Seneca earnings up narrowly in Q2

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, recorded income of $2,883,000 in the second quarter ended Oct. 1, equal to 24c per share on the common stock. This compared with income of $2,811,000, or 23c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Net sales rose 3% to $283,616,000 from $275,448,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. The company attributed the gain to higher selling prices and a more favorable sales mix of $24.5 million partially offset by decreased sales volume of $16.4 million.

“The improved earnings performance in the quarter reflects the fact that our inventories are in a much more balanced position than prior year heading into the holiday season,” said Kraig H. Kayser, president and chief executive officer. “The swing to higher LIFO charges is a reflection of significant increases in the cost of fuel, steel and produce, which are three primary cost inputs to our inventories.”

For the six months ended Oct. 1, Seneca sustained a loss of $5,092,000, which compared with earnings of $8,086,000 in the same period of fiscal 2011. Net sales for the six months were $542,699,000, up 10% from $495,390,000.

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