Fyffes bags €306m revenue with sales of melons thriving
REVENUE at fruit company Fyffes rose just over 3pc in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2013.
The Irish company, which is in the midst of a $1bn (€728m) merger with Chiquita, announced yesterday that it had taken in €306.5m between January and March – up from the €296.5m recorded in the first quarter of last year.
Sales were higher in each of the group's product categories – with melons one of the star performers – although the overall performance was partly offset by lower average prices in the banana and pineapple categories.
The company said that the key drivers behind the success in its tropical produce operations were average selling prices, exchange rates and the costs of fruit, shipping and fuel.
Fyffes chairman David McCann said the company had delivered strong results in the first quarter of the year.
"Adjusted EBITA was 14.9pc higher at €16m, including a very good performance in the melon category.
"The group is maintaining its full-year target adjusted EBITA range of €30m-€35m."
Profits in the banana business were slightly down, particularly in continental Europe.
Costs were similar year on year as the group continues to integrate the pineapple farm bought in Costa Rica in the first quarter of last year.
As in the banana category, the pineapple result benefited from the positive impact of the weaker US dollar and by further organic volume growth.
Total operating profit for the three months ended 31 March 2014, after exceptional items, amortisation charges and joint ventures tax charges amounted to €9.7m, compared to €13.3m in the first quarter last year.
The merger between Fyffes and Chiquita will create the world's biggest banana distributor and a new company that will generate sales of about $4.6bn per year.
The new company – to be called ChiquitaFyffes – will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange but headquartered here, helping it to keep its tax burden low. It will have a market capitalisation of about $1.1bn when it makes its debut.
The company said yesterday that a review of the merger by anti-trust authorities in various jurisdictions continues.