TreeHouse Foods net climbs 5% in Q3

by Eric Schroeder
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WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Net income in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 at TreeHouse Foods, Inc. rose 5% to $11,080,000, equal to 35c per share on the common stock, up from $10,568,000, or 34c per share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding costs associated with the company’s closing of its Portland, Ore., pickle plant, integration costs related to the E.D. Smith acquisition, and a non-cash exchange loss on Canadian denominated intercompany debt, e.p.s. would have been 41c, a 21% increase from the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

Net sales for the quarter were $374,756,000, up 38% from $271,951,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Excluding the acquisition of E.D. Smith, sales were up 9%.

"Our top-line performance was very good, driven by volume gains in our key categories of soup, salsa, non-dairy creamers and salad dressings," said Sam K. Reed, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "Although our gross margins were down from last year, we saw an 85 basis point improvement from last quarter as our pricing programs were more fully realized. In addition, we increased our emphasis on working capital improvements, and improved our quarterly free cash flow used to pay down debt by $68.6 million compared to last year’s third quarter."

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company posted net income of $21,433,000, or 68c per share, down 22% from $27,344,000, or 88c per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $1,102,568,000, up 40% from $786,966,000 during the same period of the previous year.

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