Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE: FDP) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended ended December 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. "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.
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