ATCHISON, KAN. — Net income at MGP Ingredients, Inc. increased 4% in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020, climbing to $40.08 million, equal to $2.37 per share on the common stock, up from $38.54 million, or $2.27 per share, in fiscal 2019. Net sales increased 9% to $395.52 million from $362.75 million.

During the fourth quarter, net income totaled $11.56 million, or 69¢ per share, down 10% from $12.87 million, or 76¢ per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales were $100.92 million, up 9% from $92.46 million.

Gross profit in the Ingredient Solutions segment increased to $20.8 million in fiscal 2020 from $10.6 million in fiscal 2019, while sales increased 19% to $78.1 million, driven by higher sales of specialty wheat starches and specialty wheat proteins. During the fourth quarter, gross profit in the segment totaled $5.3 million, up from $3.3 million in the same period a year ago. Net sales during the quarter increased 18% to $20.3 million.

“We finished 2020 with continued momentum with the fourth quarter being one of our strongest ever,” David J. Colo, president, chief executive officer and chief operating officer, said during a Feb. 25 conference call with analysts. “The solid revenue and profit growth this quarter and year reflect our diverse customer base and our ability to further optimize the product mix. Our product offerings remain aligned with strong consumer trends, as evidenced by our ability to effectively recruit new business and grow with existing customers.”

Mr. Colo said the Ingredient Solutions R&D team was strengthened by several personnel changes during the year, including the additions of a vice president of R&D, a culinary chef and a principal food scientist.

“Each has experience in specific disciplines that will enhance MGP’s role in helping customers succeed with fast-paced new product development in areas of high demand from consumers, such as plant-based proteins and dietary fiber,” he said.

Mr. Colo said the historic severe cold weather conditions that have occurred in the Midwestern corridor of the United States in recent weeks will have an impact on first-quarter results. He said MGPI was required by its energy suppliers to reduce natural gas usage at its Atchison operations for approximately two weeks, a decision that disrupted operations at its ingredients facility, which produces wheat-based proteins and starches.

“This disruption in production will likely result in a reduction to revenue and earnings for the first quarter,” he said. “We are in the process of restoring service levels to our customers as a result of this historic event.”