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March 16, 2012

US: Produce supplier Dole swings to FY profit

US fresh produce giant Dole Food Co. moved back into profit in 2011 thanks, in part, to cost control, higher sales and improved earnings from its fresh fruit and vegetable divisions.

By Dean Best

US fresh produce giant Dole Food Co. moved back into profit in 2011 thanks, in part, to cost control, higher sales and improved earnings from its fresh fruit and vegetable divisions.

Dole filed net income from continuing operations of US$42m last year, compared to a loss of $34m in 2010.

EBIT from Dole’s fresh fruit and fresh vegetable units increased, helping improve the company’s bottom line and offsetting lower earnings from its packaged food arm.

Net sales grew 5% to $7.22bn as revenue from Dole’s fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and packaged foods divisions rose. 

Dole also provided another metric to indicate its improved financial performance in 2011 – comparable income from continuing operations, which more than tripled to $121m.

Lower restructuring charges boosted income and helped offset higher refinancing costs and losses from hedges on the Japanese yen.

Fourth-quarter income from continuing operations was $4m, versus a $36m loss a year earlier.

Dole made a comparable loss from continuing operations of $2m but that was lower than a $31m loss in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Net sales were down 1.28% at $1.54bn on a marginal 2.8% revenue loss in the firm’s fresh fruit division in the quarter.

“We are very pleased with Dole’s strong fourth-quarter earnings,” president and CEO David DeLorenzo said. “Adjusted EBITDA of $53m in the quarter was a 70% improvement over the previous year as a result of solid performances in each of our operating segments.”

He added: “The cost reduction programmes set forth in the past two years have helped improve earnings despite increasing input costs and the strength of foreign currencies.”

Click here for the full statement from Dole Food Co.

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