Chiquita expects U.S. market share growth in 2013

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Chiquita expects U.S. market share growth in 2013

Fruit company Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) has listed several reasons for optimism in 2013, after releasing its full year results for 2012 yesterday. chiquita 1

The company's full year result was within the range forecast in late January with an operating loss of US$254 million.

In a release, the Charlotte-based multinational said "tangible progress"  had been made in its restructuring initiatives, while continuing to reduce business volatility.

The company cited several important developments that would improve 2013 financial results, including banana contract wins that would drive U.S. market share growth in 2013 and a signature private label salad win that started shipments in the first quarter.

Chiquita said Latin American banana supply trends were expected to remain balanced with demand in the first half of the year, while the business would also be able to monetize additional identified value chain and overhead simplification opportunities.

The company expects the consolidation of Midwest salad facilities near Chicago to be completed this year.

The release added that non-core business exits had been "substantially completed" with others underway.

"Chiquita has momentum as we start 2013.  We remain focused on our core businesses of bananas and salads, and recent successes in both areas will add profitable volume in the coming year," chief executive officer Ed Lonergan said in the release.

"In addition, our value chain and overhead reduction initiatives are substantially complete and further opportunities exist.  We are already seeing tangible benefits and remain confident in our ability to achieve our long-term target operating margins.

"As well, the recent refinancing provides us with financial flexibility and capability to focus fully on delivering against our refreshed strategic choices."

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