• Sales dropped to US762m from US774m
  • Operating income fell to US$1m from US$25m
  • Net loss of US$25m from income of US$2m last year
Chiquita has announced a loss in its first quarter

Chiquita has announced a loss in its first quarter

Drought conditions in Central America and winter storms in North America and over the Atlantic, lowering banana demand, have hit Chiquita's bottom line.

The firm, which merged with Fyffes in March this year, said the impact of weather saw the firm post a net loss of US$25m compared to a net income of US$2m for the same period last year.

"While we are confident in our 2014 progress toward our long term financial targets and benefits from our 'return to the core' strategic plan, our first quarter results did not meet expectations," said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita's president and chief executive officer.  "Drought conditions in Central America and winter storms in North America and over the Atlantic disrupted our value chain and market demand for our products. 

He predicted the Fyffes merger, due to close at the end of the year, "will fundamentally improve our ability to deal with weather risks and event-driven supply volatility in our bananas business due to the broader growing and shipping profiles of the combined entities".