CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Restructuring efforts helped Chiquita Brands International, Inc. swing to profit during the first quarter.
For the quarter ended March 31, the company had income of $2 million, equal to 5c per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $11 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $774 million, down 2% from $793 million during the same quarter of the previous year.
“We continue to execute against our previously announced restructuring plans and strategy to focus on our core products,” said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita’s president and chief executive officer. “We are pleased that our first-quarter results reflect the initial benefits from these strategic decisions and actions. The improvements overcame euro exchange rates that negatively impacted this quarter by $12 million after hedging, and we view these results as a clear sign of the progress we are making and a good first step toward achieving our long-term financial targets.
“Performance in our core businesses continues to improve. In both our North American bananas business and our salad business, we have responsibly increased segment shares with new contracts and through improved velocity with existing customers. In Europe, we have continued to prioritize profitable contracts and have shed arrangements that did not meet our profit targets. We also continue to focus on improving productivity and remaining disciplined in our value chain and overhead spending. With the recently announced addition of Rick Frier to our management team, we believe that we have the pieces in place to execute our strategy and achieve our long-term financial goals.”