Total Produce maintains full year earnings forecast

Tuesday 02 September 2014 14.27
Total Produce maintains its full year earnings per share guidance of 8.4 to 9.4 cent.
Total Produce maintains its full year earnings per share guidance of 8.4 to 9.4 cent.

Fresh produce distributor Total Produce has reported total revenues of €1.59 billion for the first six months of 2014 - down 1.7% on the same time last year. 

Earnings per share for the six months to the end of June were up marginally to 4.86 cents, while pre-tax profits rose by 5.7% to €24.2m.

The company said it was maintaining its full year earnings per share guidance of 8.4 to 9.4 cent.

It also increased by interim dividend by 5% to 0.64 cent per share.

Describing the results as "robust", Total Produce said they came against a backdrop of less favourable market conditions and are measured against a very strong comparative period. 

It noted that greater production and excess supply in some key lines also led to downward pressure on prices in the six month period. 

Total Produce's chairman Carl McCann said the company's growth will continue to be driven by successful acquisitions. He noted that it has recently agreed a deal to buy the remaining 50% of All Seasons Fruit in the Netherlands and continues its expansion in the US with the purchase of a 45% stake in Eco Farms in California. 

Breaking down the company's divisions, Total Produce said that revenues in its fresh production unit in the euro zone fell by 5.2% to €752m with a 14.4% decrease in adjusted EBITA to €11m. The company said the warm spring weather led to strong early season domestic volumes putting downward pressure on prices. 

Revenue in its Northern Europe division fell by 4.7% to €451m due to currency effects. Adjusted EBITA rose by 2.2% to €13m. Its UK division saw revenues rise by 10.7% to €264m with adjusted EBITA jumping 31% to €3.5m on the back of a strengthening sterling.

The group's international division includes its North American and Indian businesses - revenues at the unit fell to €92m from €132m due to the inclusion of the since sold Capespan Group business the same time last year. Adjusted EBITA rose to €1.8m from €1.6m in the six month period.

Revenue in Total Produce's Healthfoods and consumer products distribution division increased by 6.3% to €60m while adjusted EBITA fell to €0.9m from €1.6m due to more competitive trading conditions in its markets.