Pinnacle Foods loss widens in quarter on charges

by Staff
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PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Category weakness as well as charges related to the close of the company’s initial public offering and debt refinancing contributed to an expanded loss at Pinnacle Foods, Inc. during the second quarter.

For the quarter ended June 30, the company posted a loss of $31,839,000, which compared with a loss of $10,560,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $569,044,000, down 3% from $588,595,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

The company said the charges related to the initial public offering, the debt refinancing and other items impacting comparability impacted financial results by $62 million on an after-tax basis.

“We delivered another quarter of strong earnings growth as we expanded gross margins through effective productivity programs and ongoing improvement in product mix,” said Bob Gamgort, chief executive officer. “We held share across the composite of our categories; however, our net sales were impacted by overall category weakness, partially due to the earlier timing of Easter. Our strong earnings performance in the first half of 2013 has enabled us to strengthen investment spending in the back half to remain fully competitive in several key categories.”

The Birds Eye Frozen segment had EBIT of $36.5 million during the quarter, up 22% from $29.9 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $244 million, up 1% from $241.1 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

The Duncan Hines Grocery segment had EBIT of $29.7 million, up 21% from $24.5 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $238.8 million, down 4% from $249.6 million.
For the six months ended June 30, the company as a whole sustained a loss of $7,043,000, which compared with a loss of $1,021,000 during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the period were $1,182,025,000, down 2% from $1,205,520,000.

Because the company believes the Wish-Bone acquisition, which is expected to close later during the fiscal year, will positively impact annual results, Pinnacle has raised its earnings per share guidance for the full year to $1.53 to $1.57, up from the previous range of $1.49 to $1.55.

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