Chiquita Brands Q3 net loss up

Chiquita Brands International, Inc., a marketer and distributor of food products from bananas, has reported a net loss of $67 million, or $1.45 loss per diluted share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012, compared to a net loss of $29 million, or $0.63 loss per diluted share, for the same quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Net sales for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 were $714 million, compared to $723 million for the same quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 was $72 million, or $1.57 loss per diluted share, compared to a net income of $73 million, or $1.58 income per diluted share, for the same period ended September 30, 2011.

Net sales for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 were $2.34 billion, compared to $2.42 billion for the same period ended September 30, 2011.

"Chiquita's third quarter results exceeded our internal expectations. While it was a challenging quarter, we made progress in positioning the company for future growth by becoming more competitive in our core banana and salads businesses," said Edward Lonergan, Chiquita's president and CEO. "Although certain fundamentals suggest that supply and demand in bananas is becoming balanced and prices are rising, we face difficult pricing comparisons to 2011, particularly with respect to the impact of euro exchange rates, which, by itself, negatively impacted year over year income comparisons by $10 million for the third quarter. In salads, our retail volume reductions as compared to the year ago periods have narrowed since the beginning of the year, and we believe that our entry into private label and additional salad products will further improve our results in 2013."