TreeHouse income declines 29% on charges

by Staff
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OAK BROOK, ILL. — Restructuring and acquisition costs as well as weaker-than-expected sales contributed to a 29% decline in income at TreeHouse Foods, Inc. during the third quarter.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company had income of $21,554,000, equal to 60c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $30,390,000, or 84c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. During the most recent quarter TreeHouse incurred a 12c per share expense of restructuring charges, including the restructuring of the company’s soup operations and closing of the Seaforth, Ont., facility. The company also had a 1c per share expense related to the acquisition of the assets of Naturally Fresh, Inc. and a 1c per share gain on the mark-to-market adjustment of the company’s commodity agreements.

Sales for the quarter were $538,112,000, up 2% from $528,050,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

“Our sales in the quarter continue to show month-to-month variability as our customers aggressively manage their inventory needs,” said Sam K. Reed, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Sales in the quarter finished below our expectations, but this shortfall was a matter of timing and not a fundamental change in our business.  In fact, our October sales set an all-time record and our order book for November looks very promising as well. This quarter we also successfully launched our single-serve private label coffee initiative, and thus far both the customer and consumer feedback have been encouraging.”

 For the nine months ended Sept. 30, net income fell 2% to $63,139,000, or $1.75 per share, which compared with $64,543,000, or $1.81 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $1,589,344,000, down 5% from $1,514,183,000 during the same period of the previous year.

“The month-to-month predictability of our business has become more challenging, but the underlying foundation remains strong,” Mr. Reed said. “We are encouraged by the start to our fourth quarter and see good acceptance of our new single-serve coffee products.  Even our soup business, that had been challenging of late, has shown better sales then we previously expected.  All of these factors combined give us reason to be optimistic about the balance of the year.  We are confident that we will finish the year much better than 2011.  Based on early fourth-quarter results, we are tightening our full-year guidance to $2.75 to $2.85.”
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