Chiquita savors best quarter in 10-plus years

Chiquita Brands International Inc reported first quarter 2005 net income of $87 million, versus net income of $20 million in the year-ago quarter.

“Chiquita achieved its best quarterly results in more than a decade, as we successfully expanded volume in our core banana business, enjoyed strong pricing in Europe and North America, and benefited from favorable foreign exchange,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer.

Net sales totaled $932 million, up 17% from $793 million in first quarter 2004. Operating income was $94 million, almost triple the operating income of $32 million in the year-ago period.

In the company’s banana segment, net sales rose to $520 million, up 24%, and operating income was $87 million, more than triple the $28 million reported a year earlier.

Chiquita’s other fresh produce segment, which includes the distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables other than bananas and its fresh-cut fruit business, saw net sales of $399 million, up 11% versus first quarter 2004. Operating income totaled $7 million, compared with $3 million in the 2004 first quarter.

TAGS: Foodservice
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