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses, totalled US$146m compared to $196m in 2011. Comparable income from continuing operations for fiscal 2012 dropped significantly, declining to $44m from $122m.

The company said the bottom line was hit by one-off charges and transaction costs related to the sale of its packaged foods unit and fresh business in Asia.

Lower banana prices also dented margins and retarded value sales. As a consequence, sales at the group were down 11% to $4.2bn.