Third-quarter earnings soar at Seneca Foods

by Eric Schroeder
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MARION, N.Y. — Seneca Foods Corp., a processor of canned fruits and vegetables under the Libby’s, Aunt Nellie’s Farm Kitchen, Stokely’s and Seneca brands, posted net income of $12,425,000, equal to $1.02 per share on the common stock, in the second quarter ended Sept. 26. This compared with net income of $4,365,000, or 36c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Net sales rose 2% to $323,205,000, up from $315,418,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2008. The gain was attributed to higher selling prices and improved sales mix of $15.8 million partially offset by reduced sales volume of $8 million, Seneca said.

For the six months ended Sept. 26, net income was $23,511,000, or $1.94 per share, up sharply from $2,288,000, or 19c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales totaled $553,733,000, up 4% from $532,131,000 in the first six months of fiscal 2008.

“We continue to be pleased with the strong earnings performance of the company in the second quarter,” said Kraig H. Kayser, president and chief executive officer. “Our retail store brands business remains one of the key drivers in earnings growth as consumers stretch their food budgets through the purchase of our products. Nevertheless, sales of store brand canned fruits and vegetables show signs of slowing as the leading brands are becoming more aggressive in their promotional activities.”

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