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Fresh Del Monte Produce poised for growth following Q3 results

Fresh Del Monte Produce’s top line grew 9% for the third quarter ended Sept. 27, positioning the company for growth and profitability.

The company’s earnings per diluted share were $0.11 for the quarter, compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.40 in the year-ago quarter. Excluding asset impairment and other charges, earnings per diluted share were $0.09 in the quarter, compared with $0.45 in the year-ago quarter.

"We are pleased to report that our strong top line growth and forward momentum continued in the third quarter of 2013, in what is traditionally our most challenging quarter,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and CEO. “During the quarter, we made impressive strides in increasing our global customer relationships. We experienced growth in all major markets as we strove to capitalize on our position as a leader in the global produce industry. However, our progress was limited by an industry-wide oversupply of bananas, increases in logistic and fruit costs, as well as unfavorable year-over-year exchange rates. We remain committed to our strategy of extending our reach into value-added products and distribution channels that bring our convenient and healthy products closer to consumers and seeking attractive opportunities in emerging markets that we view as engines of growth. We are well positioned and our focus remains on steady growth and profitability."

Net sales for the third quarter of 2013 were $861.1 million, compared with $788.8 million in the prior year period. The increase in net sales for the quarter was the result of increased selling prices in the company's banana and other fresh produce business segments and higher sales volume in all of the company's business segments, partially offset by lower net sales in the company's prepared food business segment and unfavorable exchange rates.