Irish fruit retail giant Fyffes slid back into the black last year, posting a profit of €20.7m and reversing a €170m loss it posted the year before in the stronger from the Covid pandemic, as he assumed significant deficiencies.
yffes, which is one of the largest distributors of fresh produce in the world, is owned by the Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo.
Just-filed accounts for Fyffes note that his performance has “improved dramatically” in 2021 as the worst effects of the pandemic have waned.
The company said its business in 2020 was hit hard. He added that the effect on his U.S. melon business that year was particularly pronounced because the pandemic coincided with a key part of the import season, when production volumes could not be adjusted to match reduced demand.
He said this has resulted in “significant levels of fruit dumping both in producing regions and in the United States”.
Fyffes said its 2020 results were also impacted by significant impairment charges due to lower projected medium-term profits across the group, which impacted its assessment of the book value of the goodwill and intangible assets for a number of the group’s more recent acquisitions. No additional impairment was required in 2021.
The group, led by CEO Helge Sparsoe, added that 2021 had seen a return to profitability in its melon product line as well as increased revenue and profitability in its core banana category.
The accounts show that last year’s turnover was stable at 1.47 billion euros against 1.49 billion euros in 2020.
However, his gross profit dropped from €117m to €189m.
Directors’ remuneration fell to 3.6 million euros last year from 11.1 million euros the previous year. The 2020 salary included 7.5 million euros split between former executive chairman David McCann and former chief financial officer Tom Murphy when they left the group that year.
Sumitomo agreed in late 2016 to pay 751 million euros to buy Fyffes, which was listed on the stock exchange.
The deal came two years after a planned $1 billion merger between Chiquita and Fyffes went off the rails after Cutrale and Safra groups broke into the deal, buying Chiquita for nearly $700 million instead. of dollars.
At the time of the Sumitomo deal, the McCann family owned nearly 12% of Fyffes and raked in €87 million from the sale.
David McCann told the Irish Independent back when Fyffes didn’t believe he needed the sale to continue to compete on a global stage that has seen consolidation.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “We weren’t for sale. We were approached and it’s a transaction that is commercially compelling and also makes sense in terms of what it means for people and the business itself.”
He added: “It sounds a bit cliché, but that’s how we feel about it. They seem like good people and they seem to think the same way we do.”
Earlier this year, Fyffes officially opened a new €25 million banana distribution and ripening center in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.
At full capacity, the center delivers over seven million bananas each week, or over 60,000 tonnes per year, to Irish food retailers, wholesalers and other suppliers.