Penford income down sharply in first quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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CENTENNIAL, COLO. — Strong results within the company’s Food Ingredients unit were not enough to boost overall results for Penford Corp. in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Net income in the quarter ended Nov. 30 was $336,000, equal to 3c per share on the common stock, down sharply from $1,056,000, or 9c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Sales for the first quarter were $72,266,000, up 8% from $67,070,000.

For the first quarter, the Food Ingredients segment had operating income of $4,808,000, up 34% from $3,581,000 during the previous year’s first quarter. Sales for the segment were $18,336,000, up 9% from $16,762,000 during the previous year. Penford said sales of non-coating applications contributed more than 50% of first-quarter revenues in the segment. Additionally, new business in dairy, pet and gluten-free bakery products contributed the majority of revenue growth.

In the Industrial Ingredients segment, operating income totaled $142,000, down 93% from $2,154,000 in the same period a year ago. But sales rose to $53,930,000 from $50,308,000. The increase in sales reflected a 37% increase in sales of ethanol to $24,600,000 from $18,000,000 a year ago.

Penford said it is conducting trials with major producers of food packaging materials for a novel technology to replace fluorochemicals used in food wraps and other packaging applications.

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