WESTERVILLE, OHIO — Despite the uncertainty and obstacles imposed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) during the past six months, Lancaster Colony Corp. finished fiscal 2020 with record sales and gross profit.
Net income in the year ended June 30 totaled $136.983 million, equal to $4.98 per share on the common stock, down 9.1% from $150.549 million, or $5.48 per share, in fiscal 2019. Lancaster said expenditures for Project Ascent reduced net income by $13.7 million this year compared to $1.4 million last year. Last year’s results included the favorable impact of a $17.1 million non-cash reduction to the fair value of the acquisition-related contingent consideration for Angelic Bakehouse, partially offset by a $900,000 increase in a similar consideration for Bantam Bagels.
Net sales, meanwhile, increased nearly 2% to $1.334 billion, up from $1.308 billion.
In the fourth quarter ended June 30, net income was $30.385 million, or $1.10 per share, down 8% from $33.010 million, or $1.20 per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales totaled $320.854 million, down from $323.67 million.
Operating income in the Retail segment totaled $142.822 million in fiscal 2020, up 5.7% from $135.093 million in fiscal 2019. Sales, meanwhile, increased 8.8% to $714.127 million from $656.621 million.
“Retail net sales benefited from higher demand as the impacts of COVID-19 drove increased at home food consumption,” David A. Ciesinski, president and chief executive officer, said during an Aug. 27 conference call with analysts. “We were pleased to see that our recent new product introductions contributed about 4.5 percentage points to our Retail segment’s Q4 sales growth. Notable contributors to growth included our single bottle offering of Buffalo Wild Wings sauces and separately, Chick-fil-A sauces that we are selling in a regional pilot test in Florida. Both the Buffalo Wild Wings and Chick-fil-A sauces are being sold under exclusive license agreements.
“Following a strong third quarter, Retail sales trends remained robust in the fourth quarter for our New York Bakery frozen garlic bread, Sister Schubert’s frozen dinner rolls and Olive Garden dressings.”
In the Foodservice unit, operating income in fiscal 2020 fell 10% to $66.480 million, down from $73.828 million, while sales decreased to $620.261 million from $651.166 million.
“The Foodservice segment was adversely impacted by COVID-19, particularly in the month of April, but recovered notably in May and June, led by the quick-service restaurant customers within our national account base,” Mr. Ciesinski said.
Thomas K. Pigott, vice president and chief financial officer, said Lancaster spent $82.6 million on capital expenditures in fiscal 2020, including investments in a frozen dinner roll capacity expansion project and the purchase of the Omni Baking facility that was previously leased. Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, the company is forecasting total capital expenditures between $65 million and $85 million, Mr. Pigott said.
“We’re in the process of evaluating additional and potentially significant investments to meet the rapid growth in demand for our products,” he said. “These projects will be additive to this forecast. We’ll provide you with future updates on our plans once they are more fully developed.”