Addition of Tyrrells buoys quarterly sales at Amplify

by Eric Schroeder
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Tyrell's products, Amplify Snack Brands
Amplify attributed its increase in net sales partly to the incorporation of Tyrrells’ brands.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Net income at Amplify Snack Brands in the first quarter ended April 1 totaled $528,000, equal to 1c per share on the common stock, down sharply from $8,402,000, or 11c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales, meanwhile, increased 60% to $87,218,000 from $54,345,000.

Tom Ennis, Amplify Snack Brands
Tom Ennis, president and c.e.o. of Amplify Snack Brands

“The strength of our better-for-you brands and product innovation in North America exceeded our expectations and continued to gain momentum as we progressed through the first quarter with strong distribution and velocity gains,” said Tom Ennis, president and chief executive officer. “At the same time, we have taken key strategic steps internationally to drive growth and profitability, particularly in light of the challenging food retail operating environment in the U.K., and started to experience operational improvements that we expect to continue as we progress through 2017. Based on our results to-date and outlook for the balance of the year, we remain confident in our annual operating performance guidance.”

Amplify attributed the 60% increase in net sales to a full quarter contribution from Tyrrells’ international portfolio of brands and Oatmega, strong growth from the company’s SkinnyPop product innovation, and new distribution and increased velocity of the Paqui brand. The gains were partially offset by the planned promotional calendar shift to the second quarter of this year from the first quarter last year within the SkinnyPop R.-T.-E. line.

SkinnyPop products, Amplify Snack Brands
SkinnyPop product innovation contributed to net sales growth.

In the company’s North America segment, operating profit in the first quarter ended April 1 totaled $21.1 million, up from $20.4 million in the same period a year ago. Net sales totaled $60 million, up from $54.3 million.

The company sustained an operating loss of $1.2 million on sales of $27.2 million in its International segment during the quarter.

In addition to the release of its financials, Amplify on May 9 announced several management changes in connection with the integration of the Tyrrells’ business. David Milner has transitioned out of his role as executive vice-president, president, International. Ben Clarke, who previously was c.e.o. of U.K.-based Burton’s Biscuits and earlier was an executive with Kraft Foods Inc., has been engaged to help lead and advise the International segment while Amplify conducts a search for an International business leader.

“We greatly appreciate David’s efforts in building a compelling portfolio of International brands as well as his help in the post-acquisition transition process,” Mr. Ennis said. “As part of our leadership transition plans for the International business, we have recently recruited an energetic and talented team with rich consumer packaged goods and food experience to lead the International functional departments of marketing, operations, finance and sales. This new team is already moving the business in a positive direction as demonstrated by recent improvements in our sales and profit trends. Additionally, we are excited to have Ben Clarke help with the leadership transition and have him involved in our International strategy development and business expansion while we conduct a formal executive search. Ben is a seasoned executive and is very familiar with navigating the U.K. food retail landscape through his prior leadership experience at Burton’s and Kraft. We have a great team in place in our International business to maximize the potential of our portfolio of fantastic brands.”
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