Fresh Del Monte Produce saw its earnings tumble in the first half of the year as the company was hit by one-off charges and higher freight costs.

In the six months ended 28 June, net profit dropped to US$103.8m from $121.3m a year earlier, the company reported today (30 July).

Operating profit was down 22.6% to $104.7m, primarily due to lower gross profit, which fell on the back of higher costs related to the production and procurement of fruit and ocean freight.

Fresh Del Monte said it incurred charges of $11.4m in the period, related to previously announced exit activities in Brazil, asset impairments related to underperforming assets in Costa Rica and charges related to the closure of an under-utilised distribution centre in Germany.

Sales, however, were up 4.9% in the period to $1.94b.

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