US food distributor Fleming has filed for bankruptcy protection in the wake of losing a $4.5bn supply agreement with troubled retailer Kmart.
Fleming's Chapter 11 filing listed total assets at book value of $4.22bn and liabilities of $3.54bn.
The company has blamed the termination of its 10-year supply deal signed in 2001 with Kmart for its troubles. Kmart filed for bankruptcy in January 2002. Fleming sought some $1.5bn in damages from Kmart because of the broken deal, but a bankruptcy court judge approved a $400m settlement, mostly in shares, in late March. Fleming received $37m in cash after selling the stock to Kmart's biggest investor.

n lindt up 6%
Swiss chocolate specialist Lindt & Sprüngli posted a 5.6% jump in annual turnover in what the company described as a "difficult environment". For the year to December 31, net profit rose 11.4% to SF102m on sales that rose to SF1.7bn.
Lindt said the results were all "the more encouraging because they were achieved under extremely difficult conditions".

n sales down
Italian dairy group Parmalat posted a drop in annual sales and blamed currency devaluations at its Latin American business.
For the year to December 31, turnover fell 2.7% to E7.6bn. Pre-tax profit was down from E414m to E373m. European sales rose 5.5% to E2.7bn. The company said it had increased its market share in Europe by a steady programme of new product introductions.

n china deal
Carrefour has formed a partnership with Chinese supermarket chain Shanghai Lianhua to run discount stores in Shanghai. According to the Chinese state press some 300 stores will open in residential areas under the Dia brand.

n gum no2
Cadbury Schweppes has completed its $4.2bn purchase of US confectionery group Adams from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
The move sees Cadbury become the world's second-largest chewing gum maker with the addition of brands such as Trident and Dentyne.

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