Lance income up sharply in year

by Staff
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Archway acquisition, higher net selling prices and new product introductions helped boost income for Lance, Inc. in the fourth quarter and full-year 2009.

For the year ended Dec. 26, 2009, Lance posted net income of $35,794,000, equal to $1.13 per share on the common stock, up sharply from $17,706,000, or 57c per share, during the previous year. Net revenue for the quarter was $918,163,000, up 8% from $852,468,000 during the previous year.

“Our 2009 results are indicative of the turnaround we achieved at Lance,” said David V. Singer, president and chief executive officer. “These record sales and solid e.p.s. reflect several years of hard work on the part of our nearly 5,000 employees. We have built an excellent organization focused on growth and leveraging a business model that converts top-line growth into accelerated profit growth. We are planning another year of solid growth and continued profitability improvement in 2010.”

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 26, the company had net income of $11,011,000, or 35c per share, up 46% from $7,544,000, or 24c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Revenue in the quarter was $231,097,000, up 7% from $215,298,000.

“While the significant improvement versus our historical sales and earnings level is gratifying, our fourth-quarter branded revenue was still less than anticipated, resulting in fourth quarter earnings somewhat below our expectations,” Mr. Singer said. “Achieving long-term profitable growth is our highest priority; however we are also committed to delivering improvement in our profit margins in the near-term. As such, we are making short-term adjustments, which include efforts to accelerate our top-line growth rate and more closely aligning operating expenses with the base of revenue growth in early 2010.”

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