Lancaster earnings ease 12% in Q2

by Eric Schroeder
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COLUMBUS, OHIO — Net income at Lancaster Colony Corp. fell 12% during the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010. For the quarter, income totaled $34,863,000, equal to $1.25 per share on the common stock, down from $39,527,000, or $1.40 per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales, meanwhile, totaled $316,238,000, up 4% from $304,115,000.

For the six months ended Dec. 31, 2010, net income was $57,630,000, or $2.06 per share, down from $67,932,000, or $2.41 per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales were $581,289,000, up 4% from $558,275,000.

Operating income within Lancaster’s Specialty Foods segment fell 8% during the second quarter to $51,388,000, while sales in the division increased 5% to $254,591,000. For the six months, operating income in the segment fell 10% to $89,361,000, while sales rose 3% to $475,103,000.

“We were especially pleased with the continued growth of our branded food products, but as expected marked increases in input costs impacted our operating income,” said John B. Gerlach Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “We expect that pricing actions being taken with many of our food products should help mitigate the impact of rising material costs beginning in the third quarter. We should also gain further leverage from our recently introduced Marzetti Otria Greek yogurt-based veggie dips and Marzetti Simply Dressed refrigerated salad dressings.”

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