Fresh Del Monte reports loss, despite higher sales

Fresh Del Monte reports loss, despite higher sales

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Bigger sales in value-added produce failed to offset lower selling prices for bananas and other fresh produce in the latest quarter for Coral Gables, Fla.-based Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.

For the quarter ending Sept. 28, the company reported an operating loss of $11.3 million, compared with operating income of $16.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Net sales for the third quarter of 2018 were $1.069 billion, up from $952.7 million in the third quarter a year ago.

The company said the acquisition of Mann Packing Co. contributed to bigger sales but that bump was offset, in part, by lower net sales in the banana business segment.

“We delivered a 12% increase in net sales during the third quarter, led by a solid contribution from our recent acquisition of Mann Packing,” Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and CEO, said in a news release. “Our operations continue to recover from previously disclosed challenges earlier in the year. We benefited from the progress of our diversification strategy, innovation efforts, and global presence while keenly focusing on creating greater efficiencies throughout our organization.”


The company reported total debt increased from $357.6 million at the end of 2017 to $629.5 million at the end of the third quarter of 2018, primarily related to the acquisition of Mann Packing.

In the third quarter, the company reported:

  • Net sales for “other fresh produce” increased $584.9 million, up 25% from a year ago. The company said the increase was mostly due to higher net sales in the fresh-cut, vegetable and non-tropical product lines;
  • Net sales for fresh-cut increased 60% to $254.5 million compared with last year, mostly due to the acquisition of Mann Packing. Fresh-cut volume increased 94% and pricing and unit cost were 17% lower; 
  • Net sales for non-tropical produce increased 6% to $40.6 million over last year. Volume was steady and pricing was 6% higher;
  • Net sales for vegetables rose to $36.4 million, compared with $6.5 million in the prior year, due to the Mann Packing acquisition;
  • Net sales for Del Monte Gold pineapple decreased 6% to $112.3 million, compared with the prior year. Volume was in line with the previos year.
  • Net sales for avocados fell 6% to $84.7 million compared with the prior year. Volume increased 37%, while the company reported pricing was 32%.
  • Net sales for bananas decreased to $397.4 million, off slightly compared with $409.2 million in the third quarter last year. Volume was 6% lower than the prior year. 
  • Net sales for prepared food increased to $87.2 million, compared with $75.5 million in the third quarter of 2017.