Higher prices lead Smithfield income up 8% in Q1

by Staff
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SMITHFIELD, VA. — Higher prices helped contribute to an 8% increase in income at Smithfield Foods, Inc. during the first quarter.

For the quarter ended July 31, the company had income of $82.1 million, equal to 50c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $76.3 million, or 46c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $3,094.2 million, up 7% from $2,901.3 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

“Our record performance of our business for the past five quarters is the direct result of the successful execution of our strategy to position Smithfield as a leading packaged meats company by increasing customer-focused marketing of our core brand portfolio, improving our overall cost structure and fortifying our balance sheet, plus the benefit of favorable industry conditions,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer. “We are supporting our packaged meats business by boosting our sales and marketing budget to activate our brands and fuel innovation to bring us closer to our consumers. This is promoting growth and strengthening our position in many important product categories, including bacon, dinner sausage, hotdogs and portable lunches.”

During the quarter the pork segment posted operating profit of $136.7 million, up 21% from $113.3 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Segment sales totaled $2,597.3 million, up 8% from $2,413.5 million.

The hog production segment had an operating profit of $69.7 million, up 9% from $63.8 million during the same quarter of the previous year, while segment sales rose 16% to $749.8 million.

“Looking forward, we have strong momentum in our Pork segment supported by our solid brands and positive industry fundamentals,” Mr. Pope said. “We are working hard to grow our packaged meats business through brand activation and innovation. We are targeting 3% sales volume growth in our packaged meats business in fiscal 2012 and are committed to continuing to deliver quality and consistent margins.”

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