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Big dip in profits for Fresh Del Monte in 2017

Fresh Del Monte's turnover rose slightly in 2017. The company closed the year with a turnover of 4,085 billion dollars compared to 4,011 billion dollars a year earlier. The increase is mainly due to higher sales in the 'other fresh produce' category.

Sales in the fourth quarter amounted to 953.7 million dollars, a small decrease compared to the 954.6 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2016. This slight decrease was caused by lower sales in the bananas and processed category. The downward trend for these categories was partly offset by higher sales in 'other fresh produce.'

The gross profit of the company fell by more than 100 million dollars and amounted to 331.6 million dollars (2016: 464.4 million dollars). This was mainly due to a lower price for bananas and processed products and higher distribution costs for the remaining fruit. The lower costs for sea transport partly offset the higher costs.

The operational income comes to 152.7 million dollars, a decrease compared to the 244.2 million dollars a year earlier. The comparable income stands at 155.1 million dollars (2016: 265.5 million dollars). Net income also fell from $ 225.1 million in 2016 to $ 120.8 million last year.

Nevertheless, CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh is positive: "We are satisfied with the momentum for diversifying our range in 2017. We have expanded our presence in the global market." The director points to the 18% growth that the assortment of freshly cut fruit went through. The company continues to look for growth opportunities. An example of this is the offer for Mann Packing that is still open.

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