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Chiquita Brands International's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

And now, I'll turn the call over to Fernando.

Fernando G. Aguirre

Thank you, Steve, and good afternoon and thank you for joining us today. We several items which we would like to cover this afternoon. First, we will review, Chiquita's second quarter performance. Second, formally launch our transformation strategy, which we began laying out on the year-end call in February and is intended to increase shareholder value by singularly focusing on driving profitability in our core businesses of bananas and salads. Third, we will frame the earnings power of Chiquita going forward, quantify our long-term financial goals, and provide additional detail on the actions we are taking to support the achievement of these long-term financial goals. Last, I will also discuss my future plans with the company.

To put this in context, the actions we are announcing today are a series of initiatives, which began with the move to Charlotte, and the decision to expand our salads business by offering, private-label salads, and will result in a continued restructuring of our current organization. The move together with the changes we are announcing will lower our fixed cost base and are expected to increase Chiquita’s profitability in the next six months by reducing expenses and allowing also focus in our core businesses bananas and salads. I’m going to ask Brian to take us through our second quarter results and expand on the plans to improve our profitability short term. Brian?

Brian W. Kocher

Thank you, Fernando. Now regarding second quarter, you’ll remember that on the last couple of calls we indicated that 2012 would be a challenging year for Chiquita. Although manning of the external factors impacting our business have not changed, our results reflect improvements and in some instances even exceed our expectations particularly with regard to many of the controllable aspects of our business.

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