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Del Monte sinks into the red with US$12.4m loss in Q4

DEL Monte Pacific has sunk into the red with a net loss of US$12.4 million for its fourth quarter ended April 30, compared with a net profit of US$6.3 million a year ago. 

The mainboard-listed food and beverage company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that the group had incurred one-off expenses totalling US$17.2 million in relation to plant closures and loan retirement for its US subsidiary, Del Monte Foods Inc.

Without the one-off expenses, the group would have posted a net profit of US$4.8 million, it said.

Loss per share stood at 0.89 US cent for the quarter, compared to an earnings per share of 0.07 cent a year ago.

Turnover for Q4 rose 47.6 per cent to US$638.4 million, from US$432.6 million a year ago. This was due to a 47.6 per cent increase in sales in Q4, compared to a year ago, on the back of higher sales in the US and the Philippines.

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This was "significantly driven" by a surge in demand following the Covid-19 pandemic, with higher exports of packaged pineapple products across categories and brands, Del Monte said.

"The group's results had been favourably impacted by the pandemic," it added. "As consumers stayed home, prepared more meals and consumed more snacks at home, they purchased trusted brand names and consumed healthier, shelf-stable culinary products."

A special cash dividend of 1.54 cents per share was declared for the full year, compared to a final ordinary dividend of 0.52 cent a year ago.

The books closure date, and the date the dividend will be paid, have yet to be confirmed.

For the full year ended April 30, net profit was up 103.8 per cent to US$32.2 million, while turnover rose 8.9 per cent to US$2.13 billion.

Shares of Del Monte Pacific were trading at 14.2 Singapore cents as at 9.15am on Friday, up 3.5 cents or 32.7 per cent.

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