Del Monte Pacific back in the black with net profit of US$19 million in Q4

SINGAPORE - Food and beverage company Del Monte Pacific was back in the black for the fourth quarter ended April 30 with a net profit of US$19.2 million (S$26 million).

This was well up on the net loss of US$4.2 million in the same period a year ago.

The turnaround was thanks to a one-off gain of US$8.4 million after tax as well as strong operating results across Asia, said Del Monte on Wednesday.

Turnover slipped 2.8 per cent to US$520.1 million due to lower sales in the United States, although this was partially offset by a strong performance in the Philippines under the Del Monte brand and the rest of Asia under the S&W brand, it noted.

Earnings per share for the quarter came in at 99 US cents, an improvement on the losses per share of 25 US cents previously.

For the full year, Del Monte posted a net profit of US$51.5 million, compared with a net loss of US$43.2 million a year ago. Revenue rose 3.7 per cent to US$2.27 billion.

The company, which is listed in both Singapore and Manila, proposed a final dividend of 1.33 US cents per share. This represents a 50 per cent payout of its full-year net profit, compared with none in the previous year.

Del Monte said it expects to continue to be profitable in the 2017 financial year.

"In the short-to-mid term, Del Monte plans to improve its financial performance by strengthening its core business, leveraging procurement synergies and optimising G&A (general and administrative) costs," it said, noting that the closure of the North Carolina plant was part of this streamlining effort.

"In addition, the group will shift to a leaner organisation model in the US to drive channel growth and bring down costs in line with competition."

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg