AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods reported record third-quarter net earnings of $138.0 million, or 51 cents per share, up 21 percent from $113.6 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago. For the quarter ended July 27, sales climbed 6 percent to a record $2.3 billion despite a 1 percent decline in volumes.

REV snack wraps, Black Label Bacon, Lloyd's ribs and Hormel Fire Braised meats experienced sales growth.

“Our team was able to achieve another quarter of record sales and earnings, with sales up 6 percent and earnings per share up 21 percent versus the same quarter a year ago,” said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO.

“Strong demand for pork and turkey, and increased sales of value-added products in our Refrigerated Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store and International & Other segments more than offset a challenging quarter for our Grocery Products and Specialty Foods segments,” Ettinger added. “Our balanced model continues to support consistent revenue and earnings growth.”

Profits at Jennie-O Turkey Store jumped 42 percent. Sales climbed 4 percent. The company attributed the results to increased sales of value-added products along with strong commodity turkey prices and lower feed costs.

Refrigerated Foods profits soared 101 percent, while sales advanced 12 percent. Strong pork operating margins and growth of retail and foodservice value-added products drove growth in the segment, the company said. Black Label bacon, Hormel REV snack wraps, Lloyd's ribs and Hormel Fire Braised meats experienced sales growth.

“Heading into the fourth quarter, we will build on the momentum of Skippy peanut butter and Hormel REV snack wraps with advertising campaigns during the back-to-school season,” Ettinger said. “We are excited to enhance our portfolio of leading brands with the addition of Muscle Milk premium protein products in the high-growth sports nutrition category.”

“We anticipate a strong finish to the year from our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment, aided by beneficial grain markets and growing value-added sales, and from our International & Other and Specialty Foods segments,” Ettinger added. “The impact of cost pressures in our Grocery Products segment is likely to continue in the fourth quarter, and pork operating margins are not expected to be as beneficial to Refrigerated Foods. Taking all of these factors into account, we expect to finish fiscal 2014 within our previously stated guidance range of $2.17 to $2.27 per share.”