Troubled Italian food group Parmalat Finanziaria has said its chief financial officer, Alberto Ferraris, has resigned after only a few months on the job.

Ferraris, who was appointed CFO in March, was leaving in "common accord" with Parmalat, reported Reuters.

Luciano Del Soldato, the company's head of auditing and administration, is now to take on the additional role of head of finance.

Del Soldato said the company would stick to its target of using €1bn (US$1.18bn) cash to cut debt by the end of 2003. At the end of September, the company's total debt was €6.04bn.

Parmalat recently reported third-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €237.6m, compared to €220.2m a year earlier.

Operating profit was up by €12m to €169m, while sales edged up to €1.838 from €1.806 a year earlier.