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If you Drupelet, Pick it up!

Quite like the Strawberry, the Blackberry is not considered a “real berry,” it’s actually an aggregate fruit! That means the Blackberry is composed of a bunch of different tiny fruits, which combine to make one delicious flavor!

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What's in a Name?

The true meaning of the name “Strawberry,” is somewhat contested by historians. Popular folklore relates that children used sell their berries at the market, and to make trading easier, they would string them together with threads of straw, hence Straw-Berry!

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Brilliant Berries

When you are walking through the fresh produce aisle at your local grocery store, it might be helpful to have a few tried-and-true tips up your sleeve to ensure that the delicious DOLE® Berries you bring home to your family (or keep all to yourself!) are as fresh and mouthwatering as possible!

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Company Overview

About Us

Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2010 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 36,000 full-time, regular employees and 23,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.
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DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF CREDIT FACILITIES AMENDMENTS AND STRONG RESULTS FOR 2009

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - February 02, 2010

Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that it has launched amendments to its senior secured credit facilities that Dole expects will reduce its interest expense, extend its maturities and provide for the redemption of the remaining $70 million principal amount of its senior notes due 2011. This will put Dole’s nearest debt maturity in 2013. Dole also announced improved operating results, with 2009 Adjusted EBITDA of $417 million, lower year-end net debt of $1.478 billion, and a reduced 2009 leverage ratio of 3.5 times. For 2008, Adjusted EBITDA was $410 million, net debt was $2.113 billion, and the leverage ratio was 5.2 times.

David A. DeLorenzo, Dole’s President and CEO said: “Dole had another outstanding year in 2009. We continued to build on the strong operating performance achieved in 2008, generating outstanding cash flow, which allowed us to pay down a significant amount of debt. In addition, we had cash proceeds from asset sales in 2009 totaling approximately $185 million, bringing the two year total for asset sales to over $400 million – while growing EBITDA. During October 2009, we successfully completed an IPO of Dole common stock, raising $330 million of net proceeds to Dole, all of which was used to pay down debt and its related costs. In addition, in September 2009 we successfully refinanced $363 million of our 7.25% Senior Notes due 2010. We are pleased with the outstanding results achieved in 2009. Our operating results and our recent IPO have greatly strengthened our balance sheet. We are optimistic as we look forward to improving earnings and further reductions in costs and debt in 2010."

Dole intends to hold a conference call concerning its complete 2009 results when it files its Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission, on or before April 2, 2010.

Dole also announced the following results for fiscal year 2009, which ended on January 2, 2010.

Selected Financial Results from Continuing Operations (Unaudited)

Fiscal Year
  2009 2008
(In Millions)
Revenues, net $6,779 $7,620
Operating income 352 275
Income from continuing operations before income taxes 108 99
Adjusted EBITDA 417 410

Reconciliation of income from continuing operations before income taxes to EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA (Unaudited):

Fiscal Year
  2009 2008
(In Millions)
Income from continuing operations before income taxes $108 $99
Interest expense 206 174
Earnings before interest and taxes ("EBIT") 314 273
Depreciation and amortization 120 138
Net unrealized loss on derivative instruments 8 49
Foreign currency loss (gain) on vessel obligations 6 (21)
Net unrealized gain on foreign denominated instruments - (2)
Net unrealized gain on foreign denominated instruments 30 -
Gains on asset sales (61) (27)
Gains on asset sales $417 $410

See “Non-GAAP Measurements” below for discussion of EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA.

Revenues

For fiscal 2009, revenues decreased 11% to $6.8 billion. The decrease was primarily due to the fourth quarter 2008 sale of our JP Fresh and Dole France ripening and distribution subsidiaries and the benefit of a 53-week year in 2008 compared to a 52-week year in 2009. In addition, lower sales in the remaining European ripening and distribution business, and in the fresh vegetables and packaged foods segments impacted revenues.

Adjusted EBITDA

For fiscal 2009, Adjusted EBITDA increased $7 million to $417 million primarily due to higher earnings in the packaged foods segment as a result of lower costs. This benefit was partially offset by lower earnings in the fresh fruit segment primarily due to weather induced cost increases in Latin America. The European ripening and distribution business had lower earnings due to the sale of JP Fresh and Dole France, and unfavorable foreign exchange and lower pricing. The fresh vegetables segment was relatively flat compared to prior year as stronger performance in the fresh-packed vegetables business was offset by lower packaged salads earnings as a result of higher marketing spend. Earnings were also impacted in 2009 by the write-off of $5.6 million of deferred debt issuance costs primarily associated with the March 2009 amendment of our senior secured credit facilities.

Cash and Debt (Unaudited)

January 2, 2010 January 3, 2009
Cash: (In Millions)
   Cash and cash equivalents $120 $91
Total Debt:
   Revolving credit facility - $151
   Term loan facilities 739 835
   Senior Notes and Debentures 767 1,100
   Other debt, and debt discount* - 92 118
Total Debt $1,598 $2,204
Net Debt $1,478 $2,113

* includes $20 million of debt discount at January 2, 2010

Segment Information (Unaudited)

Fiscal Year
  2009 2008
Revenues from external customers (In Millions)
   Fresh fruit $4,711 $5,401
   Fresh Vegetables 1,025 1,087
   Packaged foods 1,042 1,131
   Corporate 1 1
$6,779 $7,620
Fiscal Year
  2009 2008
EBIT (In Millions)
   Fresh fruit $305 $306
   Fresh Vegetables 9 1
   Packaged foods 106 71
   Total operating segments 420 378
   Corporate:
      Unrealized loss on cross currency swap (21) (51)
      Unrealized loss on foreign denominated instruments (1) (1)
      Debt retirement costs in connection with initial public offering (30) -
      Operating and other expenses, net (54) (53)
Total Corporate 106 105
Total EBIT $314 $273

Fourth Quarter
  2009 2008
Revenues from external customers (In Millions)
   Fresh fruit $1,039 $1,104
   Fresh Vegetables 234 248
   Packaged foods 256 288
   Corporate - -
$1,529 $1,640
  2009 2008
EBIT (In Millions)
   Fresh fruit $65 $62
   Fresh Vegetables - 10
   Packaged foods 30 30
   Total Operating segments 95 102
   Corporate:
      Unrealized gain (loss) on cross currency swap 14 (30)
      Unrealized gain (loss) on foreign denominated instruments 7 (4)
      Debt retirement costs in connection with initial public offering (30) -
      Operating and other expenses, net (16) (21)
Total Corporate (25) (55)
Total EBIT $70 $47

See Exhibit 1 for further detailed information on segments.

Fourth Quarter 2009

Earnings in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to 2008 were impacted by the benefit of an extra week in the prior year due to a 53 week year in 2008. Fourth quarter 2008 also benefited from higher fuel surcharges in North America. In addition, the fourth quarter of 2009 was impacted by incremental marketing spend associated with the national roll out of new packaged salad items and packaging, as well as lower earnings in Asia fresh fruit.

During the fourth quarter of 2009, Dole sold three box manufacturing plants and other properties in Latin America. With the closing of fourth quarter asset sales, total net cash proceeds received for 2009 attributable to asset sales were approximately $185 million.

As a result of Dole’s successful IPO in October, proceeds from asset sales and cash generated from operations, Dole’s net debt (defined as total debt less cash and cash equivalents) at the end of fiscal 2009 was $1.478 billion, a reduction of $635 million, or 30%, compared to the end of fiscal 2008.


Non-GAAP Measurements

EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA are measures commonly used by financial analysts in evaluating the performance of companies. EBIT is calculated by adding back interest expense to income from continuing operations before income taxes. Adjusted EBITDA is calculated by adding depreciation and amortization from continuing operations, adding the net unrealized loss or subtracting the net unrealized gain on certain derivative instruments (foreign currency and bunker fuel hedges and the cross currency swap), adding the foreign currency loss or subtracting the foreign currency gain on the vessel obligations, adding the net unrealized loss or subtracting the net unrealized gain on foreign denominated instruments, and by subtracting gains on asset sales from EBIT. These items have been adjusted because management excludes these amounts when evaluating the performance of Dole. For 2009, debt retirement costs in connection with Dole’s initial public offering are also added to EBIT in calculating Adjusted EBITDA. Net debt is calculated as total debt less cash and cash equivalents. Dole’s leverage ratio is calculated as total net debt divided by Adjusted EBITDA.

EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA are not calculated or presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA are not a substitute for net income attributable to Dole Food Company, Inc., net income, income from continuing operations, cash flows from operating activities or any other measure prescribed by U.S. GAAP. Further, EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA as used herein are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. However, Dole has included EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA herein because management believes that EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA are useful performance measures for Dole. In addition, EBIT and Adjusted EBITDA are presented because Dole’s management believes that these measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and others in the evaluation of Dole.

Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.

This release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "may," "will," "expects," "believes," "intends," "anticipates" and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; energy supply and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries; international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.


Exhibit 1 (Unaudited)

Segment EBIT was significantly impacted by unrealized non-cash foreign currency exchange gains and losses and gains on assets sales, which are detailed in the tables below:

  Quarter Ended Year Ended
January 2, 2010 January 3, 2009 January 2, 2010 January 3, 2009
Fresh fruit (In Millions)
   Revenues, net $1,039 $1,104 $4,711 $5,401
         
EBIT:        
   Fresh Fruit products $25 $52 $248 $256
   Unrealized gain (loss) on foreign currency and fuel hedges 11 (16) 12 -
   Foreign currency exchange gain (loss) on vessel obligations - 12 (6) 21
   Net unrealized gain on foreign denominated instruments 1 2 - 4
   Gains on asset sales 28 12 51 25
Total Fresh Fruit EBIT $65 $62 $305 $306


  Quarter Ended Year Ended
January 2, 2010 January 3, 2009 January 2, 2010 January 3, 2009
Fresh Vegetables (In Millions)
Revenues, net $234 $248 $1,025 $1,087
         
EBIT:        
   Fresh vegetables products - $10 - $1
   Gains on asset sales - - 9 -
Total Fresh Vegetables EBIT - $10 $9 $1


  Quarter Ended Year Ended
January 2, 2010 January 3, 2009 January 2, 2010 January 3, 2009
Packaged Foods (In Millions)
   Revenues, net $256 $288 $1,042 $1,131
         
EBIT:        
   Packaged foods products $31 $28 $104 $68
   Unrealized gain (loss) on foreign currency hedges (1) 1 1 2
   Net unrealized gain (loss) on foreign denominated instruments - 1 - (1)
   Gains on asset sales - - 1 2
Total Packaged Foods $30 $30 $106 $71