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January 28, 2013
08:20 EDTCQBChiquita says previously announced initiatives substantially completed in Q4
The company said, "As previously announced, the company has already implemented strategic and operational initiatives to focus on its core businesses of bananas and salads, reduction of its value chain costs, reduction of its overhead and selling, general and administrative costs and volume growth. These strategic initiatives were substantially completed in the fourth quarter of 2012 and are expected to drive at least $60M in annual savings beginning in 2013, including $25M for completed headcount reductions and approximately $35M for value chain cost reductions. The consolidation of the company's Midwest salad processing facilities is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013 and the company expects to generate $8M of annual savings. The company has expanded its salad program by providing a more comprehensive product offering in the value-added salad market, which includes branded and private label packaged salads, organic packaged salads and whole head lettuce. Since September 30, 2012, the company has added approximately 5M annual boxes of distribution growth in its North American banana business and were awarded private label business from certain retail grocery customers, scheduled to commence at the end of the first quarter of 2013, representing new estimated volume of 1.6M cases for 2013. Chiquita's goal is to achieve operating margins of 4% in Bananas and 7%-8% in Salads in the next two to three years."
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