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Fruit supplier Blue Skies sees profits hit by weak pound

Blue Skies, a supplier of fresh cut mango, pineapple and tropical fruit juices to the likes of Sainsbury’s and Asda, smashed through ?100m in ­revenues last year, but saw its profits slump as it counted the cost of the weak pound and tough times on the UK high street.
The company, which has operations in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and Brazil, is aiming to sign up new clients in the US and the Far East and recently opened a factory outside Cairo to supply juice to the Persian Gulf States in an ­attempt to diversify its revenue streams.
Anthony Pile, the former British Army officer who started the business 20 years ago in Ghana’s capital, Accra, said it had suffered after sterling fell in the wake of the EU referendum.
Pre-tax profit slumped 70pc to ?1.1m in 2017 despite a 12pc rise in turnover to ?100m.
Fruit supplier Blue Skies sees profits hit by weak pound

Blue Skies has operations in Ghana, South Africa, Egypt and Brazil 
Mr Pile told The Daily Telegraph: “Eventually we will get our act together in this country and things will get back to normal and we will see the pound go up again, so we’re just riding the storm a little bit.
“We’ve had to give up a little bit of ground here and there while the retailers make their demands upon us.”
Blue Skies’ business was growing faster on mainland Europe than in the UK, meaning the weak pound’s impact should be less severe next year, he added.
The company, which employs more than 4,000 staff, supplies most of its fruit on a white label basis but recently launched Blue Skies branded ice cream in Waitrose and is planning more products under its own name to improve brand awareness.
Mr Pile said the company’s operating model of processing the fruit near to where it is picked gave its Ghanaian employees a stake in the country’s economic development – “instead of risking their lives going across the Sahara, jumping into a flimsy boat and being picked up by somebody that doesn’t want to take you across to the other side”.
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