Del Monte Pacific losses narrow in Q1

Del Monte Pacific narrowed in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year, thanks to lower operating expenses as a result of a restructuring effort that began last year.
Del Monte Pacific narrowed in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year, thanks to lower operating expenses as a result of a restructuring effort that began last year. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Losses at food and beverage company Del Monte Pacific narrowed in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year, thanks to lower operating expenses as a result of a restructuring effort that began last year.

The group, which is dual-listed in Singapore and the Philippines, on Friday morning (Sept 9) posted a net loss of US$8.7 million for the three months ended July 31 - an 18.3 per cent improvement over the US$10.7 million net loss in the same period the year before.

The net loss included US$2.8 million in one-off expenses from the severance and closure of its North Carolina plant. Without the one-off expenses, net loss for the period would be lower at US$5.9 million.

Revenue dipped 2.8 per cent to US$465.5 million owing to lower non-branded sales in the United States, although this was partially offset by the strong performance of the Del Monte brand in the Philippines as well as the S&W brand in the rest of Asia.

Losses per share for the quarter narrowed to 0.45 US cents from 0.55 US cents previously, while net asset value per share stood at 18.21 US cents as at July 31, up on the 15.66 US cents as at the same day a year ago.

No dividends were declared for the period.

Del Monte Pacific said the first quarter is seasonally the weakest quarter for its US subsidiary, Del Monte Foods Inc, accounting for only 19 to 21 per cent of its full-year sales. Sales would peak in the second and third quarters around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The group also expects to be profitable for the rest of the year.

Del Monte shares opened at 36.5 Singapre cents after the results were announced on Friday, up 4.2 per cent from the previous day's close of 35 cents.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg