Chiquita Brands International has outlined its preliminary results for the fourth quarter and full-year of 2012, with sales forecast to remain stable and yearly income expected to fall on the previous 12 months.
The company, which noted results were subject to change before finalisation, said that fourth quarter net sales were approximately US$738m, up from US$722m in 2011, with operating loss expected to come in at US$10m-US$20m compared with a loss of US$2m in the same period.
Stronger banana pricing and logistical savings partially offset lower salad results through the quarter, Chiquita said, with lower average European currency exchange rates and a 'number of unusual cost items'.
For the full year, meanwhile, net sales were stable year-on-year at US$3.1bn, although predicted operating income of US$1m-US$11m was well down on the comparable operating income of US$78m registered in the previous 12 months.
The company 'substantially completed' several strategic initiatives by the end of the fourth quarter, including focuses on its core businesses of bananas and salads, a reduction of its value chain costs, a reduction in overheads and selling, general and administrative costs, and volume growth.
Chiquita noted that these changes are expected to drive at least US$60m in annual savings beginning in 2013, including US$25m for completed headcount reductions and approximately US$35m for value chain cost reductions.