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VALLEY AND VENTURA COUNTY | VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP
/ BARBARA MURPHY

Dole Earnings Hurt by Low Demand in Russia, Banana Surplus

November 03, 1998|BARBARA MURPHY

Dole Food Co. warned that third-quarter earnings will fall 35% as a result of collapse of Russian demand and a bumper crop this year.

Westlake Village-based Dole, the world's largest marketer of fresh fruit, was expected to earn 47 cents a share, up from 40 cents a year ago, according to analysts. Dole also warned that 1998 results will be 20% less than last year.

Russian banana consumption has dropped because of the country's economic problems, which has reduced the ability of importers to purchase the fruit. With bananas moving into other markets, prices have fallen, the company said. Dole sells about 5% of its fruit to Russia.

Dole said the El Nino weather system, which resulted in heavy rainfall in certain areas of the globe and extreme dryness in others, led to a surplus crop of bananas that caused prices to fall.

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