Chiquita income jumps in quarter

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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CINCINNATI — For the second quarter ended June 30, Chiquita Brands International, Inc. posted net income of $62.1 million, equal to $1.43 per share on the common stock, up sharply from $8.6 million, or 20c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year.

Net sales for the quarter were $994.6 million, up 6% from $934 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

"I am very pleased with our strong second-quarter results, which mark our best quarterly performance in three years," said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our ability to deliver year-on-year improvements, despite unprecedented cost increases, is a testament to the strength of our business, the diversity of our product portfolio and our strategy to drive profitable growth. We are particularly satisfied that our pricing discipline and focus on profitability has improved the performance and momentum of our banana segment for the fourth consecutive quarter. We are disappointed, however, with the current performance of our salad operations, and we are focused on executing plans to improve our salad margins over time."

The Bananas segment had an operating income of $89 million for the quarter, up 106% from $43.3 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $562.7 million, up 17% from $480.4 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The Salads and Healthy Snacks segment had a loss of $5.9 million in the quarter, which compared with income of $10 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

For the six months ended June 30, Chiquita had net income of $93.8 million, or $2.17 per share, up from $5.2 million, or 12c per share, during the same period of the previous year. Net sales for the six months were $1,930.1 million, up 5% from $1,839.2 million during the same period of the previous year.

"While quarter-to-quarter volatility is typical due to the seasonality of our industry, we continue to expect to achieve significantly better operating results for the full year," Mr. Aguirre said. "We remain focused on aggressively improving profitability and prudently investing in the launch of innovative products to become a global leader in healthy, fresh foods."

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