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Net sales even with prior year; growth in premium beverages offset by lower industrial volumes
Income from operations has improved for four consecutive quarters, reaching $1.2 million in the first quarter compared with a loss of $2.3 million in the year-ago period
Company sets aggressive agenda for premium spirits in 2013, including continued growth in whiskey distillates, new mash bills for whiskeys and bourbons, and a customer innovation center
ATCHISON, Kan., May 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MGP Ingredients, Inc. (Nasdaq:MGPI) (the "Company") today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Net income for the first quarter was $1.4 million compared with net income of $1.8 million in the prior year. Net income in the first quarter of 2013 includes a previously announced $1.4 million gain on sale of discontinued operations. The Company sold its bioplastics manufacturing facility in Onaga, Kansas, and certain assets at the extruder bio-resin laboratory located in Atchison, Kansas. Net income in the prior-year period includes a gain of $4.0 million associated with the sale of a 20 percent interest in the Illinois Corn Processing (ICP) joint venture.
Net sales for the first quarter were approximately even compared with the year-ago period. Higher beverage alcohol sales continue to offset the reduction in sales of bulk alcohol for industrial applications. Premium spirits growth at the Indiana distillery is being driven by the addition of new customers and strong demand for whiskey and bourbon. Higher ingredient sales in the first quarter were led by strong demand for our specialty wheat proteins used in a variety of food applications in the U.S. and internationally.
First quarter income from operations improved significantly to $1.2 million, compared with an operating loss of $2.3 million in the prior-year quarter. The Company's shift to a higher value alcohol product mix is being augmented with increased manufacturing yields, lowering the cost-per-gallon. Other factors contributing to better operating performance in the first quarter include improved pricing for the distiller's feed by-product. Net income for the current quarter also included a pre-tax net loss in equity earnings of $969,000 from the ICP joint venture. The Company's marketing agreement with ICP was not renewed for 2013.