U.S.: Del Monte sales down, net income up in Q1
The company attributed the fall to US$897.9 million to lower banana sales in the Middle East and Asia, as well as lower sales for its 'other fresh produce business'.
A company announcement said the decrease in sales was partially offset by improvements in its melon and gold pineapple product line.
Net income for the quarter was US$62.5 million, compared with US$55.2 million in the first quarter of 2011.
"We made good strategic progress during the first quarter of 2012, while achieving solid earnings results for our shareholders," said CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh.
"Our business was favorably impacted by our long term initiative of assuming control of the sales and marketing function for Southern Europe, and by improvements in our logistics structure. Additionally, we saw continued growth in our fresh-cut produce business, and continued expansion of our operations internationally to bring our products closer to end customers.
"Despite these advances, our decisions to protect our margins resulted in lower net sales in our tomato and melon product lines and in our banana business in Northern Europe. However, with our emphasis on focused process and efficiency improvement and a strong balance sheet, we are confident we are on the right track to build long-term value."