Total Produce growing in confidence

Total Produce has emphasised its confidence for a strong annual performance by saying it expects to see full-year earnings come in at “the top end” of its previously guided range of 10.50c to 11.50c per share.

Last year, the Dublin-based fruit distribution company — the former general produce arm of Fyffes — generated basic earnings per share of 9.07c and adjusted fully diluted earnings per share of 10.58c.

In a trading update, in May, management said it expected to see full-year earnings land in “the upper half” of its guidance.

The improved confidence comes on the back of a strong set of first half results, published yesterday, after which Total’s management reiterated that it was also continuing to “actively pursue further investment opportunities”.

Total revenue, for the first six months of the year, amounted to just over €1.91bn; up 10.4% on a year-on-year basis. Adjusted pre-tax profits rose by 15.1% to €34.9m and interim diluted earnings per share rose by just under 1% to 4.7c.

A 10% annualised increase in the interim dividend — to 0.8c per share — was also declared. Figures were helped by recent acquisitions and revenue rises were seen across all geographies, with the company saying it is unlikely to suffer a material impact from the recent Brexit vote in the UK.

“This result leaves management well-placed to meet and beat the high end of expectations,” said Merrion Stockbrokers analyst Darren McKinley, who has also raised his target price for the Total Produce stock to €1.75.

The company’s share price rose by 3%, before paring back in later trading.


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