Irish fruit and veg supplier Total Produce topped €5bn (£4.3bn) in revenue in the year it bought a 45% stake in exotic fruit giant Dole.
Sales soared by almost €700m, equal to 17%, in the year to 31 December 2018. However, the cost of the acquisition contributed to a €6.2m drop in pre-tax profits to €69.8m.
Its UK business lagged behind growth in other markets, with a fall in the value of sterling plus decreasing volumes and margins resulting in a 2% dip in revenue. “Total Produce delivered good results in 2018 in what was a challenging year for the fresh produce industry,” said CEO Rory Byrne.
“Overall trading conditions were challenging due to unusual weather patterns which extended into the summer months which disrupted supply and demand particularly in the soft fruit, vegetables and salads categories. These effects were more pronounced in the Netherlands where the market remains very competitive.”