Dole Food Co., Inc. Reports 5 Percent Revenue Gain In First Quarter

Dole Food Co., Inc. announced its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 26, 2011. Dole reported first quarter 2011 Adjusted EBITDA of $106 million compared to $85 million in the first quarter of 2010. GAAP income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2011 was $2 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to $22 million, or $0.26 in the first quarter of 2010. Excluding unrealized losses from the refinancing of the company's yen cross currency swap and certain other items, Comparable Income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2011 was $45 million, or $0.51 per share, compared to $15 million, or $0.17 per share in the first quarter of 2010.

David A. DeLorenzo, Dole's president and CEO, said in a prepared statement, "We are very pleased with the improvement in our first quarter financial results as each of our operating segments reported higher revenues and we generated a 25 percent increase in Adjusted EBITDA compared to last year. Our fresh fruit segment realized a turnaround on two fronts – better market conditions in Europe and Asia, and an improved cost position in our European operations due to our restructuring plan. Our packaged foods and fresh vegetable operations continued to have strong performances, with some of the packaged foods earnings growth offset with investment in our new product introductions. In line with our expectations, the packaged foods segment results were softer than in 2010 due to increased marketing spending to support the launch of our FRUIT BOWLS® in 100 percent juice in the first quarter as well as a shift of Easter sales to the second quarter this year. The successful launch of this new product illustrates our leadership position in meeting the consumers' desire for healthier products with no sugar added. Looking forward, we remain optimistic about achieving significantly improved results in 2011 over 2010."

Revenues increased 5 percent to $1.7 billion during the quarter ended March 26, 2011. Revenues grew in all of Dole's three operating segments primarily as a result of higher pricing. Fresh fruit revenues benefited from higher sales of bananas in North America and Asia and higher volumes sold of Chilean deciduous fruit partially offset by planned lower volumes of bananas sold in Europe. Fresh vegetables revenues increased from improved pricing across all major product lines as well as higher volumes sold of packaged salads. Packaged foods revenues increased primarily due to higher volumes sold in Asia and Europe and improved pricing in North America partially offset by lower volumes sold in North America due to the timing of Easter in 2011.