Fruit and vegetable distributor Fyffes saw profits rise to a record high in 2004, buoyed by strong trading in Europe and property sales.
The company, which has a ripening and distributing depot in Walsgrave, Coventry, said profit for the year ended December 31, before tax, goodwill and exceptional items, came in at £65.2 million - up nearly a third on last year and beating its own forecasts released four months ago.
The Dublin-based merchant said in November it expected to report a rise of more than 20 per cent in full-year earnings.
Chairman Carl McCann reiterated that strong trade in Europe, notably from recent acquisitions in the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden, was behind the success.
Two property sales boosted earnings by just under £10.1 million.
The company recommended a final dividend per share of 3.6 pence, up 20 per cent on last year.