Fresh Del Monte's profit beats estimates as margins improve
* Q2 adj EPS $1.01 vs est EPS $0.91
* Q2 sales $957.6 mln vs est $1.01 bln
July 31 (Reuters) - Fruit and vegetable distributor Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as higher selling prices at its fresh produce segment boosted gross margins.
The company reported quarterly earnings of $57.2 million, or 99 cents per share, up from $35.2 million, or 59 cents per share.
Excluding certain items, the company earned $1.01 per share, beating analyst expectations of 91 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell about 8 percent to $957.6 million hurt by lower banana sales volumes in the Middle East and Europe. Analysts had expected revenue of $1.01 billion for the quarter.
The company's fresh produce segment includes gold pineapple, melon and tomato as well as fruits and vegetables that are cut, prepared and packaged by the company. Lower ocean freight costs also helped boost margins.
Fresh Del Monte shares closed at $24.34 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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