Del Monte income up slightly in quarter

by Staff
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SAN FRANCISCO — Net income for Del Monte Foods Co. rose 1% during the first quarter on lower revenue in the consumer business.

Net income for the quarter ended Aug. 1 was $59.4 million, equal to 30c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $58.6 million, or 30c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $804.6 million, down 1% from $813.7 million during the same quarter of the previous year.
“Del Monte’s first-quarter e.p.s. results of 29c reflect the solid earnings base we established,” said Richard G. Wolford, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our 1.1% top-line decline reflects lower revenue from our consumer business with continued healthy top-line performance in the pet business. We are not satisfied with our first-quarter consumer sales, but expect performance will strengthen in the second half as competitive and category performance return to historical levels and as we deliver growth through the key holiday seasons. Our margins were strong in Q1, as we delivered on our productivity savings and improved our overall product mix, while we continued to invest in key brands.”

The consumer products segment posted income of $34.3 million, up 7% from $32.1 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales in the segment were $377.3 million, down 6% from $401.4 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

“For fiscal 2011, we are maintaining our e.p.s. and cash flow targets, reflecting the successful margin and working capital management capabilities,” Mr. Wolford said. “We remain confident in our competitive, long-term growth model, driven by brand-based fundamentals, our growth strategy and the strong margin structure we have established.”
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