(April 19) Dole Fresh Fruit Co., Westlake Village, Calif, and Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., have settled their fight over marketing an extra-sweet pineapple.

Lawrence Kern, the president and chief executive officer of Dole Food Co. Inc., in an April 18 conference call to investment analysts, announced that litigation between the two rivals had been settled.

The two companies had been feuding since March 2000, when Del Monte sued Dole over its Premium Select pineapple, suggesting Dole had pirated its version from Del Monte Gold. Del Monte had sought a worldwide injunction preventing Dole from “advertising, promoting and misrepresenting” the Gold MD-2 variety.

Of Dole’s Premium Select pineapple, Kern said “there are no constraints with our ability to ramp up that business. We have planned a significant growth.”

Meanwhile, Dole announced its first-quarter net income increased substantially from 2001. Kern reported net income of $56.3 million, or 99 cents a share for the quarter compared to last year’s $34.7 million or 62 cents a share.