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Total Produce Eyes 'Continued Growth' In Full-Year 2019

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Total Produce Eyes 'Continued Growth' In Full-Year 2019

Fresh produce giant Total Produce has said that it is targeting 'continued growth' in 2019, with its full-year growth expectations remaining unchanged.

In a trading statement ahead of this morning's AGM, the business said that it was offering a positive outlook for the full year, 'despite competitive markets and more uncertainty surrounding international trade'.

This year will mark the first full year of trading following Total Produce's acquisition of a 45% stake in Dole Food Company, completed in July 2019.

The company said that the Dole transaction 'represents a very significant step and a continuation of the group’s successful expansion strategy'.

Subject to shareholder approval, it plans to pay a final dividend of 2.5140 cent per share on 6 June, representing a 2.5% increase on last year.

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Analyst Viewpoint

Commenting on the group's statement, analyst Patrick Higgins of Goodbody Stockbrokers said, "Overall, we consider this to be a solid update with the company on track to return to a more stabilised performance in FY19.

"We consequently reiterate our c.6% EPS growth assumption for this year and retain our positive stance on the stock, underpinned by a strong management team and an attractive valuation (FY19 PE 10.9x vs. 16x historic average)," he added.

Elsewhere, Roland French, an analyst with Davy, said, "Against a challenging market backdrop, Total Produce has reiterated earnings guidance for the year. Dole is trading in line with expectations during the seasonally important first half. Dole continues to rebuild salad volumes following consecutive product safety notices in romaine lettuce during 2018.

"We remain comfortable with our FY 2019E Dole EBITDA forecast ($230m) and envisage no material change to our FY 2019E group EPS."

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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