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

The second quarter 2012 net income on a comparable basis was $12 million or $0.27 per diluted share, versus $34 million or $0.73 per diluted share in 2011. U.S. GAAP results for Q2, 2012 were net income of $6 million or $0.12 per diluted share versus net income of $78 million or $1.68 per diluted share in 2011. The adjustments between comparable results and GAAP results are included in the table in the press release.

Looking at bananas, sales were 4% lower at $533 million, comparable operating income was $29 million or 5.5% of sales and was impacted by the absence of a product supply surcharge in North America, the weakening euro in European markets and slightly higher delivered fruit cost. Local pricing gains in Europe partially offset these impact.

Our North American banana business faced difficult comparisons the last year because of the product supply surcharge that was in affect through the end of the second quarter 2011. Banana pricing was 8% lower on essentially the same unit volumes.

In Europe, other local prices were 5% higher than in 2011. The increase was not enough to offset the large and rapid decline in the value of the euro. The euro decline alone negatively impacted our year-over-year quarterly comparisons by $26 million. In fact, excluding the impact of currency, our European operating income approximately doubled year-over-year.

In our core European market, dollar equivalent pricing – prices were 6% lower and volumes were 5% lower as we rationalized volume in areas where we could not generate a profit. Despite difficult market conditions in some of variables that we could not control, our banana business underlying performance exceeded our internal forecasts, as we effectively managed the parts of the business that we could control.

Without the unprecedented move in the euro, which we just discussed, comparable income in bananas was essentially flat. It's not for the 2011 surcharge in North America, comparable income for bananas would have increased year-over-year. Disciplined marketing spends, shipping savings, maximizing utilization of our fix infrastructure and the allocation of banana volume for the most efficient markets help drive the underlying business performance.

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