BIONOVA ANNOUNCES 1999 YEAR-END AND FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

Oakland, California—February 25, 2000—Bionova Holding Corporation (AMEX: BVA) announced year-end and fourth-quarter financial results for the full year ended December 31, 1999.

For the year ended December 31, 1999, Bionova Holding reported a net loss of $38.6 million, or $1.64 per share, as compared with a loss of $15.6 million, or $0.80 per share in 1998. The Company stated that the primary reasons for the large increase in the year-on-year loss were (1) a $15.3 million unfavorable swing at the gross margin line due to lower prices for its fresh produce and the poor agricultural output experienced during the first half of the year associated with the extremely cold weather conditions in Mexico, write offs taken in grower receivables, and a reduction in royalties generated by its technology company, (2) a $2.2 million increase in administrative expenses resulting from higher legal costs incurred in connection with the Company’s defense against shareholder suits and annual salary and wage increases granted to employees in the Company’s farming operations and administrative areas in Mexico, which was consistent with the rate of inflation and the impact in dollar terms of the appreciation in the Mexican peso over the past year, and (3) a higher net interest expense (interest income less interest expense) of $7.4 million due to increased loan balances and the higher interest rates the Company incurred following the long-term financing arrangement concluded in the first quarter of this year.

Total revenues for full-year 1999 were $242.3 million versus $261.1 million for full-year 1998. This decline in revenues was almost entirely attributable to the discontinuation of a Florida grower, which generated very little income for the company.

Bionova Holding’s net loss increased from $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 1998, or $0.05 per share, to $14.2 million, or $0.61 per share in the fourth quarter of 1999. Total revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 1999 were $61.8 million, compared with $70.7 million for the same quarter in 1998. Due to the extremely difficult pricing environment experienced through the majority of the fourth quarter, fresh produce revenues declined by 9.5% from $67.5 million to $61.1 million. This, in combination with the unfavorable effects that the low prices had on the margins of the Company’s farming activities and write offs taken on grower receivables, caused gross margins in the fresh produce segment of the business to decline by $12.0 million from the fourth quarter of 1998 to 1999. Reductions in selling and administrative expenses of $1.7 million and a positive swing in foreign exchange gains and losses of $1.9 million was offset in large part by higher net interest expense of $3.1 million in the quarter.

“Obviously, we are extremely disappointed with the results in this quarter and for the entire year,” stated Bernardo Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer of Bionova Holding. “We really believed we had started to turn the business around in the fourth quarter of 1998. Difficult agricultural and competitive conditions, notwithstanding, we have just not made the progress we had hoped to in 1999. Management is in the process of completing a review of its operations with the goal of re-focussing its business strategy”.

Bionova Holding Corporation is a leading biotechnology company focused on using its proprietary genetic engineering and plant science technologies to develop and improve the quality and agronomic traits of fruits and vegetables. Through its fresh produce growers and distribution companies, Bionova Holding is known for its premium Master’s Touchâ and FreshWorld Farmsâ brands. Bionova Holding and its subsidiaries have strategic alliances and licensing agreements with some of the world’s leading agricultural companies, with its affiliates, including Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc., with value-added producers and marketers, and with biotechnology research groups. Bionova Holding Corporation is majority owned by Mexico’s SAVIA, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: VAI), whose subsidiaries include the world’s largest vegetable seed company.

All statements in this press release other than statements of historical facts are “forward-looking” statements, including without limitation statements regarding the Company’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management, and industry conditions. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The following factors, among others, may affect the Company’s actual results and could cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company: competitive factors, agribusiness risks, governmental and economic risks associated with foreign operations, public acceptance of genetically-engineered products, commercial success of new products, proprietary protection of and advances in technology, possible need for additional financing, as well as the ability of the Company to successfully integrate recent acquisitions and its management information systems and controls. Further information on the factors that could affect the Company’s financial results is contained in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and the company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 1999 which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BIONOVA HOLDING CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

Thousands of U.S. Dollars (except per share amounts)

Quarter Ended Dec. 31                           Year Ended Dec. 31

       1999

        1998

     1999

      1998

Total revenues……………………………………………………………..

$ 61,833

$ 70,694

$ 242,359)

$ 262,111)

Cost of sales………………………………………………………………..

(63,979)

(57,416)

( 232,197)

( 235,602)

Gross Profit………………………………………………………………….

(2,146)

13,278

10,162

26,509


Selling and administrative expenses…………………………….

(6,183)

(7,886)

( 27,430)

( 25,151)

Research and development expenses…………………………..

(1,548)

(1,688)

( 6,442)

( 5,846)

Amortization of goodwill, patents and trademarks……….

(560)

(745)

( 3,345)

( 2,940)

Operating (loss) income……………………………………………….

(10,437)

2,959

( 27,055)

( 7,428)

Interest expense……………………………………………………………

(4,448)

(2,342)

( 16,018)

( 7,982)

Interest income……………………………………………………………..

(610)

431

1,835

1,285)

Exchange (loss) gain, net………………………………………………

35

(1,860)

889

( 1,762)

Other non-operating (expense) income…………………………

(1)

125

( 2)

137

Loss before income tax………………………………………………….

(15,461)

(687)

( 40,351)

( 15,750)

Income tax (expense) benefit…………………………………………

(638)

154

(978)

( 456)

Minority interest in net loss of subsidiaries………………….

1,867

(723)

2,685

601

Net loss…………………………………………………………………………

(14,232)

(1,256)

( 38,644)

( 15,605)

Net loss per share – basic and diluted…………………………..

$ ( 0.61)

$ (0.05)

$ (1.64)

$ (0.80)

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding.

23,588,031

23,301,361

23,588,031

19,603,320

This schedule contains financial data extracted from the Company’s financial statements at and for the quarter and year ended December 31, 1999, which will be included in the Company’s Form 10-K annual report for such period, which will be filed on or before March 31, 2000 and is qualified in its entirety by reference to such financial statements.