The Hillshire Brands Co. reported earnings for the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2013.
The company is on track to executing the first year of its three-year plan. Net sales fell slightly, driven by a decline in the food service industry and other segments. Adjusted operating income declined 12.9 percent on planned increases in minimum advertised price (MAP) and selling, general and administrative expense. Reported operating income increased 18.8 percent. Adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.35 are better than anticipated, and down 14.6 percent. Reported diluted EPS of $0.34 is up 47.8 percent. Adjusted diluted EPS in fiscal year 2014 is expected to be at high end of previous guidance range of $1.60-$1.70.
“We continue to make progress in executing our three-year plan, making strides in brand building, innovation and rigorous cost management,” said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer, The Hillshire Brands Co. in a prepared statement.
Connolly continued, “we saw a strong response where we increased our advertising investment in the quarter. We also continued to build out our innovation pipeline. On the cost side, we have now identified opportunities to exceed the $100 million savings target we announced at our investor day in June. These initiatives will provide additional support for our growth strategy and further strengthen our confidence that we will deliver our mid-term targets.”
“Our efforts to stabilize challenged businesses also progressed, but clearly our work here is not done. Overall, we are pleased with our efforts to date. In fact, we now expect full year EPS to be at the high end of our previous guidance,” added Connolly.