Snyder's-Lance, Inc. reported results for its fiscal year 2011. Snyder's-Lance, Inc. was formed on Dec. 6, 2010 as a result of the merger of Lance, Inc. and Snyder's of Hanover, Inc. Prior year results are attributable to Lance prior to the merger and the operations of the combined company after the merger. 2010 full year results also included a 53rd week. Where comparisons are made to 2010 results, excluding special items, these include the additional week in 2010.
Net revenues for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, were $1.64 billion, an increase of 67 percent over prior year net revenues of $980 million. The company realized full year net income of $47.8 million excluding special items or $0.70 per diluted share, as compared to full year 2010 net income of $36.0 million excluding special items, or $1.05 per diluted share. Net income including special items was $38.3 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, for the full year 2011 compared to $2.5 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for 2010. Special items for 2011 were $9.5 million, after tax expense. These items included $12.8 million of severance and professional fee expenses associated with the merger and other integration efforts, $6.5 million related to the impairment of transportation equipment, and $1.7 million of impairment charges related to the closing of a manufacturing facility in Corsicana, Texas. Special items for 2011 also included gains on the sale of route businesses of $5.0 million and a gain of $6.5 million related to a change in vacation plan. Special items for 2010 included after tax expenses of $1.9 million associated with unsuccessful acquisition costs, $2.0 million related to a workforce reduction, $28.2 million associated with the merger with Snyder's of Hanover, Inc. and $1.4 million related to other items.
Fourth quarter 2011 net revenues were $412 million, an increase of 45 percent compared to prior year fourth quarter net revenues of $285 million. Fourth quarter 2011 net income was $14.1 million, excluding special items, which was 75 percent above the $8.1 million of net income, excluding special items for the prior year. Net income including special items was $22.4 million for the fourth quarter 2011 compared to a fourth quarter 2010 net loss including special items of $19.4 million.
"The year 2011 was transformational for Snyder's-Lance, and I'm very pleased with our progress," said David V. Singer, chief executive officer in a prepared statement. "Our team has done an exceptional job of executing on the complex challenges of Merger integration while continuing to deliver solid top line performance. Our branded products net sales grew by 4.7 percent on a pro forma basis excluding the reduction in net sales that is associated with converting from company-owned to an independent operator route system. Our largest and most profitable brands and product lines (Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, Lance sandwich crackers and Cape Cod kettle chips) delivered near double digit growth in net sales in 2011, on a pro forma basis. For the full year 2011, we also reduced our net debt by $20 million on solid net cash flows, and expect to see expect to see net cash flows improve in 2012 as we complete the sale of company owned routes to independent business operators in our direct store delivery network. Although our margins were pressured in 2011, primarily in private brand products, I'm very proud of what has been accomplished by our associates, and look forward to completing the work of integration by mid-year 2012 and then focusing even more sharply on growing our profit margins."
Singer continued, "We recently completed the development of our strategic plan, which clarifies our priorities and focus, and sets aggressive goals for the next several years. We will focus most of our resources on growing our core brands and product lines (Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, Lance sandwich crackers, and Cape Cod Potato Chips). These core brands represent the categories where we have the best market position, profit margins and growth prospects. These will be the primary focus of our resources and deliver the majority of our internal growth in the next few years. At the same time, we will focus on improving the margins on our allied brands and private brands products. As we move through 2012, we believe this focus and the completion of our integration work will deliver wider profit margins and position the company for long-term profitable growth. We anticipate driving growth in our existing product portfolio through excellent marketing programs and expanded distribution. We also anticipate growth from the internal development of new and existing product lines as well as through strategic acquisitions. "