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Fresh Del Monte Reports Q4 Loss

Bad weather continued to pound at Fresh Del Monte Produce bottom line, reports the South Florida Business Journal.

The Coral Gables-based fruit and vegetable producer said it lost $9.6 million, or 16 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, down from a profit of $28.2 million, or 44 cents a share, in the same year-ago period.

Net sales for the quarter fell to $816 million from $872.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The company reported asset and other impairment charges of $13.6 million, or 23 cents a share, mostly associated with a write-off of certain underperforming banana plantations in the Philippines, the company stated in a news release reported on by the Journal.

Banana sales make up nearly half of Fresh Del Monte’s top line. While sales rose 2.5 percent and volume improved 4 percent, global prices declined 2 percent, mostly on lower selling prices in the Middle East and Asia.

Fresh Del Monte shares closed Monday at $28.58. The 52-week high was $28.60 on Feb. 28. The 52-week low was $19.15 on March 4, 2010.

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