PURCHASE, N.Y. — Strong revenue growth within the Frito-Lay North America business spurred solid gains in earnings and sales at PepsiCo, Inc. in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
The positive results sent shares of PepsiCo to a record high of $127.11 on April 17, up 3.8% from the previous day’s close of $122.41.
Net income attributable to PepsiCo in the first quarter ended March 23 was $1,413 million, equal to $1 per share on the common stock, up 5% from $1,343 million, or 94c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net revenue totaled $12,884 million, up 2.5% from $12,562 million.
Operating profit within the Frito-Lay North America unit rose 10% to $1,159 million, up from $1,050 million a year ago. Revenues increased 5% to $3,815 million from $3,617 million.
“The category in savories is performing very, very well in the U.S., and I think it’s a combination of our investments,” Ramon L. Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer, said during an April 17 conference call with analysts. “Obviously, we have a big share of this category, and some other players (are) investing. We are obviously having a very good partnership with our customers, increasing the space of this category in the stores. So it’s a compounded impact of multiple factors that is driving the category. Within this category, Frito-Lay is improving its share performance as well, so we’re seeing the double impact of that.”
Mr. Laguarta said PepsiCo is improving its net revenue management and ability to capture the maximum pricing of every occasion within the F.L.N.A. business.
“I think Frito has done a great job of managing their mix to obviously maximize revenue of the demand that there is in the market,” he said. “And then they’ve made some operational adjustments to some of the supply chain bottlenecks that we had in the past. And we’ve been able to capture some of the seasonal opportunities, especially around the Super Bowl in, I would say, a very, very impactful way together with our beverages business as well. So we had a very good Super Bowl.
“So you put it all together, and the category is healthy. I think this category will continue to have strong tailwinds as consumers go into more unstructured meals during the day.”
Operating profit within Quaker Foods North America fell in the first quarter, easing to $138 million from $155 million, while revenues slipped 1.2% to $594 million from $601 million.
PepsiCo said the revenue decline reflected a volume decline and unfavorable mix. The volume decline primarily was driven by a double-digit decline in ready-to-eat cereals, partially offset by mid-single digit growth in Aunt Jemima syrup and mix.
In the company’s North America Beverages unit, operating profit totaled $389 million, up narrowly from $388 million a year ago. Revenues increased 2% to $4,510 million from $4,415 million.