CORRECTED - CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Dole Food Q4 profit up, amends credit facilit

Tue Feb 2, 2010 11:36am EST

(Corrects the second bullet point and paragraph six to clarify that fourth-quarter revenue fell 7 percent to $1.53 billion, and not 6 percent to $1.04 billion.)

* Q4 EBIT $70 mln vs $47 mln year-ago

* Q4 sales down 7 pct

* Says amended certain credit facilities

* Says sold 3 plants in Latin America to pay down debt

Feb 2 (Reuters) - Dole Food Co Inc's DOLE.N fourth-quarter profit before taxes and interest jumped 49 percent, and the fruit and vegetable producer said it sold three manufacturing plants in Latin America to pay down debt. The Westlake, California-based company, which went public in October last year, said it had amended certain senior secured credit facilities, which have helped push its nearest debt maturity to 2013.

Dole also said it reduced its total debt in 2009 by 30 percent to $1.48 billion through asset sales and IPO proceeds.

For the quarter ended Jan. 2, Dole's earnings before interest and taxes were $70 million, compared with $47 million a year earlier, as it got a boost from foreign currency exchange and fuel hedging gains.

However, the company said these gains were offset by higher marketing spend related to the national roll out of its new packaged salad items and lower profit from Asian fresh fruits.

Revenue slumped 7 percent to $1.53 billion.

Dole shares closed at $11.86 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB1767] (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)