Dutch food group Wessanen has reported lower third-quarter net income, but said it expected its fourth-quarter net income to show substantial improvement.


The company posted net income, before exceptionals and goodwill amortisation, of €2.1m (US$2.5m) for the third quarter of 2003, compared to €11.8m in the year-ago quarter.


After exceptionals and goodwill amortisation the company posted a net loss of €4.9m, compared to a year-earlier profit of €8.4m.


Net sales were €597.2m, or €659.0m at constant exchange rates, compared to €607.8m a year earlier.


EBITA from continuing operations, before exceptionals, was €3.5m, compared to €13.7m in the year-ago period.


The company said fourth-quarter net income, before exceptionals and goodwill amortisation, is expected to show substantial improvement and exceed last year’s result of €2.4m.