Fruit and vegetable distributor Fyffes posted a 7.2% rise in pre-tax profits of 68.1m euros for the year ended 31 December 2002

Total turnover was 1,837m euros, down from 1,955m euros in 2001. The company said the fall in turnover was due to the disposal of a number of businesses in the second half of 2001 and in the first half of 2002.

Chairman Neil McCann described it as a "highly satisfactory performance achieved in challenging market conditions."

He added: "Increased profits and strong cash flows have enabled Fyffes to enhance its leading position in the European fresh produce sector while, at the same time, increasing the resources available to pursue further group development."