Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE: FDP) today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016. The Company reported earnings per diluted share of $0.68 for the third quarter, compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.54 in the third quarter of 2015. Comparable earnings per diluted share were $1.17 in the third quarter, compared with comparable earnings per diluted share of $0.56 in the third quarter of 2015. "We are very pleased with our strong financial performance in the third quarter of 2016," said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our performance demonstrates the strength of our diversification strategy and the results of the efficiency improvements and cost-control initiatives we put in place over the past couple of years to increase profitability and position ourselves for sustainable growth. Increased sales in our avocado, fresh-cut and pineapple product lines collectively drove our financial performance during the quarter, along with improved global banana selling prices, and lower commodity costs. Given the strength of our business model and our focus on continuous performance improvements, we believe we are well positioned to deliver value to Fresh Del Monte's shareholders over the long-term." Net sales for the third quarter of 2016 were $950.2 million, compared with $936.1 million in the third quarter of 2015. The $14.1 million increase in net sales was the result of higher net sales in the Company's other fresh produce and prepared food business segments, partially offset by lower sales volume of bananas in North America and Europe. Gross profit for the third quarter of 2016 was $118.8 million, compared with $83.3 million in the third quarter of 2015. The increase in gross profit was attributable to higher gross profit in all of the Company's business segments, principally due to higher selling prices in the Company's banana business in Asia, along with lower transportation and fruit costs.