Total Produce looks to boost American arm as sales grow
Irish fruit and vegetable company Total Produce has said that it is looking to beef up its North American business after announcing a strong increase in half-year sales yesterday.
In the six months to the end of June, the firm, which distributes brands such as Fyffes and Sunkist, said its total revenue was €1.73bn compared to the €1.59bn recorded for the same period in 2014.
The strongest growth was recorded in the company's international arm, which includes the Group's businesses in North America and India.
Revenue more than doubled to €158m compared to €91m in the same period the year before.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Total Produce chairman Carl McCann said that the company hopes that its North American business will eventually match its European one, which had sales of €833m in the Eurozone alone during the half year period.
"We have become a meaningful operator in North America and we have a very good operation over there. We would like to develop our American business to be the same size as or larger than our European one," he said.
When asked how long it might take to grow the business to that size, he said: "I don't know, we have seen good growth in the past couple of years [but] when you reach one level you always decide you want to go onto another one. In the end we are happy to get growth wherever we can."
Earnings before all deductions for the period were €42.6m, up from €38.1m in 2014, while the adjusted earnings per share jumped by over 11pc from 4.97 cent to 5.52 cent.
The interim dividend increased from 0.640 cent per share to 0.736 cent.
The group is now targeting increased full year earnings at the top end of the previously announced range of 9.2 to 10.2 cent per share.
Analysts reacted positively to the results while shares in the company were up by about 2pc in mid-afternoon trading in Dublin yesterday.