Pinnacle profit tops $12 million in third quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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MOUNTAIN LAKES, N.J. — Net income at Pinnacle Foods Finance L.L.C. was $12,777,000 in the third quarter ended Sept. 25, which compared with a loss of $12,167,000 in the same period a year ago. Last year’s results included a $13 million charge related to the company’s refinancing. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) also improved, climbing to $65,294,000 from $54,235,000.

Net sales rose 6% to $574,746,000 from $541,729,000. Pinnacle said net sales in its North American retail businesses increased 7%, excluding the impact of the exited Birds Eye Steamfresh meals and U.S. Swanson meals businesses.

“We experienced strong growth in Birds Eye Voila! complete bagged meals, Birds Eye Steamfresh vegetables, Hungryman frozen dinners, Armour canned meats and Nalley chili,” Pinnacle said. “During the quarter we introduced several innovative new products, including Birds Eye Steamfresh Chef’s Favorites restaurant style vegetable blends, Vlasic Reduced Sodium pickles, Vlasic Farmers Garden refrigerated pickles and Log Cabin all-natural pancake mix.”

In the Duncan Hines Grocery division, EBIT was $30,975,000, up 13% from $27,505,000 in the same period a year ago. Net sales rose 4% to $221,603,000 from $214,098,000.

In the Specialty Foods division, EBIT was $7,636,000, up 8% from $7,058,000 in the same period a year ago. Net sales fell narrowly to $105,133,000 from $104,554,000.

For the nine months ended Sept. 25, net income was $40,610,000, up from $5,937,000 in the same period of fiscal 2010. Net sales were $1,783,081,000, up from $1,774,245,000.

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