Smucker earnings climb 86% in fiscal 2010

by Eric Schroeder
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ORRVILLE, OHIO — The continued trend of eating at home helped drive an 86% gain in earnings at J.M. Smucker Co. in the year ended April 30. Net income in fiscal 2010 totaled $494,138,000, equal to $4.15 per share on the common stock, up from $265,953,000, or $3.11 per share, in fiscal 2010. Results for fiscal 2010 included a gain of approximately $12.9 million on the company’s March divestiture of its potato business.

“We achieved another year of record sales while growing volume and profitability across our portfolio of iconic brands,” said Tim Smucker, chairman of the board and co-chief executive officer. “With the completion of our first full fiscal year including the coffee business, we have just begun to realize the potential of our new, larger company. Our success is a result of our employees’ commitment to our strategy, their ability to work together as one, and their unrelenting focus on the consumer.”

Sales during fiscal 2010 increased 23% to $4,605,289,000, which compared with $3,757,933,000 in fiscal 2009.

Net income during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 rose 28% to $120,606,000, or $1.01 per share, up from $94,268,000, or 80c per share. Sales for the quarter were $1,069,079,000, nearly unchanged from $1,068,540,000 in the same period a year ago. Excluding the impact of the potato business divestiture and foreign exchange, net sales were down approximately 1% year over year.

Also during the fourth quarter, the company announced plans to restructure its coffee and fruit spreads operations as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the long-term strength and profitability of its leading brands. Smucker said the initiative is a long-term investment to optimize production capacity and lower the overall cost structure. The company expects to incur restructuring costs of approximately $190 million, of which $5.7 million was recognized in the fourth quarter of 2010. The balance of the costs is expected to be incurred over the next four fiscal years, with approximately $85 million to $90 million expected to be incurred in fiscal 2011.

“Our strong ongoing performance against challenging economic and competitive environments demonstrates our organization’s capabilities,” said Richard Smucker, executive chairman and co-c.e.o. “The strong cash flows we consistently generate give us the opportunity to make investments in furthering brand equities, product and operational innovations, and brand portfolio expansion. As a result, our core businesses are solid, our brands are strong, and we are well-poised for the future.”

Breaking it down by segments, Smucker said profit in its U.S. Retail Consumer Market increased 10% in fiscal 2010, rising to $274,969,000 from $249,913,000 in fiscal 2009, reflecting lower raw material costs and favorable product mix associated with strong peanut butter sales. Net sales rose 2% to $1,125,280,000. Volume gains were realized in Jif peanut butter, Smucker’s fruit spreads and Uncrustables sandwiches, and Hungry Jack pancake mixes and syrups.

Profit in the U.S. Retail Oils and Baking Market segment rose 15% to $142,161,000 from $124,150,000, while sales fell 9% to $905,719,000 from $995,474,000. Smucker attributed the decline in sales to Pillsbury flour and baking mixes and Crisco oils, which faced a competitive retail environment.

The U.S. Retail Coffee Market segment posted a 129% gain in profit, rising to $550,786,000 from $240,971,000. Net sales for the year rose 99% to $1,700,458.

Profit in the Special Markets segment rose 33% in fiscal 2010, climbing to $148,768,000 from $111,741,000. Sales, meanwhile, advanced 9% to $873,832,000.

For fiscal 2011, net sales are expected to increase at a more normalized organic growth rate, excluding acquisitions, of approximately 3% compared with fiscal 2010. Income per diluted share is expected to range between $4.50 and $4.60, excluding restructuring and merger and integration costs of 55c to 60c per diluted share. Approximately 40c per share of intangible asset amortization, a noncash expense item, is included in the range of income per diluted share for 2011, Smucker said.

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