The loosening of restrictions on social gatherings helped boost Fresh Del Monte in the second quarter of its financial year, it said, as sales of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables rose 6% year-on-year.
Overall, the business reported a net sales increase of 5% in the quarter, to $1.42 billion (€1.2 billion), while gross profit for the period stood at $110 million (€92.9 million), a 40% increase on the corresponding period last year.
Relaxed Restrictions Boost Sales
“Our strong performance during the second quarter of 2021 reflects relaxed restrictions on social gatherings in some of our key markets, compared to the prior-year period,” commented Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman chief executive.
“Our pineapple, fresh-cut fruit and prepared food products led sales and profitability growth, despite inflationary and cost pressures, which are expected to continue.”
Fresh Del Monte Divisions
Within its Fresh and Value-Added Products division, which accounts for 59% of the group's net sales, higher net sales in Europe and North America were driven by both an increase in sales volumes and per unit prices. Pineapple sales were also up, it said.
However, this segment saw lower sales of non-tropical fruit and avocado, with the latter impacted by excess supply in the market.
Fresh Del Monte's Banana business (which accounts for 37% of group sales) decreased 1% compared to the previous year, principally due to lower net sales in the Middle East and to a lesser extent in North America, which was partially offset by higher net sales in Europe and Asia.
Gross profit in this division was down 20%, it added, due to higher fuel, labour, freight, packaging and procurement costs.
Fresh Del Monte recently announced a partnership with I Squared Capital on a digitalisation drive across its business.