Del Monte Runs Into Foul Weather in First Quarter

Del Monte reported a 27 percent drop in its first-quarter profit Tuesday as costs to produce bananas rose and bad weather created quality issues with its tomatoes and grapes.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Del Monte reported a 27 percent drop in its first-quarter profit Tuesday as costs to produce bananas rose and bad weather created quality issues with its tomatoes and grapes.

Rising volumes in North America did help push revenue up 2.7 percent to $1.01 billion.

"We faced a number of challenges that reduced our ability to deliver optimal earnings," said Chairman and CEO said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh. "Significantly higher fruit procurement costs in the banana segment, lower pineapple yields, along with tomato and grape quality issues, which were brought about by several adverse weather-related events around the world."

Shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., based in Coral Gables, Florida, fell almost 6 percent, or $2.33, to $38.35 in afternoon trading. However, shares are up almost 13 percent this year, and up almost 44 percent over the past year.

The company posted earnings of $42.5 million, or 80 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for asset impairment costs, were 83 cents per share.

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