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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.

DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 2002 RESULTS

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - January 30, 2003

Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE: DOL) announced Thursday an increase in its fourth quarter 2002 income from continuing operations to $18.4 million, or $0.32 per share, compared to $4.1 million, or $0.07 per share for the fourth quarter 2001. Full year 2002 income from continuing operations increased to $156.2 million, or $2.76 per share, from a loss of $37.1 million, or $0.66 per share, for the same period of 2001.


Included in the fourth quarter 2002 income from continuing operations are after-tax costs of $2.4 million, associated with the proposed transaction by David H. Murdock to acquire for $33.50 per share the approximately 76% of the company's outstanding common stock that he and his family do not currently own. Also included in fourth quarter 2002 income from continuing operations is an income tax benefit of $5.0 million pertaining to closed tax audits of previous years. The transaction costs and income tax benefit resulted in a net positive impact on fourth quarter 2002 earnings of approximately $2.6 million, or $0.04 per share.


The full year losses from continuing operations for 2001 included $132.7 million of previously disclosed expenses associated with business reconfiguration programs initiated during the second and third quarters of 2001. Full year results for 2001 also included an $8.2 million pre-tax gain on an investment in available-for-sale securities. Excluding these items, income from continuing operations for the full year 2001 was $79.4 million, or $1.41 per share, after considering the tax effects of the items noted above.


Fourth quarter 2002 net income was $18.4 million, or $0.32 per share compared to net income of $173.5 million, or $3.07 per share for the fourth quarter of 2001. Included in fourth quarter 2001 net income was a net positive effect of $169.4 million, or $3.00 per share, on the sale and discontinuance of the company's Honduran beverage operations. Full year 2002 net income was $36.3 million, or $0.64 per share, which includes a previously disclosed non-cash, after-tax charge of $119.9 million, or $2.12 per share, from the impairment of goodwill associated with the company's fresh-cut flowers segment. For the full year 2001, the company reported net income of $150.4 million, or $2.67 per share. Included in full year 2001 net income was a net positive effect of $187.5 million, or $3.33 per share, on the sale and discontinuance of the Honduran beverage operations.



Summary of Dole Food Company, Inc. Results 
(in millions) 
Fourth Quarter Full Year


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2002 2001 % Change 2002 2001 % Change 
Revenues $960.0 $947.4 1% $4392.1 $4314.8 2%

EBIT $38.7 $16.3 137% $290.9 $63.0 362% 
EBIT, excluding reconfiguration and other charges * $38.7 $16.3 137% $290.9 $187.5 55% 
Income (loss) from continuing operations $18.4 $4.1 349% $156.2 ($37.1) NA

Income from continuing operations, excluding reconfiguration and other charges * $18.4 $4.1 349% $156.2 $79.4 97% 
Income from discontinued operations, net of income taxes $0.0 $0.8 NA $0.0 $18.9 NA 
Gain on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes $0.0 $168.6 NA $0.0 $168.6 NA

Net Income $18.4 $173.5 -89% $36.3 $150.4 -76% 
Net Income, excluding reconfiguration and other charges * $18.4 $173.5 -89% $156.2 $266.9 -41% 

* Previously disclosed charges for business reconfiguration charges in 2001, investment gain in 2001 and impairment of goodwill in 2002.

reflecting higher volumes and pricing on bananas sold in Asia, higher volumes in the European ripening and distribution business, higher volumes of packaged salads, higher volumes for Dole's PREMIUM SELECT pineapples, as well as favorable euro foreign currency exchange rates. The increase in fourth quarter 2002 revenues compared to 2001 was partially offset by lower volumes of bananas sold in Europe and the divestiture of Pascual Hermanos, a citrus and vegetable producer in Spain, and Saman, a dried fruit and nut processor in France, in the third quarter of 2002. On a full year basis, 2002 revenue increased 2% to $4.4 billion, driven by the same factors that influenced the fourth quarter, with the addition of increased volumes of FRUIT BOWLS® and FRUIT-N-GEL BOWLS, partially offset by lower volumes in North America commodity vegetables and fresh-cut flowers.


continuing operations ("EBIT") improved to $38.7 million from $16.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2001. The $22.4 million increase in EBIT for the fourth quarter of 2002 resulted primarily from improved performance in the company's fresh fruit and fresh-cut flowers segments, offset by a decline in the packaged foods segment.


For the full year 2002, EBIT increased to $290.9 million from $63.0 million in 2001, which included $132.7 million of expenses associated with the company's previously disclosed business reconfiguration programs and an $8.2 million pre-tax gain on an investment in available-for-sale securities. Excluding these items, the $103.4 million increase in full year EBIT was primarily attributable to similar factors as in the fourth quarter, with the addition of improved performance in the packaged foods segment.


Results of Significant Reporting Segments



Fresh Fruit 
(in millions) 
Fourth Quarter Full Year


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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2002 2001 % Change 2002 2001 % Change 
Revenues, net $601.5 $562.4 7% $2,772.8 $2,701.4 3%

EBIT $28.5 $1.8 1483% $217.8 $48.5 349% 
EBIT, excluding reconfiguration charges $28.5 $1.8 1483% $217.8 $122.0 79%

Fresh fruit revenues grew 7% for the quarter and 3% for the full year. The revenue growth during the fourth quarter of 2002 was primarily attributable to higher volumes and pricing for bananas sold in Asia, higher volumes in the European ripening and distribution business and higher volumes of Dole's PREMIUM SELECT pineapples. Revenues also increased as a result of favorable euro foreign currency exchange rates, which impacted the quarter by approximately $21 million. These increases were partially offset by lower volumes of bananas sold in Europe and the winding down of the company's California deciduous and Northwest apples operations. For the full year 2002, the revenue increase was the result of similar factors as in the fourth quarter.


ourth quarter of 2002 from $1.8 million in 2001. Excluding the impact of the full year reconfiguration expenses of $73.5 million recorded in 2001, EBIT increased $95.8 million for the full year 2002. EBIT increased for the fourth quarter primarily as a result of higher volumes and pricing for bananas sold in Asia, higher dollar-equivalent pricing for bananas sold in Europe, higher volumes of Dole's PREMIUM SELECT pineapples and the elimination of the loss-producing California deciduous business. These increases were partially offset by higher product costs for bananas sold in North America. The full year increase in EBIT was primarily due to the same factors that drove the fourth quarter with the addition of higher volumes in the European ripening and distribution business.



Fresh Vegetables 
(in millions) 
Fourth Quarter Full Year


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2002 2001 % Change 2002 2001 % Change 
Revenues, net $172.8 $181.2 -5% $825.6 $827.5 0%

EBIT $7.3 $6.4 14% $82.7 $47.8 73% 
EBIT, excluding reconfiguration charges $7.3 $6.4 14% $82.7 $81.8 1%

Fresh vegetables revenues decreased 5% for the quarter and remained flat for the full year 2002 compared to the same periods in 2001. The fourth quarter decrease was due primarily to lower commodity vegetable prices and the previously mentioned divestiture of Pascual Hermanos, partially offset by higher volumes due to continued category growth in the packaged salads business. The full year revenue was flat, despite higher packaged salads volume, due to lower commodity vegetable volumes and the divestiture of the Pascual Hermanos business.


Fresh vegetables fourth quarter 2002 EBIT increased to $7.3 million from $6.4 million in 2001. This increase was the result of higher volumes in the packaged salads business, which was partially offset by lower commodity vegetable prices and the divestiture of Pascual Hermanos. Excluding $34.0 million of business reconfiguration expenses in 2001, for the full year 2002, EBIT increased 1% year over year as improved performance in the packaged salads business was offset by declines in commodity vegetable volumes.



Packaged Foods 
(in millions) 
Fourth Quarter Full Year


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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2002 2001 % Change 2002 2001 % Change 
Revenues, net $144.9 $161.7 -10% $589.0 $556.1 6%

EBIT $20.2 $34.9 -42% $64.9 $43.7 49% 
EBIT, excluding reconfiguration charges $20.2 $34.9 -42% $64.9 $60.5 7%

Packaged foods revenues decreased 10% for the quarter compared to 2001, primarily as a result of the divestiture of Saman. For the full year 2002, revenue increased 6% compared to 2001 as a result of improved performance of FRUIT BOWLS and FRUIT-N-GEL BOWLS products, partially offset by the divestiture of Saman.


Packaged foods fourth quarter EBIT decreased $14.7 million as a result of higher costs due to changes in production timing, higher marketing costs and the divestiture of Saman. EBIT increased $21.2 million for the full year over the corresponding period in 2001. Excluding reconfiguration expenses for the full year 2001 of $16.8 million, full year 2002 EBIT increased $4.4 million over the prior year. The increase in full year EBIT resulted primarily from improved performance of FRUIT BOWLS and FRUIT-N-GEL BOWLS, lower product costs and slightly higher pricing in traditional canned products.



Fresh-cut Flowers 
(in millions) 
Fourth Quarter Full Year


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2002 2001 % Change 2002 2001 % Change 
Revenues, net $33.4 $35.9 -7% $173.9 $196.4 -11%

EBIT ($0.1) ($7.9) NA ($5.9) ($18.7) NA 
EBIT, excluding reconfiguration charges ($0.1) ($7.9) NA ($5.9) ($11.3) NA

Fresh-cut flowers revenues for the fourth quarter and full year 2002 decreased compared to the corresponding periods in 2001 due to lower volumes, offset by a slight increase in pricing. Fresh-cut flowers EBIT improved to approximately breakeven in the fourth quarter. Excluding full year reconfiguration expenses in 2001 of $7.4 million, 2002 full year EBIT loss improved by $5.4 million. The fourth quarter improvement was due to reduced operating costs primarily from the closure of six production farms. The full year improvement was due to lower product and shipping costs, partially offset by lower volumes.


Overall


Interest income for the fourth quarter and full year 2002 was $3.4 million and $12 million, respectively, compared to $1.5 million and $5.8 million for the fourth quarter and full year 2001, respectively. The increase in interest income in the fourth quarter and full year 2002 was due to interest earned on higher cash balances.


Interest expense increased from $14.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2001 to $20.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2002, mainly due to the $400 million senior note issuance in the second quarter of 2002. Full year interest expense increased from $70.7 million in 2001 to $80.9 million in 2002.


Fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations before interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA"), was $64.7 million compared to $40.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2001, reflecting depreciation and amortization of $26.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2002 compared to $24.0 million for the same period of 2001. For the full year 2002, EBITDA totaled $398.6 million compared to $180.9 million for 2001, reflecting depreciation and amortization of $107.7 million for 2002 compared to $118.0 million for 2001. Full year 2001 EBITDA includes $132.7 million of expenses associated with business reconfiguration programs and an $8.2 million pre-tax gain on investment in available-for-sale securities.


Lawrence A. Kern, president and chief operating officer, said: "We are pleased with the steady improvement in the performance we have achieved over the past two years. The fourth quarter and full year results for 2002 were in line with expectations. During 2002 we benefited from favorable pricing and exchange rates in some of the most important commodity businesses and by the implementation of cost cutting and profit improvement programs. As we indicated last quarter, the bulk of these programs have now been implemented with the close of the fourth quarter period. Additionally, we are pleased to report the completion of the discontinuance or sale of principal non-core businesses. We believe the restructuring programs of 1999, 2000 and 2001 were effective in improving the company's cost structure and operational focus and efficiency. Going forward, the challenge is to grow Dole's earnings by growing market share in core businesses through internal growth and selective acquisitions. However, acquisitions in these core businesses may be more difficult to achieve given the highly competitive businesses in which we operate and the current market position in most of these businesses."


"As we look forward to the first quarter of 2003," Mr. Kern further said, "we expect income from continuing operations to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.70 per share. This is lower than the $0.99 per share earned in the first quarter of 2002 when commodity vegetable prices were substantially above current levels. Income from continuing operations for fiscal year 2003 is expected to be approximately $2.83 to $2.93 per share."


Click here to download 2002 fourth quarter and full year earnings in Adobe Acrobat (*pdf) format.


Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2002 revenues of $4.4 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, and markets a growing line of packaged foods.


The company will host an earnings conference call today at 1 p.m. (EST), featuring remarks by Lawrence A. Kern, president and chief operating officer, and Richard J. Dahl, vice president and chief financial officer. The conference call will be webcast live and may be accessed on the company's website at www.dole.com and at CCBN's individual investor center at www.companyboardroom.com. Institutional investors can access the call via CCBN's password protected event management site at http://www.streetevents.com.


The company evaluates and monitors segment performance primarily through earnings before interest expense and income taxes ("EBIT"). The company believes that segment EBIT provides useful information for analyzing the underlying business results as well as by allowing investors a means to evaluate the financial results of each segment in relation to the company as a whole. Earnings before interest expense, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") is a non-GAAP measure for cash flow from continuing operations. EBIT and EBITDA are not defined under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP"), and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income or cash flow measures prepared in accordance with GAAP or as a measure of the company's profitability or liquidity. The company calculates EBIT by adding interest income and other income (expense), net to operating income. The company calculates EBITDA by adding depreciation and amortization to EBIT. Additionally, the company's computation of EBIT and EBITDA may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures computed by other companies, because all companies do not calculate EBIT and EBITDA in the same fashion.


During 2002, the company adopted Issue No. 01-9 released by the Financial Accounting Standards Board Emerging Issues Task Force ("EITF 01-9") requiring the reclassification of certain marketing expenses as a reduction of revenue. The change in presentation had no impact on the company's reported operating or net income. In accordance with EITF 01-9, revenues for the fourth quarter of 2001 reflect a reclassification of $35.1 million of marketing expenses as a reduction of revenues. Additionally, revenues for the full year 2001 reflect a reclassification of $134.5 million of marketing expenses as a reduction of revenues.


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" 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; electrical power 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.