Despite challenges, Total Produce reports trading has been positive this year

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Ireland-based multinational Total Produce says that trading for the 10 months ended Oct. 31 has "remained positive" against the backdrop of COVID-19.

The development comes despite the company in March lowering its financial expectations for the year.

Total Produce, one of the world's biggest fresh fruit and vegetable companies which in 2018 purchased a 45% stake in Dole, said: "Sales continued to be resilient in wholesale and retail, offsetting reduced demand from foodservice."

It said that sales, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share are now expected to be "slightly ahead" of full-year 2019.

"The Group’s strong presence in the global fresh produce industry, the diversity of its operations and products, together with the exceptional response from our people, enables us to meet the challenges," it said.

As the onset of the pandemic in late March, Total Produce said that it was in good position to weather the global challenges, but reduced its expectations, saying it was anticipating lower financial results than last year. In later August, the company said it had enjoyed a "very strong" financial performance in the first half of the year.

Revenue and adjusted EBITDA increased by 2.0% and 0.9% respectively, demonstrating "the robustness of the Group’s business model", Carl McCann, Total Produce Chairman said at the time.

In March the company reported a stellar financial year for 2019, with total revenue growing by 22% to €6.2bn (US$7bn), and adjusted profit before tax rising by 28% to €98.3m (US$110m).
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