* Q2 adj. EPS $0.77 vs est $0.96
* Sales $1.04 bln vs est $1.02 bln (Follows alerts)
Aug 2 (Reuters) - Fruit and vegetable distributor Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by higher fuel costs and stiff competition in its melon business.
Second-quarter net income attributable to Fresh Del Monte was $35.2 million, or 59 cents a share, compared with $21.1 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company earned 77 cents a share.
Sales rose 4 percent to $1.04 billion.
Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 96 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $1.02 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the company closed at $24.64 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)