Despite year-on-year drop in net income and sales, Mohammed Abu-Ghazaleh says the group is ”pleased with many aspects” of its 2023 results

Del Monte stand FL 2024

Fresh Del Monte has reported that its net sales and net income both fell in 2023, when compared with the previous year.

Net sales for 2023 fell to US$4.32bn, down from US$4.42bn in the prior-year period, the group said.

Lower sales volumes were seen across all segments, although they were partially offset by higher per-unit selling prices for the banana and fresh and value-added products segments.

Gross profit climbed to US$350.7m compared with US$340.2m in 2022, while adjusted gross profit was US$354.5m compared with US$340.2m.

Operating income for 2023 was US$58.5m, falling from US$156.3m in the prior-year period, with adjusted operating income coming in at US$165.3m, up from US$149.2m.

Del Monte’s overall net loss was US$11.4m, down from the net income of US$98.6m reported in 2022.

“We are pleased with many aspects of our full year 2023 results including our strong gross margins and cash flow which enabled us to have strong full year adjusted earnings per share growth, reduce our long-term debt by US$140m to end the year with an adjusted leverage ratio of 1.7x and continue to return value to shareholders by increasing our dividend 25 per cent for the second year in a row,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte’s chairman and CEO.

“Our ability to control costs and sell underutilised assets for US$120m in 2023 allowed us to achieve the company’s highest full-year gross profit and margin since 2016,” he noted.

“During the fall of this year, we conducted a strategic review and assessed our operational priorities of our North America operations, including Mann Packing,” Abu-Ghazaleh continued.

”Preliminary findings of this review were finalised in the fourth quarter. As a result of this strategic review and other factors, we recorded a non-cash impairment of US$131.2m in the quarter, primarily related to our Mann Packing operation.

”We are exploring strategic alternatives for this business while continuing to focus on improving profitability in all areas of our business, including innovations and strategic partnerships, in addition to controlling our costs this next fiscal year,” he added.