Fyffes credits shipping savings for profit rise

4 September 2012

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4 September 2012 | Anna Reynolds

Tropical fruit supplier Fyffes has reported a 20 per cent increase in its total revenue for the first half of 2012 after making savings on shipping costs.

The procurement department’s efforts to overhaul this spend by switching from reefer to container ships to import fruit had a significant impact on the company’s profits.

Fyffes' interim results showed a pre-tax profit of €22.4 million (£17.8 million), a 20 per cent rise compared with the same period in 2011. This was despite prices of bananas and pineapples having increased.

A Fyffes spokesman told SM: “Container ships allow more flexibility and almost zero waste because we only run them when they are full. Reefer ships operate on a dedicated service on a particular day, so they are often only half full.”

Fyffes said while the price of bunker fuel had increased by 20 per cent in 2012, a rise in new business and increased volumes meant it had been able to offset higher costs. It attributed the success to having an integrated supply chain, with effective procurement, shipping, ripening and distribution systems in place.

The company has focused on increased production and cost management and has long-term supply agreements with third party producers.

Its largest markets are in Europe, the US, and Central and South America. “Despite it being a volatile business, there has been good growth,” the spokesperson added.

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