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 Toll free telephone access will be available by dialing 800-289-0572 and providing the confirmation code 518470. International callers should dial 913-981-5543. A webcast audio replay of the call will also be available; see the website for details.

Chiquita is a leading international marketer, producer and distributor of quality fresh fruits and vegetables and processed foods.

This press release contains certain statements that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. These statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, including product pricing, costs to purchase or grow (and availability of) fresh produce and other raw materials, currency exchange rate fluctuations, natural disasters and unusual weather conditions, operating efficiencies, labor relations, ability to obtain debt or equity financing when and as needed, actions of governmental bodies, and other market and competitive conditions, many of which are beyond the control of Chiquita. Actual results or developments may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.

(In millions, except per share amounts)

Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended
September 30, September 30,
2000 1999 2000 1999

Net sales $465.8 $567.2 $1,725.3 $1,937.1

Operating expenses:
Cost of sales 408.8 483.9 1,369.1 1,534.7
Selling, general
and administrative 58.2 81.3 200.1 242.3
Depreciation 22.6 22.3 68.1 67.0
Total 489.6 587.5 1,637.3 1,844.0

Operating income (loss)* (23.8) (20.3) 88.0 93.1

Interest income* 3.4 12.6 9.3 17.2
Interest expense (31.6) (29.1) (95.6) (82.7)
Other income, net 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3

Income (loss) before
income taxes
and extraordinary
item (51.9) (36.7) 1.9 27.9
Income taxes -- -- (8.0) (8.5)
Income (loss) before
extraordinary item (51.9) (36.7) (6.1) 19.4
Extraordinary gain
(loss) from debt
extinguishment (1.8) -- 0.1 --

Net income (loss) $(53.7) $(36.7) $(6.0) $19.4

Diluted earnings per share
Before extraordinary
item $(0.84) $(0.62) $(0.28) $0.10
Extraordinary item (0.03) -- -- --
Net income (loss) (0.87) (0.62) (0.28) 0.10

Shares used to calculate
diluted earnings
per share 66.6 65.8 66.4 65.9

EBITDA before
extraordinary item $0.4 $3.6 $161.2 $165.1

Quarterly results are subject to significant seasonal variations and are not necessarily indicative of the results of operations for a full fiscal year.

* Operating income (loss) for the third quarter of 1999 includes $6
million of workforce reduction charges. Interest income for the third
quarter of 1999 includes $10 million related to tax refunds.