Fresh fruit glut holds back Albert Fisher: Operating profits dive at European fruit and vegetable importer
Friday 23 April 1993
Profit margins were slashed everywhere except in the preparation of seafood. Trading margins on the importation of fresh produce were 0.5 per cent, down from 4.1 per cent.
Margins in food processing - which includes the cutting, washing and freezing of fresh fruit and vegetables for supermarkets - were 5.3 per cent in the half, compared with 7.5 per cent in the first half last year.
Operating profits in seafood, however, jumped 75 per cent to pounds 9.5m and profit margins widened from 8.9 per cent to 13.8 per cent. Fisher benefited from a particularly good harvest of cockles and mussels.
Stephen Walls, who yesterday swapped his non-executive chairmanship for an executive one, was also downbeat on current trading. He said: 'We have yet to see any significant impact of an upturn in the UK economy on our markets, with continuing pressure on margins following the devaluation of the pound.'
Fisher is mostly a commodity trader and it supplies own-brand products. This is inherently less profitable than branded goods. However, Mr Walls said the company was attempting to explore opportunities where it could add value.
Although the operating performance was disappointing, pre-tax profitability looked better. Taxable profits were pounds 25m, up from pounds 12m. However, the rise was only made possible by restating figures for the first half to February 1992 to bring the accounts in line with the new FRS3 reporting standard.
The comparable result in yesterday's figures of pounds 12m was revised down from the pounds 37m disclosed this time last year.
Underlining the need for caution, Fisher left the interim dividend unchanged at 1.85p. The payout is covered 1.4 times by earnings per share of 2.7p, up from a restated 1.2p.
Albert Fisher was built up quickly in the 1980s with a string of acquisitions paid for by issuing shares. Yesterday the stock fell 2p to 69p. In 1990 the shares were near double that, but are well above the 31p record low of last September.
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...