Del Monte reports "year of contrast" for 2013

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Del Monte reports "year of contrast" for 2013

U.S.-based Fresh Del Monte Produce In (NYSE: FDP) saw its bottom line plunge in the fourth quarter due to charges related to a prepared food business, along with higher costs and challenges in the European market. banana contrast

The net loss of US$146.8 million compares to a break-even result during the same period last year, dragging the yearly result into the red from a positive income of US$143.2 million in 2012.

At the time of writing, FDP shares were down 8.59% at US$24.45 per share

Better results in other quarters meant the final result wasn't as far down as it could have been, with the company reporting a full year loss of US$37.3 million for 2013.

"2013 was a year of contrast for us, with increased sales and strong progress toward our long-term initiatives tarnished by a disappointing conclusion to the year," Del Monte chief executive officer Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh said in a release.

"During the fourth quarter of 2013 we faced higher input costs and lingering issues in our European market. We have addressed these conditions by implementing a host of strategic measures to reduce the negative impact on our business.

"We exited underperforming operations, adjusted our business model in Europe and broadened our asset base. Looking forward, based on our expansion into new markets, new distribution channels and new product introductions, I am confident the foundation we have built will enable us to improve our performance and enhance delivery of long-term value for our shareholders."

The bulk of the poor financial result was attributable to US$99.6 million in charges related to the write-off of goodwill and other intangible assets associated with the 2004 acquisition of Prepared Foods in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and former Soviet Union countries.

Full year net sales were actually up 7.7% at US$3.7 billion, due to what the company cites as strong performance across all its business segments. The most dramatic sales increases were seen for Del Monte's banana and other fresh produce segments, at a rate of 45%.

Sales soared in North America jumping 53% year-on-year to hit US$1.968 billion for 2013, while lower but still significant rates of growth were seen in Europe (19%), the Middle East (14%) and Asia (12%).






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