Profits at fresh produce company Total Produce rose 28% to €98.3m last year as revenues increased 22.4% to €6.2bn.
The Dundalk-based company said 2020 had gotten off to a ‘satisfactory’ start and that it was monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, although it does not expect any material disruption on its business at this ‘early’ stage.
The results are first for a full financial year posted by Total produce since its acquisition of a 45% stake in fruit company Dole for $300m in July 2018.
The surge in total revenue was attributed to the Dole purchase as well as an improvement in fresh vegetable sales at Dole and good trading in Total Produce’s international division to offset difficulties in the eurozone.
‘We are pleased that the Group has delivered a strong performance in 2019 with a 41.4% increase in adjusted fully diluted earnings per share,’ Total Produce chairman Carl McCann said.
‘This is the first year to include twelve months contribution from Dole Food Company, Inc. The group acquired 45% of Dole for $300m on 31 July 2018.’
While revenues were flat in European countries outside the eurozone, including the UK, eurozone sales were down 4.6% to €1.64bn, due in part to fierce competition in the Dutch vegetable and salad markets and a drop off in southern Europe.
Combined revenues in North America, South America and India rose 8.2% to €1.27bn due to strengthened currencies and higher prices, although the company felt some effect from poor weather in California from April to June last year.
‘The group is also pleased to report a 2.5% increase in the final dividend to 2.5770 cent per share,’ Mr McCann said.