Inventure income climbs 55% in quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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PHOENIX — The Inventure Group, Inc., which formerly was known as Poore Brothers, Inc., posted net income of $105,509 in the first quarter ended March 31, equal to 1c per share on the common stock. This compared with income of $68,164 in the same period a year earlier. Net revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 were $16,979,897, down 4% from $17,595,248 in the first quarter of 2006.

Inventure attributed the decline in sales primarily to $600,000 in first-quarter 2006 Cinnabon brand cookie sales, which have since been discontinued by the company. Potato chip brand sales rose 11% year over year, while Friday’s brand salted snack sales fell 4%.

"The company is now focused on delivering long-term revenue and profit growth from three areas: growing our existing brands by expanding distribution and launching new products; test marketing new licensed and/or company brands; and pursuing strategic acquisitions of either niche snack food brands that leverage our operating capabilities or brands that provide access to rapidly growing natural/better-for-you specialty food categories," said Eric J. Kufel, chief executive officer.

Mr. Kufel said the company is actively test marketing several new products, including T.G.I. Friday’s brand Quesadillas and Pizza Chips, Poore Brothers brand 40% Reduced Fat potato chips, and Boulder Canyon Natural Foods brand Spinach and Artichoke potato chip products. The company also plans to introduce several other new products under both the Poore Brothers and Boulder Canyon Natural Foods brands in the second half of the year.

In addition, Inventure expects to begin test marketing Panda Express rice snacks within the next few months, and has three new licensed or company-owned brands in various stages of development.

"The company’s improved new product process has resulted in a diverse and expanding pipeline of quality new snack food concepts," Mr. Kufel said.

The company also announced it has received authorization for new distribution from several major national customers for its branded products. Shipping to those customers is expected to begin late in the second or early in the third quarter.

"In the past year we have completed several significant internal process improvement projects and solidified a strong management team," Mr. Kufel said. "With the internal restructuring work behind us, we are focused on delivering long-term growth by expanding distribution of our current brands and building a more diverse portfolio of specialty food brands. We are aggressively pursuing acquisitions in the better-for-you, indulgent and natural/organic specialty food categories, developing new brands for test market and focusing on improving profitability by leveraging our existing family of intensely different brands, excess manufacturing capacity, strong balance sheet and an organization committed to improving shareholder value."

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