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Del Monte posts Q4 profit of US$12.3m on one-off gain

MAINBOARD-listed Del Monte Pacific has reported a fourth-quarter net profit of US$12.3 million, up from US$2.9 million in the year-ago period, as a result of a one-off gain from the purchase of Del Monte Foods Inc (DMFI) loans at a discount in the secondary market, the group said on Friday. 

DMFI is the group's subsidiary in the US. 

For the three months ended April 30, earnings per share came in at 0.38 US cents, from 0.11 US cents last year.

However, excluding a net one-off gain of US$14.3 million, the group would have incurred a net loss of US$2.1 million versus a net profit of US$17.2 million last year. This was due to lower export sales, significantly reduced PJC (pineapple juice concentrate) prices, and investments in trade spending and marketing to strengthen its core business in the US.

Turnover for the quarter was also down 8.5 per cent to US$499 million.

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"While sales were higher in the Philippines, these were offset mainly by lower, cyclical PJC prices in international markets, decreased exports of processed pineapple, and lower sales in the US," Del Monte said. 

In April this year, the company paid dividends to holders of its Series A-1 preference shares at a fixed rate of 6.625 per cent per annum; and a rate of 6.5 per cent per annum to holders of its Series A-2 preference shares. 

For the full year of fiscal 2018, the group generated a net loss of US$28.2 million, from a net profit of US$24.4 million due to the one-off expenses incurred in DMFI’s two plant closures, and the write-off of deferred tax assets due to a change in US tax rates.

Excluding one-off items, the company would have registered a net profit of US$12 million, down 73.6 per cent from a year ago. 

Total sales for the year came in at US$2.2 billion, 2.5 per cent less than the previous year, as higher sales in Asia were offset by lower sales in the US.

The counter last traded at 18 Singapore cents apiece on Thursday, up 2.3 per cent, or 0.4 Singapore cent. 

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