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Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE: FDP) today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. The Company reported net income per diluted share of $0.21 in the third quarter of 2011, compared with net income per diluted share of $0.24 in the third quarter of 2010. Excluding asset impairment and other charges (credits), net the Company reported net income per diluted share of $0.22 for the third quarter of 2011 compared with net income per diluted share of $0.22 in the third quarter of 2010.
“Given the global economic uncertainty and its impact on consumer markets, I am pleased with Fresh Del Monte’s solid operating results for the third quarter,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our performance was driven by three major factors: We balanced product supply with market demand in spite of competitive and economic pressures throughout the world. We controlled costs while improving our operating efficiencies through our continuous process improvement model, and thirdly, we succeeded in expanding sales to non-traditional food channels and sustaining our growth in emerging markets. We remain committed to executing strategies that focus on prudent investment in growth markets and delivering shareholder value through efficiency improvements throughout our operations, while maintaining our commitment to further enhancing product quality and service.“
Net sales for the third quarter of 2011 increased $2.1 million to $795.2 million, compared with $793.1 million in the prior year’s third quarter. The increase in net sales was primarily due to expanded sales in the Company’s other fresh produce business, along with contributions from its North America banana business. The increase in net sales was partially offset by lower sales in the Company’s prepared food business.
Gross profit for the quarter increased $12.1 million to $62.9 million, compared with gross profit of $50.8 million, excluding $1.2 million of other credits, net, in the third quarter of 2010. The increase in gross profit for the quarter was primarily driven by the Company’s other fresh produce and banana businesses. Gross profit was negatively impacted by significantly higher fuel costs and unfavorable exchange rates in several producing countries.