The Dole Food Co. said that despite sales growth, its first-quarter earnings plunged 91 percent due to refinancing of the company's yen cross currency swap.

Late Tuesday, the Westlake Village fruit and vegetable producer, whose largest shareholder is billionaire David Murdock, reported net income of $2 million (2 cents a share), compared with $23 million (26 cents) a year earlier.

The company took $37 million in currency-related refinance charges, most of which was related to a long-term hedge on fluctuations in the Japanese yen.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $1.69 billion, with the fresh fruit segment benefiting from higher sales of bananas in North America and Asia. Fresh vegetable revenue was up because of price increases and higher sales of packaged salads.

“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,” Chief Executive David DeLorenzo said in a statement.

Excluding the losses tied to the currency swaps and other one-time items, per-share profit rose 200 percent to 51 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average had expected per-share profit of 23 cents on $1.65 billion in revenue.

Shares closed up 61 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $14.08 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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