( Fresh Del Monte )

Citing lower banana prices in Europe and an oversupply of pineapples North America, Coral Gables, Fla.-based Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. reported higher sales but an overall loss for the quarter that ended June 29.

Fresh Del Monte said net sales for the second quarter of 2018 were $1.27 billion, compared with $1.15 billion in the second quarter of 2017. The increase in net sales was the result of higher net sales in the company’s other fresh produce and prepared food business segments, primarily due to the acquisition of Mann Packing, according to a news release. Those gains, the company said, were partially offset by lower net sales in the company’s banana business segment.

“The quarter was highlighted by our recent acquisition of Mann Packing Company, and by strong sales growth, despite reductions in pricing across many of our products,” Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and CEO of the company, said in the release. “Uncontrollable factors led by congestion, delays and inclement weather at our loading ports in Central America, substantially lower banana selling prices in Europe, an oversupply of pineapples in North America, continued tightening of the transportation market, and higher commodity costs adversely affected our overall performance.”

Net income for the second quarter of 2018 was a net loss of $7.9 million, according to the company, compared with net income of $69.2 million in the second quarter of 2017. The change was primarily the result of lower operating income, higher foreign exchange losses and higher interest expense.

Abu-Ghazaleh said in the release that Fresh Del Monte remains committed to investing in “further diversifying our global operations while driving profitable growth over the long-term.”

The company on July 31 reported a loss per diluted share of $0.16 for the second quarter 2018, compared with earnings per diluted share of $1.36 in the second quarter of 2017.
 

 
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