| 11.6°C Dublin

Total Produce blame 1.7 pc sales dip on warm spring

Close

Fruit distributor Total Produce said sales slipped 1.7pc to €1.59bn for the first six months of 2014 from the same period last year (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Fruit distributor Total Produce said sales slipped 1.7pc to €1.59bn for the first six months of 2014 from the same period last year (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fruit distributor Total Produce said sales slipped 1.7pc to €1.59bn for the first six months of 2014 from the same period last year (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Fruit distributor Total Produce said sales slipped 1.7pc to €1.59bn for the first six months of 2014 from the same period last year.

The company maintained its full year earnings per share guidance of 8.4 to 9.4 cent.

The Dublin-based fruit and healthfood company increased the interim dividend by 5pc to 0.64 cent per share.

Total Produce blamed unfavourable market conditions and warm spring weather for the decline in sales.

"We expect the market will react positively to both the maintained guidance and the group's second acquisition in the US," said Goodbody analyst Patrick Higgins. "We don't expect to make any changes to forecasts at this stage and reiterate our buy recommendation."

Sales in its European fresh production unit fell 5.2pc to €752m as warm spring weather pushed down prices.

The UK division saw revenues rise 10.7pc as sterling gained ground against the euro.

The international division saw sales fall after Total Produce sold its Capespan business.

The healthfoods and consumer products distribution division increased by 6.3pc to €60m while adjusted EBITA fell to €900,000 from €1.6m due to more competitive trading conditions in its markets.

Outperforming

Shares inched down 0.7pc to close at 99.5 cents in Dublin last night. The shares have jumped 21.3pc this year, outperforming the ISEQ benchmark index.

The shares were among the top picks at Merrion Capital earlier this year along with British American Tobacco, Ford, Gilead, Rolls Royce, Sainsbury, and William Hill because of its "defensive qualities".

Irish Independent