USA: Chiquita announces third quarter results
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today reported that its third quarter 2000 net loss was $54 million ($.87 per share), which includes an extraordinary loss of $2 million ($.03 per share) from debt refinancing. In 1999, the Company reported a third quarter net loss of $37 million ($.62 per share).The Company's results were negatively impacted by the strongest dollar in relation to major European currencies in the last fourteen years and higher fuel costs. These impacts were partially offset by the Company's continued improvements in production and logistics costs of its Fresh Produce business and benefits from its workforce reduction program announced in 1999.Third quarter earnings for the Processed Foods business improved as the Company continues to consolidate productive capacity in its canning operations.The net loss in the 1999 third quarter includes $6 million of workforce reduction charges and $10 million of interest income on tax refunds.Net sales for the quarter decreased $101 million to $466 million primarily as a result of the stronger dollar, lower banana volume in North America and non-core trading markets, and the deconsolidation of the Company's Australian operations.The Company also announced today that it will not declare or pay any further dividends on any of its outstanding preferred and preference stock until conditions improve. These series are the $2.875 Non-Voting Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series A, $3.75 Convertible Preferred Stock, Series B, and $2.50 Convertible Preference Stock, Series C. Dividends on these series, which total $17 million annually, will continue to accrue, in accordance with the terms of these shares.The Company conference call to discuss third quarter results will begin at 1:00 EST today and will be available via webcast at
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