Chiquita income down 26% in quarter
May 01, 2009
by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
CINCINNATI — Impacted by decreased sales results, net income for the first quarter at Chiquita Brands International, Inc. was down 26%.
For the quarter ended March 31, the company had income of $23 million, equal to 52c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $31 million, or 72c per share, during the same quarter of 2008.
Sales for the quarter were $842 million, down 10% from $935 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales were negatively impacted by a stronger dollar and a reduction of food service and retail volumes in North America salad operations.
"Our first quarter was strong, especially considering the challenges we faced from currency and temporary food-related costs," said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer. "We now have a head start on the year, and we are confident in the execution of our profit-improvement and cost reduction initiatives and our plan to improve full-year 2009 results on a comparable basis."
Operating income for the bananas segment was $40 million, down 34% from $61 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $485 million, down 8% from $528 million during the same quarter of the previous year.
The Salads and Healthy Snacks segment had an operating income of $13 million, up significantly from $4 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $281 million, down 10% from $335 million during the same quarter of 2008.
"Our banana results remained relatively strong," Mr. Aguirre said. "We are also pleased with the early evidence of improvement in our performance in value-added salads. We are on track to achieve our full-year target of 3% to 4% operating margins in salads in 2009, which is a significant improvement versus last year, as a direct result of the actions we have taken in the last several quarters related to pricing, cost reduction and network efficiencies."