Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. Reports Net Loss For Fourth Quarter, Higher Net Earnings For 2011

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 30, 2011. For the full year 2011, the company reported earnings per diluted share of $1.56, compared with earnings per diluted share of $1.02 in 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits the company reported earnings per diluted share of $1.82, compared with earnings per diluted share of $1.77 in 2010. The company reported a net loss per diluted share of $0.17 in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with net loss per diluted share of $0.16 in the fourth quarter of 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits the company's net loss per diluted share was $0.15 for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.07 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"Despite higher fuel costs worldwide and continued weakness in the European economy which negatively impacted consumer demand for fresh produce, we delivered full year 2011 results that were significantly higher than 2010," said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and chief executive officer in a prepared statement. "Throughout the year, we expanded our presence in emerging markets, bolstered our distribution channels and added new product offerings. We believe with our strong balance sheet and these strategic initiatives we are well positioned to deliver attractive returns for Fresh Del Monte shareholders over the long term.”

Net sales for the year 2011 increased 1 percent to $3.6 billion, compared with the prior year period. The increase was attributable to higher net sales in the company's banana and other fresh produce segments. Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 were $780.8 million, compared with $816.7 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. The decrease in net sales was the result of underperformance in Europe across many of the company's business segments, primarily due to lower selling prices.

Gross profit for the year 2011 was $319.5 million, compared with $272.4 million in 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits, gross profit was $318.1 million in 2011, compared with $281.1 million in 2010. The increase in gross profit for the full year is attributable to higher gross profit in the company's banana and prepared food business segments, partially offset by lower gross profit in the company's other fresh produce business segment. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $30.9 million, compared with $39.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits, gross profit was $28.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $40.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The decrease in gross profit for the fourth quarter is principally due to lower gross profit in the company's other fresh produce segment in Europe and higher costs associated with fuel as well as the negative impact of unfavorable exchange rates.

Operating income for the year 2011 was $115.9 million, compared with $77.5 million in 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits, operating income was $130.8 million in 2011, compared with $123.5 million in 2010. The increase in operating income for the full year is attributable to higher gross profit and lower asset impairments and other charges, net. The operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $20.9 million, compared with an operating loss of $13.2 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits, operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $19.7 million, compared with operating income of $0.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The change was primarily attributable to lower gross profit and higher selling, general and administrative expenses.

Net income for the year 2011 was $92.5 million, compared with $62.2 million in 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits net income was $107.4 million in 2011, compared with $108.2 million in 2010. Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $10.1 million, compared with a net loss of $9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges and credits the company reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 of $8.9 million, compared with net income of $4.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The change was primarily the result of higher operating losses, partially offset by higher tax benefits.

Net sales for the quarter decreased 3 percent to $384.4 million, compared with $395.3 million in the prior year's fourth quarter, primarily due to lower selling prices in Europe. Worldwide pricing increased $0.39, or 3 percent, to $13.17 per unit, compared with $12.77 per unit in the fourth quarter of 2010. Volume was 6 percent lower. Gross profit for the quarter was a loss of $2.9 million, compared with a loss of $10.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Unit costs were 2 percent higher.

Net sales for other fresh produce for the quarter decreased 4 percent to $315.4 million, compared with $327.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, largely attributable to lower net sales in the company's melon and tomato product lines. Gross profit for the quarter was $26.1 million, compared with gross profit of $41.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Gold pineapple net sales were in line with the prior year period. Volume increased 7 percent. Pricing decreased 5 percent. Unit cost was 7 percent higher.

Fresh-cut net sales increased 11 percent to $81.9 million. Volume increased 8 percent. Pricing increased 3 percent. Unit cost was 7 percent higher.

Melon net sales decreased 44 percent to $16.2 million. Volume decreased 46 percent. Pricing increased 4 percent. Unit cost was 23 percent higher.

Non-tropical net sales increased 9 percent to $46.8 million. Volume decreased 2 percent. Pricing increased 11 percent. Unit cost was 15 percent higher.

Tomato net sales decreased 36 percent to $15.8 million. Volume decreased 32 percent. Pricing decreased 6 percent. Unit cost was 3 percent lower.

Net sales for prepared food decreased 13 percent to $81.0 million for the quarter compared with $93.5 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. Gross profit for the quarter was $7.7 million, compared with $8.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Net cash provided by operating activities for the full-year of 2011 was $195.7 million, compared with $197.4 million in the same period of 2010.

Total debt decreased from $295.6 million at the end of 2010 to $215.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011. 

 

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