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CHIQUITA ANNOUNCES 1992 RESULTS

 CINCINNATI, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today reported a $146 million ($2.91 per share) loss from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 1992, before taking into account non-recurring charges including the restructuring of its fresh foods operations and a loss from discontinued operations as a result of its decision to sell its Meat Division operations. The net loss for the year after all non-recurring charges was $284 million ($5.48 per share).
 The loss from continuing operations resulted principally from sharply increased banana costs and expenses. These costs were significantly impacted by a widespread decline in product quality early in 1992 caused by the extraordinary outbreak of disease and unusual weather patterns (El Nino) affecting banana industry cultivations. In response to these quality issues, Chiquita reduced the volume of fruit it marketed during the second half of the year, resulting in a significant amount of unrecovered costs. These unusual quality issues were successfully addressed by extraordinary control measures and a reduction in the volume of lower quality purchased fruit. As a result, the company's product quality returned to standard during the second half of 1992.
 During the fourth quarter, the company undertook an aggressive program to adjust its fresh foods volume and cost infrastructure to significantly reduce production, distribution and overhead costs. This program, which includes consolidation of operations, asset disposals and workforce reductions, resulted in restructuring and reorganization charges of $61 million ($1.18 per share). The company expects that the restructuring and reorganization program will result in significant cost reductions and, together with a return to standard product quality, will result in more normal cost levels for banana operations in 1993.
 The decline in product quality in early 1992 also adversely affected 1992 first half banana pricing, principally in Europe. Upon the restoration of standard product quality, banana pricing returned to normal seasonal levels during the second half of 1992. Chiquita's banana pricing has continued at more normal seasonal levels through the first two months of 1993.
 In connection with the previously announced Meat Division reorganization and sale of certain assets, Chiquita has completed its evaluation of such plans and has decided to pursue the sale of all remaining Meat Division operations. The company's Meat Division has been classified as a discontinued operation at December 31, 1992, and the net loss for the year includes a loss from discontinued operations of $62 million ($1.20 per share).
 Chiquita has fully provided for estimated future retiree medical benefits in its loss from discontinued operations as of December 31, 1992.
 The loss from continuing operations was increased by higher net interest expense and a third quarter nonrecurring charge of $10 million for the proposed settlement of shareholder litigation arising earlier in 1992. The loss for the year also includes a $5 million charge for foreign income taxes; however, it does not reflect any tax benefit that may be realized in the future from carryforward of the 1992 loss.
 Chiquita President Keith E. Lindner stated: "1992 presented unprecedented challenges for the banana industry, and we were required to undertake substantive action in many areas to address these major issues. We are continuing our successful expense reduction program into 1993 and the integration of our European operations in preparation for an effective transition into the future European Community. We retained a strong financial position at year end with over $400 million in cash and marketable securities. Although we face the uncertainty of the potential impact of European Community legislation for the banana industry, we began 1993 with normal cost levels for banana operations, and banana pricing through February 1993 has continued at more normal seasonal levels."
 Chiquita is a leading international marketer, processor and producer of quality food products.
 CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL, INC.
 SUMMARY OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS
 FOR THE QUARTER AND TWELVE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1992 AND 1991
 (In thousands, except for per share amounts)
 Quarter Ended Twelve Months Ended
 December 31, December 31,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $ 620,961 $646,980 $2,723,250 $2,604,128
 Income (loss) from
 continuing operations
 before taxes and
 non-recurring charges $(96,140) $ 8,513 $(145,908) $160,009
 Restructuring $ (61,300) $ - $ (61,300) $ -
 Income (loss) from
 continuing
 operations $(152,440) $ 5,813 $(221,708) $110,909
 Discontinued
 operations $ (40,977) $ 3,448 $ (62,332) $ 17,586
 Net income (loss) $(193,417) $ 9,261 $(284,040) $128,495
 Fully diluted earnings
 (loss) per common share:
 - Continuing operations before
 non-recurring charges $ (1.77) $.11 $(2.91) $2.19
 - Restructuring (1.20) - (1.18) -
 - Continuing operations (2.97) .11 (4.28) 2.19
 - Discontinued operations (.80) .07 (1.20) .33
 - Net income (loss) (3.77) .18 (5.48) 2.52
 Weighted average number of
 common shares and
 equivalents outstanding 51,276 52,827 51,804 52,912
 Quarterly results are subject to significant seasonal variations and are not necessarily indicative of the results of operations for a full fiscal year.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Sandra W. Heimann of Chiquita Brands International, 513-784-8011/
 (CQB)


CO: Chiquita Brands International:? Ohio IN: FOD SU: ERN

BM -- CL024 -- 3210 03/04/93 18:03 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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