Dole Food Company Inc. reported financial growth for the second quarter with sales of packaged foods sales thriving, the Westlake Village-based company announced.

The company had net earnings of $33 million on sales of $1.7 billion for the second quarter ending June 19. The company reported earnings of $21 million on sales of $1.7 billion for the same quarter in 2009.

“We are pleased to announce another strong quarter despite a challenging economic climate,” said David DeLorenzo, the company’s president and CEO. “Our packaged salads business realized higher volumes and pricing, as well as lower costs. Our packaged foods portfolio also performed well, with improved earnings, even with Easter sales falling in the first quarter of the year.”

DeLorenzo said the company’s fresh fruit operations improved over the first quarter but continued to be negatively impacted by weak market conditions in Europe and Asia.

The company also reduced its net debt by $51 million in the second quarter.

During this year’s second quarter, Dole Food Company recorded a tariff refund of $7 million associated with June 2010 European Union banana tariff settlement agreements.

Jessica Selva