Total Produce, which recently announced plans to merge with Dole Foods, has recorded a relatively strong financial performance for 2020 and announced a rise in its final full-year dividend.
The company reported a 1.7 per cent increase in revenues to €6.3 billion with an 8.2 per cent rise in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (ebitda) to €219.4 million. Adjusted earnings per share rose 9.1 per cent to 15.41 cents.
Group revenues rose 2.4 per cent to €3.8 billion during the 12 months under review but pre-tax profits fell 4 per cent to €73.5 million.
The group has announced a 7.5 per cent increase in its 2020 final dividend to 2.770 cent per share.
Total attributed the increase in revenue to “robust” retail and wholesale demand offsetting reduced levels of activity in the food service sector. The group also benefitted from the contribution of bolt-on acquisitions.
The group said it is in a strong financial position with net debt of €144.3 million, as against €221.2 million a year earlier.
Chairman Carl McCann said trading in early 2021 has been satisfactory.
Earlier this month Total announced plans to merge with Dole Foods in the US to create the world's largest fresh fruit and vegetable supply business with $10 billion (€8.2bn) in sales. The combined company, operating under the Dole brand, will be incorporated in Ireland, with its global headquarters in Dublin, but it will be listed in the US.
Mr McCann said the decision to list the new company in the US marks “an exciting next step”.
“The combined company will become the largest player in fresh produce with a highly diversified portfolio, resilient earnings and a strong balance sheet that positions us well for accelerated growth,” he said.