An increase in prices has driven improved annual profits at Fresh Del Monte Produce, the company announced today (19 February).

Fresh Del Monte booked underlying net income of US$147.4m for 2012, up from $107.4m a year earlier. The company posted operating income of $161.4m for the year to 28 December, compared to $115.9m the year before.

Profits grew on the back of higher prices on Fresh Del Monte’s pineapple, fresh-cut and melon products. The company also cited improved efficiency in logistics.

Global prices for bananas dipped in 2012. Fresh Del Monte’s banana sales fell 7% last year amid lower volumes in northern Europe and in the Middle East.

The drop in banana sales was a central factor in the 4.7% fall in turnover Fresh Del Monte saw last year. Net sales reached $3.42bn.