Tuesday, March 05 08:36:15
A string of acquisitions across Europe and North America helped Irish fresh foods group, Total Produce achieve 11.2pc revenue growth in the full year 2012 to E2.8 billion, the company said this morning.
Core profits, as measured by EBITDA, jumped by 17.8pc to E70.4m, it said, adding that adjusted profits before tax were up 19.1pc to E47.3m while earnings per share were up 12pc to 8.11 cent and the final dividend rose 12pc to 15.12 cent while the total 2012 dividend rose 10pc to 2.079 cent.
Trading conditions since the start of 2013 have been satisfactory, according to Carl McCann, Chairman.
"The Group's activities are well diversified across Europe and, more recently in North America and Africa. During 2012, Total Produce acquired shareholdings in a number of companies, including Oppenheimer in North America, Frankort and Koning in the Netherlands and Capespan in South Africa. With the benefit of these and other transactions, the Group is targeting adjusted EPS for 2013 in the range of 8.0 to 8.8 cent per share. The Group is pleased to report a 12pc increase in the final dividend which together with the interim dividend represents an overall increase of 10pc in the full year dividend. The Group continues to actively pursue further investment opportunities."
Operating profit before exceptional items increased 18.7pc to E43.2m (2011: E36.4m). The Group recognised an exceptional gain in the year of E0.3m (2011: E2.7m) relating to the divestment of the Group's 50pc joint venture in Capespan Europe. An analysis of these exceptional gains is set out in Note 5 of the accompanying financial information. Operating profit after these exceptional gains was E43.5m (2011: E39.1m), an increase of 11.2pc.
The Group was active with corporate development in 2012, investing almost E24m in additional business interests. The primary investment was the acquisition of a 50pc interest in Frankort & Koning Beheer Venlo BV and subsidiaries ('Frankort & Koning'), a leading European fresh produce distributor with principal operations in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. As part of the Group's divestment of its 50pc interest in Capespan Europe, the Group has increased its effective shareholding in Capespan Group Limited ('Capespan South Africa'), the leading South African produce company to 25.3pc.
Post year-end, on 7 January 2013, the Group announced the completion of an agreement to acquire a 65pc majority shareholding in the Oppenheimer group in two stages over five years. This development represents the Group's first step into the North American market. Founded in 1858, the Oppenheimer group is a leading North American fresh produce distribution and marketing company with thirteen sales offices, three in Canada, nine in the USA and one in Chile. The Oppenheimer group recorded revenue of E410m in 2011.