EAGLE, IDAHO — Strong performance from the company’s base business in North America and Asia helped offset softer results in Europe at Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. during the third quarter of fiscal 2019.
Net income in the third quarter ended Feb. 24 totaled $141.4 million, equal to 96c per share on the common stock, down 10% from $156.8 million, or $1.07 per share, in the same period a year ago. Income before income taxes and equity method earnings, meanwhile, increased 19% to $166.8 million from $140.7 million.
Net sales increased 7% to $926.8 million, up from $863.4 million in the same period a year ago.
“In the third quarter, we delivered solid results despite facing difficult year-ago comparisons and a challenging operating environment in Europe,” Thomas P. Werner, president and chief executive officer, said during an April 2 conference call with analysts. “Our top-line growth of 7% was driven by a solid mix of volume and price/mix in our Global and Foodservice segments. Adjusted EBITDA, including unconsolidated joint ventures, was also up 7%. And through the first nine months of the year, we generated about $445 million of cash flow from operations. Because we delivered another solid quarter and have built good operating momentum, we’ve again raised our fiscal 2019 outlook.”
Mr. Werner said Lamb Weston now expects sales to increase high single digits and EBITDA, including unconsolidated joint ventures, to be $895 million to $905 million.
In Lamb Weston’s Global business unit, which sells to the top 100 U.S.-based restaurant chains, sales rose 11% to $498.2 million during the quarter. Volume rose 9% driven by growth in sales to strategic customers in the United States and key international markets, as well as the benefit of limited-time product offerings.
In the Foodservice segment, which includes North American food service distributors and restaurant chains outside the top 100, sales rose 5% to $265.5 million. Volume increased 1%, led by growth in branded products, according to the company.
In Retail, sales fell 1% to $129 million during the quarter. Volume decreased 2%, primarily due to the timing of private label product shipments in the prior year period.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2019, Lamb Weston net income rose to $368.2 million, equal to $2.44 per share, up from $316.8 million, or $2.15 per share, the year prior.
Sales for the period rose to $2,753.1 million from $2,505.5 million.