Del Monte Corp. Reports Increased Sales In First Quarter Of Fiscal 2013

Del Monte Foods reported net sales for the first quarter fiscal 2013 of $821.1 million compared to $776.2 million for the three months ended July 31, 2011, an increase of 5.8 percent. New and existing product volumes drove the increase. List pricing actions net of trade spend also contributed positively to net sales.

Operating income declined 7.1 percent from $49.3 million in the prior year period to $45.8 million. The decrease was primarily driven by increased marketing costs and costs associated with the closure of the company’s Kingsburg, Calif., facility. The decline was partially offset by the positive impact of the topline and list pricing actions net of trade spend.

Other income of $25.8 million for the three months ended July 29, 2012 was comprised primarily of gains on commodity hedging contracts, partially offset by losses on interest rate swaps. The gains on commodity hedging contracts recorded in the quarter, the cash portion of which are reflected in Corporate Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA), partially offset both ingredient cost increases seen in cost of products sold and ingredient cost increases that we expect to see in future quarters.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 12.3 percent to $113.6 million compared to $101.2 million in the prior year period. Cash benefits from economic hedge positions are reflected in Corporate Adjusted EBITDA as noted above. The positive impact of the topline, partially offset by increased operating and marketing costs, contributed to the increase. In calculating Adjusted EBITDA, the adjustment for cash benefits from economic hedge positions is calculated pursuant to the company’s 7.625 percent Notes Indenture and credit agreements, respectively.

“The company’s first quarter results reflect strong topline momentum,” said Dave West, CEO of Del Monte Foods, in a prepared statement. “Recent Pet Product launches such as Meow Mix Tender Centers and Meow Mix Paté Toppers contributed strongly to the topline. We remain focused on generating long-term growth by investing behind our brands in both Pet and Consumer, as well as driving innovation. In order to partially offset dramatic input cost increases caused by the severe drought conditions in the U.S., we recently announced pricing actions of approximately 5-7 perent across most of the Pet Products portfolio.”

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