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Irish fruit importer Fyffes (FFY) has announced a near 15% increase in first half sales driven by acquisitions and volume growth.

Total revenue, including Fyffes’ share of its joint ventures, increased by 14.7% in the first half of the year to €739.3m. Sales excluding joint ventures were to €630.5m in the period, an increase of 16.6%.

The sales boost included the first time contribution from Canadian mushroom producer Highline, for the three-months post acquisition.

Fyffes also achieved volume growth in each of its existing product categories in the period, including the first time contribution from the additional melon farming assets acquired at the end of 2015.

Adjusted EBITDA was €4.5m higher (+11.3%), at €44.0m, and adjusted EBITA was up €2.3m (+6.6%) to €36.6m. Excluding the Highline acquisition, Adjusted EBITA in the first half was in line with the same period last year.

Fyffes said this represents “a good result for the period with strong performances in the pineapple and melon categories offsetting the impact of the relatively difficult market conditions experienced in the banana category”.

The firm said trading conditions in the banana category were challenging during the first half of 2016, mainly due to the further strengthening of the US dollar against sterling and the euro. In response, Fyffes secured some price increases to date but this has been insufficient to offset the impact of the adverse exchange rates and the group therefore continues to pursue further price increases in all markets.

David McCann, chairman, said: “Fyffes is maintaining its strong full year target earnings ranges, which were increased in April 2016 following the Highline acquisition.

“The result for the first half of the year was satisfactory given the difficult prevailing market conditions, including adverse currency movements as a result of the weakness of Sterling and the euro against the US Dollar.

“Highline has performed in line with our expectations for the three-month period post acquisition. The first half results in the Group’s other product categories were in line with the same period last year in aggregate, with strong performances in the pineapple and melon categories.”

Fyffes shares edged up 0.2% to 132.5p this morning. The shares are more than 20% up year-to-date.

Morning update

It’s a quiet end to a quiet week in the City this morning.

The Grocer yesterday afternoon had the news that Kettle Foods’ US owner, Diamond Foods, has taken full ownership of Metcalfe’s Skinny by acquiring the remaining 74% of the business it did not already own. See the full story here.

Also, households were £10 a week better off last month than they were in July 2015, according to Asda’s latest monthly Income Tracker. See the full story here.

The FTSE 100 is back up 0.4% to 6,769.7pts so far this morning, driven higher by bank shares and the pound slipping back from yesterday’s gains.

Early risers include Majestic wine (WINE), up 1.2% to 430.4p, Kerry Group (KYGA), up 1.2% to €77.15, Unilever (ULVR), up 1.1% to 3,565p and Imperial Brands (IMB), up 1% to 4,001.5p.

Fallers include PayPoint (PAY), down 1.7% to 1,004p, Greggs (GRG), down 1.6% to 1,053p, McBribe (MCB), dodwn 1.6% to 158p and Premier Foods (PFD), down 1.3% to 50.4p.

Yesterday in the City

After a good start to the morning yesterday the FTSE ended the day 0.5% down to 6,745pts as the pound jumped 1% back up to $1.327 and after PMI manufacturing figures surprisingly reached a 10-month high.

The rise in the pound hit some internationally minded fmcg players, with Diageo (DGE) down 1.2% to 2,083.5p, Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) down 1.1% to 1,655p and Imperial Brands (IMB) down 0.8% to 3,962p.

But there were some strong performances outside the FTSE 100 – led by Ocado (OCDO), which was up a healthy 3.8% to 316.1p. Also on the rise were Dairy Crest (DCG), up 3.4% to 679p, WH Smith (SMWH), up 3.3% to 1,574p, and Greggs (GRG), up 3.2% to 1,070p.

McColl’s (MCLS) was up 2.4% to 170p after issuing its third quarter trading update yesterday.

Other risers included PayPoint, (PAY), up 4.2% to 1,021p and McBride (MCB), up 4.1% to 160.5p. While other fallers included Conviviality (CVR), down 1.3% to 222p, Hilton Food Group (HFG), down 1.2% to 586.5p and Nichols (NICL), down 1% to 1,398p.