PENNSAUKEN, N.J. — Net income at J&J Snack Foods in the year ended Sept. 29 totaled $103,596,000, equal to $5.54 per share on the common stock, up 31% from $79,174,000, or $4.23 per share, in fiscal 2017. Fiscal 2018 results benefited from a $20.9 million gain on the re-measurement of deferred tax liabilities and an $8.8 million reduction in income taxes related primarily to the lower corporate tax rate enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017.
Net sales increased nearly 5% to $1,138,265,000 from $1,084,224,000.
“Food service soft pretzels continued to have strong sales growth in restaurants, movie theaters and throughout our customer base,” Gerald B. Shreiber, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said during a Nov. 9 conference call with analysts. “And sales of our new Brauhaus Pretzel continues to be very encouraging. Funnel cake sales continued to do very well in schools. Bakery sales were down modestly this quarter as some new co-pack business of a year ago did not repeat this year.
“Handheld sales were down 30% for the quarter because of a drop off in co-pack business. Frozen juice bars and ices sales were down 12% because of the loss of promotion and distribution both in warehouse and club stores. Funnel cake sales to schools continued to grow, up about 30% for the quarter and 36% for the year.
“Overall sales to restaurant chains have been very strong this year while sales to schools have been up modestly. Soft pretzel sales in our retail supermarkets segment were down 5% in the quarter because of increased trade spending.”
Overall, total food service operating income at J&J Snack Foods decreased 9% in fiscal 2018 to $74,056,000 from $81,208,000 in the same period a year ago. Sales, meanwhile, increased 6% to $745,944,000. Within the food service division, sales of bakery products totaled $371,391,000, up 6% from the same period a year ago, while soft pretzel sales increased 16% to $208,544,000, and churros increased 5% to $38,928,000.
In the retail supermarket segment, operating income totaled $8,304,000, down 22% from $10,627,000 a year ago. Total sales in the retail supermarket segment were $120,939,000, up narrowly from $119,247,000 in the same period a year ago. Within the retail supermarket division, sales of soft pretzels increased 4% to $36,438,000, frozen juices and ices increased 4% to $74,435,000, and handhelds fell 17% to $12,419,000.