Amplify Snack Brands profit falls 59% in quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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Skinnypop Popcorn Puffs, Amplify Snack Brands
Amplify introduces Skinnypop Popcorn Puffs during the third quarter.
 

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Although quarterly results did not meet expectations, Amplify Snack Brands, Inc. made “good progress” on strategic initiatives across the business, said Tom Ennis, president and chief executive officer.

Net income in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled $674,000, equal to 1c per share on the common stock, down 59% from $1,645,000, or 2c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased nearly 40% to $94,864,000 from $67,982,000.

Thomas Ennis, Amplify Snack Brands
Tom Ennis, president and c.e.o. of Amplify Snack Brands

“Our brand-building efforts, recent key sales team hires and enhanced analytical capabilities via our new sales strategy team helped increase sales momentum, particularly in our SkinnyPop brand extensions and emerging brands Paqui and Oatmega,” Mr. Ennis said during a Nov. 7 conference call with analysts. “This acceleration in overall portfolio growth was partially offset by lower-than-expected growth in our measured and non-measured channels for ready-to-eat popcorn, primarily due to a continued challenging retail environment, a more-difficult-than-expected ready-to-eat specific competitive dynamic that consisted throughout the quarter and less-than-expected in-store display support for SkinnyPop ready-to-eat.”

Mr. Ennis said Amplify remains excited about its product innovation and incremental product expansion for its core and emerging brands. During the third quarter the company launched SkinnyPop Popcorn Puffs, a baked puff popcorn snack that the company believes offers “significant” opportunity for growth.

Paqui chips and Oatmega cookie, Amplify Snack Brands
Sales momentum grew during the quarter for the Paqui and Oatmega brands.
 

“This product has done very well out of the gate, and it’s important to us as it competes in one of the larger and faster growing categories of salty snacking,” he said.

Other new product launches from earlier this year include SkinnyPop Popcorn Cakes, Popcorn Mini Cakes and Microwave Popcorn.

Also during the third quarter Amplify introduced Tyrrells in the United States with a soft launch late in September.

“We are pleased with customer receptivity for this brand and view the U.S. chip market as an important opportunity,” Mr. Ennis said. “We expect the Tyrrells U.S. business to be a more meaningful portion of our business in 2018 and beyond.”

Tyrrells chips, Amplify Snack Brands
Amplify introduced Tyrrells in the United States during the third quarter.
 

Operating income in North America during the third quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled $19.5 million, up narrowly from $19.4 million in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased to $63.5 million from $59.5 million.

Amplify lowered its full-year 2017 guidance to reflect its year-to-date results. The company said it now expects net sales of $375 million to $379 million, down from an earlier forecast of $385 million to $400 million. Adjusted EBITDA also was lowered, to $84 million to $86 million, down from $92 million to $100 million forecast during the second quarter. 
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