Chiquita Brands Reorganizes
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Chiquita Brands International Inc., which lost millions of dollars in 1999, said Friday it is reorganizing its administration in an effort to boost sales and streamline service to customers.
Management said it is consolidating its banana and other fresh produce businesses into a single ``Chiquita Fresh″ organization for North America and Europe. The company hopes to pursue business opportunities with Chiquita Fresh in the Far and Middle East. The company is also streamlining management of its Chiquita Processed Foods unit.
Chiquita Fresh will be led by Robert F. Kistinger, who has been president of the Chiquita Banana Group. He will report to Steven Warshaw, Chiquita’s president and chief operating officer.
Reporting to Kistinger and leading the Chiquita Fresh organization in Europe will be Peter Horekens, who has been president of Chiquita’s European banana business, headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium. Kistinger will lead the North American Fresh organization.
Retailers want their suppliers to offer a broader product range and year-round supplies, Kistinger said. Chiquita will rework its operation so that sales representatives will be able to sell bananas and other lines of fresh produce.
Chiquita reported last month that it lost $75 million, or $1.20 per share, in the fourth quarter and $49 million, or $1.01 per share, for all of 1999. Net sales for 1999 were $2.6 billion, compared with $2.7 billion in 1998.
The Cincinnati-based company produces and distributes fresh fruits, vegetables and processed foods.
Shares of Chiquita were up 18 3/4 cents to $4.43 3/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.