Friday 22 September 2017

Total Produce generates €39m profit in first half

Total Produce’s Carl McCann
Total Produce’s Carl McCann
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Global fruit and vegetable distributor Total Produce made a €39m pre-tax profit in the first half of the year - an 11.8pc increase on the first half of 2016. Revenue was 12.2pc higher at €2.15bn in the period.

The results benefited from the contribution of recent acquisitions, offset in part by a negative impact on the translation to euro of the results of foreign currency denominated operations, the group said.

Total Produce, whose chief executive is Rory Byrne, described trading conditions in the period as "satisfactory".

"In the early part of year, unusual weather conditions in southern Europe led to temporary shortages of certain salad and vegetable lines," the company noted.

"However, given the group's diversified business model this did not have a material impact.

"Our North American division experienced relatively less favourable trading conditions in the period," it added. "While overall volumes in this division have increased on a like-for-like basis from prior year, the result was impacted by lower pricing due to greater volumes of product in the market and weather conditions that negatively impacted quality."

Total Produce generated €903.1m of its revenue in the eurozone during the first half of the year and €800m from non-eurozone European countries. International operations delivered revenue of €471.3m.

Non-eurozone European countries accounted for the biggest slice of profits, posting adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €22.1m, from a group figure of €42.4m. The group figure was 12pc higher year-on-year.

During the first half of the year, Total Produce paid €28.4m to increase its shareholding in the Canada-based Oppenheimer group from 35pc to 65pc. The Oppenheimer Group, or Oppy, as it's also known, has annual sales of about C$1bn (€671m), and provides fresh produce to retailers, wholesalers and food services customers throughout the US and Canada.

Total Produce spent €60m on acquisitions last year, including €17m in contingent consideration. It bought a 65pc stake in Los Angeles-based Progressive Produce for an initial €28m, with a contingent consideration of €10.5m.

Total Produce's net debt stood at €153.3m at the end of June, compared to €95.7m a year earlier. But net debt relative to annualised adjusted EBITDA was just 1.5 times at the end of June this year.

Chairman Carl McCann said Total Produce continues to hunt for acquisitions.

Irish Independent

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