Ralcorp, commercial foods lift ConAgra earnings
OMAHA — Strong results in the Commercial Foods segment as well as continued benefits from the Ralcorp acquisition led to a 65 percent increase in income at ConAgra Foods, Inc. during fiscal 2013.
For the year ended May 26, the company had income of $773.9 million, equal to $1.88 per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $467.9 million, or $1.13 per share, during the previous year. Sales for the year were $15,491.4 million, up 16 percent from $13,367.9 million.
“We are pleased to have driven a 17 percent increase in comparable EPS for fiscal 2013 and to have posted comparable year-over-year Consumer Foods volume growth in the fiscal fourth quarter as planned,” said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer. “Today we provided our current view of our strong near-term and long-term EPS growth potential, taking into account an increase in expected synergies from the recent Ralcorp transaction, as well as the benefit of our ongoing innovation, marketing and margin-management initiatives. We are confident in our strategy and our ability to execute it. After the strong fiscal 2013 performance from the Commercial Foods segment, we will be dealing with some profit headwinds related to that segment in fiscal 2014, and we expect to manage through these and still post very good EPS growth for the fiscal year.”
The Consumer Foods segment had an operating profit of $1,096.5 million, up 4 percent from $1,053.3 million during the previous year. The segment had sales of $9,069.9 million, up 8 percent from $8,376.8 million during the previous year. Brands including Banquet, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM and Peter Pan contributed to results.
The Commercial Foods segment had an operating profit of $631.4 million, up 16 percent from $546.3 million during the previous year. The segment had sales of $5,167.4 million, up 4 percent from $4,991.1 million.
For the fourth quarter ended May 26, the company as a whole had income of $192.2 million, or 46c per share, which compared with a loss of $86.2 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales were $4,593.5 million, up 34 percent from $3,434.9 million.
“As we look to the longer term, given the opportunities ahead of us, we expect to grow comparable EPS by at least 10 percent per year from fiscal 2015-2017; this is expected to result in five consecutive years of double-digit EPS growth and EPS in excess of $3.00 per share in fiscal 2017,” Rodkin said.