Higher input costs drag ConAgra income down

by Staff
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OMAHA — Rising costs contributed to a 6% decline in income for ConAgra Foods during the third quarter.
For the third quarter ended Feb. 27, the company had income of $214.8 million, equal to 50c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $229.6 million, or 52c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $3,154.7 million, up 4% from $3,030.5 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

“We are pleased that fiscal third-quarter results demonstrate comparable e.p.s. and segment operating profit growth, despite high input cost inflation and other challenging economic conditions,” said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer. “Sequential price/mix trends in our Consumer Foods segment are directionally improving as we expected. While inflationary pressures continue to build and difficult conditions persist, we expect our performance to continue to benefit from pricing actions under way, strong supply chain cost savings, and other profit-enhancing initiatives we have previously detailed. We are confident in our ability to post a low-single-digit rate of e.p.s. growth over the comparable $1.74 earned last fiscal year.”

The Consumer Foods segment had an operating profit of $263.3 million, down 14% from $306.3 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $2,084.9 million, up 3% from $2,034.4 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

Operating profit within the Commercial Foods segment fell 2% to $139.4 million. Sales, meanwhile, rose 7% to $1,069.8 million.

For the nine months ended Feb. 27, the company as a whole had income of $562.1 million, or $1.29 per share, down 12% from $635.2 million, or $1.43 per share, during the same period of the previous year. During the nine months the company had sales of $9,133.4 million, up 1% from $9,016.9 million during the same period of the previous year.

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