“Our Specialty Foods team delivered impressive earnings on significant sales growth and improved operating efficiencies. Our Grocery Products segment turned in a fine quarter, led by sales of the SPAM® family of products, HORMEL® chili, MARY KITCHEN® hash and HERDEZ® salsa. Our International team achieved strong earnings growth supported by fresh pork exports and higher profits by our operations in China,” commented Ettinger. “Although our team at Jennie-O Turkey Store was confronted with higher grain costs and lower commodity turkey meat prices, we are encouraged by the continued growth in sales of our value-added turkey products, including JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® fresh tray pack products and turkey bacon.”
“At the beginning of our second quarter, we closed on the acquisition of the SKIPPY® peanut butter business, excluding China. Since then, we have begun to integrate the business into our Grocery Products and International operating units and are actively working on information technology, logistics and other support projects aimed at delivering synergistic benefits. Our organization is excited about this wonderful new addition to our product portfolio and about its growth prospects,” stated Ettinger.
SEGMENT OPERATING SUMMARIES – FIRST QUARTER
Grocery Products (16% of Net Sales, 25% of Total Segment Operating Profit) Grocery Products operating profit increased 13 percent. Sales including Don Miguel products grew 24 percent, led by sales of the SPAM® family of products, HORMEL® chili, MARY KITCHEN® hash and HERDEZ® salsa. Sales growth of the COMPLEATS® microwave meals was aided by the introduction of new Cheesy Pasta items.Refrigerated Foods (50% of Net Sales, 26% of Total Segment Operating Profit) Segment profit for Refrigerated Foods was even with last year on a sales decline of 2 percent. Improved results with our value-added products and by the Affiliated Business Units were unable to fully offset weaker pork operating margins and increased costs in live production operations. Improved results in the value-added businesses were led by retail sales of HORMEL® pepperoni, HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® sliced deli meats in both the retail and foodservice channels, and by foodservice sales of HORMEL® Fire Braised meats. Jennie-O Turkey Store (18% of Net Sales, 29% of Total Segment Operating Profit) Segment profit for Jennie-O Turkey Store declined 23 percent on a sales increase of 3 percent, as higher sales of value-added products did not offset higher grain costs and weaker commodity turkey prices. Value-added sales grew in retail, food service and deli trade channels, led by retail sales of JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® fresh tray pack, turkey franks and turkey bacon. Specialty Foods (11% of Net Sales, 12% of Total Segment Operating Profit) Specialty Foods segment profits rose an impressive 43 percent on a sales gain of 7 percent and improved operating efficiencies. Sales growth was led by sales of Hormel Health Labs products, private label canned meats and savory ingredients. All Other (5% of Net Sales, 8% of Total Segment Operating Profit) The All Other segment, which consists primarily of Hormel Foods International, posted segment profits that were up a strong 37 percent on sales growth of 4 percent. Results were primarily driven by higher fresh pork exports and better results by our operations in China. General Corporate Expense Several factors affected general corporate expense which, in aggregate, resulted in lower expenses. No single factor was material in relationship to the total expenses incurred in the quarter. OUTLOOK “We are pleased with the growth being demonstrated by our Grocery Products, Specialty Foods and All Other (International) segments, and anticipate continued success going forward. Our Refrigerated Foods segment is presently facing weaker pork operating margins and challenges in live hog production operations, though we expect those factors to slowly improve. Our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment will post weaker results in comparison to last year’s record year. We expect these challenges to continue in the near term and gradually diminish thereafter. We continue to expect modest accretion from the SKIPPY acquisition in fiscal 2013, but note that one-time transaction and transition costs related to the acquisition will fall primarily in our second quarter. Taking all of these factors into account, we are raising our full-year guidance to $1.93 to $2.03 per share from $1.90 to $2.00 per share,” concluded Ettinger. DIVIDENDS