Chiquita Brands loss widens for estimated 2012 financial result

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Chiquita Brands loss widens for estimated 2012 financial result

Chiquita Brands International, Inc has reported a large anticipated drop in its fourth quarter operating results with a loss of between US$188-233 million, down from a loss of US$12 million during the same period in 2011.  Bananaschiquita

The preliminary, unaudited estimate includes US$170-$205 million non-cash goodwill and trademark impairment charges, as well as additional restructuring and relocation costs.

The loss is contrasted by improved comparative sales for the quarter. The company estimated US$738 million in sales for the period, up from sales of US$722 million for the fourth quarter of 2011.

The company reported US$3.1 billion in net sales for the full year, the same as in 2011. It estimated a full-year operating loss in the range of $236-281 million, substantially down from a US$34 million loss in 2011.

Losses were attributed to low European currency exchange rates and "a number of unusual cost items". However, stronger banana pricing and logistical savings offset lower salad results.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, Chiquita estimated a total cash holding of US$52 million and availability in its revolving credit facility of US$88 million.

Shareholders responded positively to the result yesterday, with Chiquita shares rising 6.17% to US$7.91 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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