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Chiquita’s banana business hit by salad slump

24-Feb-2009

Chiquita has posted weak fourth quarter results, as it has been hit by a big drop in sales of its packaged salads, on top of higher costs and a weak euro.

The company posted a loss for the quarter of $411.1m from continuing operations, compared to a loss of $22.5m a year ago. It blamed much of the loss on the slump in salad sales, as consumers have begun to see packaged salad as a non-essential item. Salad sales were down ten percent for the quarter.

Chiquita’s share price fell to a twenty-year low on the news – down 38 percent to $7.89. Its $411.1m loss is equal to $9.27 a share, which compares to a 59c loss per share last year, according to Reuters figures.

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