Import regulation changes hit Fyffes profits

New-look fruit distribution company Fyffes has announced before-tax profits of €22.3m for 2006.

New-look fruit distribution company Fyffes has announced before-tax profits of €22.3m for 2006.

Changes in the EU’s banana import regulations at the start of 2006 cost Fyffes €40.9m in the year, the company said today. Costs were also up in fruit, shipping and fuel "combined with less favourable average exchange rates and lower average banana selling prices in Continental Europe", all affecting the bottom line.

Fyffes was announcing its first year of results since the demerger of its property and non-exotic fruit businesses. Fyffes set up Blackrock International Land last year to handle its property interests and established Total Produce to take over all its food distribution business, bar exotic fruit, which continues to be operated by Fyffes.

Fyffes chairman David McCann said trading had been in line with market expectations following the restructuring of the company.

"Fyffes created substantial incremental shareholder value as a result of the demerger of its property undertaking to Blackrock International Land plc and the demerger of its general produce and distribution business to Total Produce plc. The trading results of the combined operations for the year were in line with market expectations," he said.

Mr McCann added that Fyffes "plans to double the size of its continuing business within five years, both organically and through further acquisitions and alliances".

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