US producer and marketer of food brands, Aurora Foods, has announced a fall in fourth-quarter net sales US$212.4m, compared to $229.6m a year earlier, due to reduced volume, unfavourable product mix and increased trade allowances.

Primarily as a result of non-cash charges, the company reported a net loss of $271.2m for the quarter, compared to net income of $2.4m for the fourth quarter of 2001. These fourth quarter 2002 results include charges of approximately $275m related to goodwill and other intangible assets, plant closings and other fixed assets, inventory and deferred tax assets.

For the full year 2002, Aurora reported net sales of $771.9m compared to net sales of $842.1m for 2001. The company’s net loss for 2002 was $483.2m, compared to a net loss of $17.6m for 2001.