Refinancing charges crimp Pinnacle Foods results

by Eric Schroeder
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MOUNTAIN LAKES, N.J. — Charges related to the refinancing of debt contributed to a loss of $12,167,000 at Pinnacle Foods Finance L.L.C. in the third quarter ended Sept. 26. This compared with income of $10,393,000 in the same period of fiscal 2009. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), meanwhile, rose 16% to $54,235,000 during the third quarter.

Net sales increased 37% to $541,729,000 from $394,185,000. Pinnacle said the acquisition of Birds Eye Foods added $188.6 million in net sales during the quarter. On a pro forma basis, after the benefits of Birds Eye Foods, net sales for the second quarter were down 6% compared with the same period a year ago, with net sales in the company’s North American retail businesses down 3% and Specialty Foods Division net sales down 15%.

Pinnacle said net sales in the Birds Eye Frozen Division totaled $223.1 million during the quarter, up from $112 million in the same period a year ago. The acquisition of Birds Eye Foods added $127 million to net sales.

“Bird’s Eye Voila! complete bagged meals also showed a significant increase in sales and market share,” Pinnacle said. “The net sales of the remaining businesses in the division declined $15.9 million. The decrease was mainly driven by declines in our Hungry Man and Swanson dinners in a category marked by significant competitive activity. Aunt Jemima increased slightly.”

Net sales in the Duncan Hines Grocery Division rose 7% to $214.1 million from $199.8 million, with the acquisition of Birds Eye Foods adding $24.9 million and the remaining businesses declining by $10.6 million.

In the Specialty Foods Division, net sales climbed 27% to $104.5 million behind a $36.7 million boost from Birds Eye Foods. The net sales of the remaining businesses in the division declined $14.6 million during the quarter.
For the nine months ended Sept. 26, net income was $5,937,000, down 45% from $10,818,000 in the same period of fiscal 2009. EBIT in the nine months totaled $186,727,000, up from $119,751,000. Net sales totaled $1,774,245,000, up 44% from $1,230,415,000.

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