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Chiquita sees quarterly boost in banana sales but posts loss

Chiquita sees quarterly boost in banana sales but posts loss

Chiquita Brands International Inc. sales inched up 2.2 percent for the third quarter, but the Charlotte banana company still reported a loss of $ 18 million, or 38 cents per share.

The loss equalled that of the third quarter in 2013 for Chiquita (NYSE:CQB). Sales increased to $ 739 million for the latest quarter, rising from $ 723 million a year earlier. That increase was propelled by a 4 percent rise in banana sales to $ 477 million, up from $ 458 million for the third quarter of 2013.

Ed Lonergan, Chiquita CEO, calls the results the “strongest in the last five years for this period.”

“The momentum generated by Chiquita’s ‘return to the core’ strategy resulted in higher sales in our banana segment, and improved pricing in both bananas and salads and healthy snacks,” he says.

The fact that analysts had expected a loss of only 9 cents per share didn’t seem to affect the price of Chiquita shares. Shares traded up a penny from Wednesday’s closing price to $ 14.44 as the stock market opened, then settled at $ 14.43 at midmorning.

Today’s earnings report will likely be the next-to-last quarterly disclosure for Chiquita before Cutrale Group and Safra Group take the company private.

Lonergan adds that he was proud of Chiquita employees as they stayed on task as the company agreed late last month to be sold to Cutrale-Safra. The $ 1.3 billion deal was sealed after Chiquita shareholders nixed a plan for the company to buy Irish fruit supplier Fyffes plc.

Lonergan says Chiquita and Cutrale-Safra plan to complete their deal as soon as the end of the year.

Source: bizjournals.com

Publication date: 11/7/2014


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Denmark Sees Small Increase in Animal Antibiotic Use

Denmark’s latest numbers on the country’s antimicrobial use and resistance are in. The total consumption of antimicrobial agents by the country’s animals in 2013 was about 128 tons — a 4-percent increase over the previous year.

According to the new DANMAP (Danish Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Program) report, the increase is mainly attributed to a 6-percent increase in the consumption of antimicrobials in pig production, which accounts for the vast majority of Denmark’s meat production. However, consumption in poultry and pets also increased.

Of the antimicrobials used by animals in 2013, pigs accounted for about 78 percent, cattle 10 percent, aquaculture 3 percent, poultry 1 percent, fur animals 4 percent, and pets, horses and other companion animals the remaining 3 percent.

A silver lining to the increase in pig production is that the animals still consumed less than they did in 2009 when consumption was at its highest. Since then, Danish farmers stopped using antimicrobials for growth promotion. But the country is not necessarily satisfied by this.

”It is crucial that we reverse the increase in consumption, if we are to tackle the problem of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria,” said Yvonne Agersø, senior researcher with the National Food Institute.

Denmark has a ban on using antimicrobial drugs at non-therapeutic levels for growth promotion and disease prevention, but Danish farmers still use the drugs to treat infections.

That country’s limits on, and tracking of, antimicrobial drug use in animals are models for what many would like to see provided in the U.S.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) often references Denmark when talking about banning non-therapeutic uses in U.S. meat production.

And, in discussing the 2013 DANMAP data, Gail Hansen, senior officer for The Pew Charitable Trust’s campaign on human health and industrial farming, told Food Safety News, “I wish we had this much detail.”

Denmark’s species-level use data is something that critics of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s antimicrobial sales data — released last week — would like to see applied to the U.S.

Some of the other interesting points in the DANMAP data:

  • Consumption of critically important antimicrobials in animal production is still low.
  • Salmonella Typhimurium is one of the most common serovars in Danish pigs and pork, as well as in human infections, and resistance has increased over the past five years.
  • It was estimated that 9 percent of Danish pigs and 0.5 percent of the pig carcasses were positive for multi-resistant Salmonella.
  • The level of fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin) resistance in Campylobacter jejuni remains higher among isolates from imported broiler meat compared with isolates from Danish broiler meat.

Food Safety News

Denmark Sees Small Increase in Animal Antibiotic Use

Denmark’s latest numbers on the country’s antimicrobial use and resistance are in. The total consumption of antimicrobial agents by the country’s animals in 2013 was about 128 tons — a 4-percent increase over the previous year.

According to the new DANMAP (Danish Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Program) report, the increase is mainly attributed to a 6-percent increase in the consumption of antimicrobials in pig production, which accounts for the vast majority of Denmark’s meat production. However, consumption in poultry and pets also increased.

Of the antimicrobials used by animals in 2013, pigs accounted for about 78 percent, cattle 10 percent, aquaculture 3 percent, poultry 1 percent, fur animals 4 percent, and pets, horses and other companion animals the remaining 3 percent.

A silver lining to the increase in pig production is that the animals still consumed less than they did in 2009 when consumption was at its highest. Since then, Danish farmers stopped using antimicrobials for growth promotion. But the country is not necessarily satisfied by this.

”It is crucial that we reverse the increase in consumption, if we are to tackle the problem of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria,” said Yvonne Agersø, senior researcher with the National Food Institute.

Denmark has a ban on using antimicrobial drugs at non-therapeutic levels for growth promotion and disease prevention, but Danish farmers still use the drugs to treat infections.

That country’s limits on, and tracking of, antimicrobial drug use in animals are models for what many would like to see provided in the U.S.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) often references Denmark when talking about banning non-therapeutic uses in U.S. meat production.

And, in discussing the 2013 DANMAP data, Gail Hansen, senior officer for The Pew Charitable Trust’s campaign on human health and industrial farming, told Food Safety News, “I wish we had this much detail.”

Denmark’s species-level use data is something that critics of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s antimicrobial sales data — released last week — would like to see applied to the U.S.

Some of the other interesting points in the DANMAP data:

  • Consumption of critically important antimicrobials in animal production is still low.
  • Salmonella Typhimurium is one of the most common serovars in Danish pigs and pork, as well as in human infections, and resistance has increased over the past five years.
  • It was estimated that 9 percent of Danish pigs and 0.5 percent of the pig carcasses were positive for multi-resistant Salmonella.
  • The level of fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin) resistance in Campylobacter jejuni remains higher among isolates from imported broiler meat compared with isolates from Danish broiler meat.

Food Safety News

NERGI berry sees first commercial volumes

NERGI berry sees first commercial volumes

Although developed and planted over four years ago, Prim’land’s NERGI berry has, up to now, not been widely available. This year, now that early plantings have matured, will see increased availability of this new variety.

The first commercial volumes of NERGI are now being harvested and Prim’land expect to have 600,000 punnets.

“We are pleased we will have good volumes as a lot of customers here in Asia are keen to buy this product. We’re quite confident it will be a success.” It will be marketed as top end product snacking product.

“Last year due to climatic conditions we had a drop in our Oscar kiwi production, but it is back to normal this year,” said Prim’land’s Jean Baptist Pinel. “Even with that drop in production we were able to keep our supplies up because we joined with two other packhouses. This harvest will be better and we will have even more volume than before due to the new packhouses.” The harvest of Oscar kiwis should begin in the last week of October, first week of November, but this will depend on the sugar levels of the fruit. The harvest is expected to be around 15,000 tons.

Pinel believes it will do well in Asian markets, where they see much potential for growth.

Oscar kiwi has been going to Asia for a few years. China is a specific market like many others, but the company has built up partnerships, Pinel explained it has been a step by step process to find good partners and this is important because they are in it for the long-term.

“At the moment we are testing gold varieties which are not sensitive to Psa, but they are not in production as we don’t want to invest before we have done all the testing.”

For more information:
Jean Baptist Pinel
Prim’land
[email protected]

Publication date: 9/23/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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NZ sees more gains from fruitful Saudi trade links

Zespri launches Sungold
NZ sees more gains from fruitful Saudi trade links

New Zealand Ambassador Hamish MacMaster has reiterated the importance of Saudi Arabia for his country as a major economic partner.

“Saudi Arabia has been our largest trading partner in the GCC. More than 85 New Zealand companies export their products to the Kingdom, accounting for $ 500 million worth of exports to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

The ambassador made his remarks as he led the recent launch of a new kiwifruit variety — Zespri Sungold — in Saudi Arabia at the New Zealand Embassy in Riyadh.
He said Saudi Arabia is the first GCC country where “we are launching Zespri Sungold kiwifruit. We’re expecting the arrival of several tons of the fruit in a few days’ time.”

The New Zealand envoy said he expects the fruit to help increase his country’s bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia which amounts to $ 1.5 billion.

“Our exports to the Kingdom totals $ 600 million and our imports touch $ 900 million. Our exports include food and dairy products while we import mainly energy from Saudi Arabia,” he said.

He said that the introduction of the new kiwifruit variety is a “new milestone in our bilateral relationship with the Kingdom which started in the 1980s.”

Ben Hughes, Zespri International Limited’s regional manager for the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and India, added that Zespri is one of the world’s largest marketer of kiwi fruit, with the Zespri brand recognized as the world leader.
“Based in New Zealand, Zespri are 100 percent owned by kiwifruit growers, employing almost 300 people. We represent 2,700 growers and manage kiwifruit innovation, production, distribution management and marketing of all varieties of Zespri kiwifruit,” he said.

“Our success around the world is built on solid foundations, working with great people and experienced distributors who understand local conditions and the markets in which they operate,” he said.

He said: “Saudi Arabia is the classic example of this where Zespri is partnering with the Mohammed Abdallah Sharbatly Co. Ltd. which has 10 branches across the Kingdom and throughout the GCC.”

Source: arabnews.com

Publication date: 6/6/2014


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Fruit distributor Fyffes sees first quarter revenues rise

Fruit distributor Fyffes sees first quarter revenues rise

Fruit distributor Fyffes has recorded total revenues of €306.5 million for the first quarter, up 3.4 per cent on the €296.5 million reported for the same three-month period a year earlier. The company said group revenue, which excludes Fyffes share of joint ventures, was up 5.4 per cent to €256.7 million from €243.4 million. Adjusted profit before tax amounted to €15.8 million, up 18.4 per cent.
 
The deal to create ChiquitaFyffes, according to Fyffes chairman David McCann, came from “tentative discussions over many, many years” between the Irish company and its larger US rival Chiquita.Fyffes share price goes bananas as it extracts the better deal from $ 1 billion merger

Fyffes said sales were higher in each of its product categories, driven mainly by organic growth and partly offset by lower average prices in the banana and pineapple categories.

The group reported that average selling prices were lower in the first quarter, particularly in Continental Europe. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (Ebita) was 14.9 per cent higher at €16 million on the same period last year, which the group attributed to favourable market conditions in the melon category.

Total operating profit for the three months ended March 31st, after exceptional items, amortisation charges and joint ventures tax charges amounted to €9.7million, compared to €13.3 million in the first quarter last year.

Fyffes said adjusted diluted earnings per share amounted to €4.54 cent in the quarter, up 17.9 per cent on the same period last year.

The group said that based on its positive start to the year, it is maintaining its €30m-€35m target Ebita range for the full-year.

Chairman David McCann said that in relation to Fyffes proposed merger with rival Chiquita, which was announced in March, a registration statement on Form S-4 has been submitted to the SEC in the US and will be circulated to shareholders once it has been declared effective by them. The two companies recently revised some of the conditions of their proposed $ 1 billion merger to reflect mandatory jurisdiction of the European Commission.

The new merged entity, which will be called ChiquitaFyffes, is to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange but domiciled in Ireland. It will have combined annual revenues of approximately $ 4.6 billion (€3.3 billion).

Source: irishtimes.com

Publication date: 5/14/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Florida orange crop forecast sees slight increase

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly forecast of the 2013-14 Florida orange crop inched up 300,000 boxes to 110.3 million boxes.

Early-mid varieties accounted for the full increase, coming in at 53.3 million boxes. Valencias remained at 57 million boxes.

“This is good news and we are hopeful there will not be any more decreases throughout the last two months of season,” Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a press release. “It has been a challenging season to say the least, but growers continue to produce quality fruit, which is a testament to their resiliency.”

During the 2012-13 season, Florida produced 133.6 million boxes of oranges. 

The USDA’s estimate of the 2013-14 Florida grapefruit crop decreased 400,000 boxes from 16 million boxes to 15.6 million boxes. White grapefruit increased by 100,000 boxes while colored grapefruit were reduced by 500,000 boxes. Specialty fruit held steady at 3.83 million boxes.

For the complete USDA estimate, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm.

The Florida citrus industry creates a $ 9 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering about 525,000 acres.

Founded in 1948, Florida Citrus Mutual is one of the state’s larger citrus grower organizations. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Bonduelle sees growth in US

Bonduelle sees growth in US

The Bonduelle Group’s turnover has grown 5.6% on a comparable basis over the third quarter of 2013-2014. North America and Brazil show the strongest growth at 15%. 

Over the third 2013-2014 quarter (1st January – 31st March), Bonduelle’s turnover reached €458.4 million (+1.5%). Europe, which makes up 65% of the groups turnover reported a +1.6% growth on a comparable basis. 

”This improvement is above all thanks to sales of canned produce under both our own brand (Bonduelle and Cassegrain) and retail brands, as well as a return to growth in the fresh sector, thanks to a recovery of sales of salad in sachets in Italy”. However, the frozen sector still suffers from a weak demand from the catering industry. 

Excluding Europe, the group had a +15.1% growth over the third quarter with a great performance in the USA in particular, where frozen vegetable sales have allowed the group to gain market shares. 

The group confirms its forecast for FY 2013-2014 :  a 4% turnover growth at constant exchange rates and a high operating profit share of €106-107 million. 

Bonduelle, founded in 1853, processes 128,000 ha of vegetables annually in 57 industrial sites and sells in 100 countries. 

Publication date: 5/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Bonduelle sees growth in US

Bonduelle sees growth in US

The Bonduelle Group’s turnover has grown 5.6% on a comparable basis over the third quarter of 2013-2014. North America and Brazil show the strongest growth at 15%. 

Over the third 2013-2014 quarter (1st January – 31st March), Bonduelle’s turnover reached €458.4 million (+1.5%). Europe, which makes up 65% of the groups turnover reported a +1.6% growth on a comparable basis. 

”This improvement is above all thanks to sales of canned produce under both our own brand (Bonduelle and Cassegrain) and retail brands, as well as a return to growth in the fresh sector, thanks to a recovery of sales of salad in sachets in Italy”. However, the frozen sector still suffers from a weak demand from the catering industry. 

Excluding Europe, the group had a +15.1% growth over the third quarter with a great performance in the USA in particular, where frozen vegetable sales have allowed the group to gain market shares. 

The group confirms its forecast for FY 2013-2014 :  a 4% turnover growth at constant exchange rates and a high operating profit share of €106-107 million. 

Bonduelle, founded in 1853, processes 128,000 ha of vegetables annually in 57 industrial sites and sells in 100 countries. 

Publication date: 5/9/2014


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NZ: Logistics group sees 2013 earnings rise 50% on Asian demand for apples

NZ: Logistics group sees 2013 earnings rise 50% on Asian demand for apples

Scales Corp, the fruit and vegetable logistics group controlled by private equity firm Direct Capital, lifted 2013 profit by 50 percent as rising Asian demand for apples helped mitigate the impact of a stronger kiwi dollar.

Net profit rose to $ 20.4 million in calendar 2013, from $ 13.6 million a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 17 percent to $ 278 million. The Mr Apple unit exported 4 million cartons, of which 2.82 million cartons were grown at its own orchards. Scales didn’t break down earnings for its horticulture, storage and logistics, and food ingredients units.

“We are increasing apple volumes targeted at premium Asian markets,” said Andy Borland, managing director. “Apple prices were strong in most of the company’s key markets which more than offset the impact of a persistently high New Zealand dollar.”

Apples made up a third of New Zealand’s $ 1.55 billion in fruit exports in the year ended March 31, with Thailand the biggest destination in Asia with $ 46 million in annual sales.

Scales launched a new air freight service, Balance Cargo, in the period which it said secured new clients. Sea freight operations benefited from increased volumes of apples, passing on savings to Mr Apple through its competitive rates.

Polarcold, its South Island cold storage operation, and its North Island Whakatu Coldstores unit met expectations and are securing longer term contracts, the company said. It expanded capacity for bulk liquid storage with a new 2,000 tonne tank at Port of Napier.

Source: business.scoop.co.nz

Publication date: 5/7/2014


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