SPRINGDALE, ARK. — A “great” fourth quarter propelled Tyson Foods, Inc. to record sales and earnings per share in fiscal 2013, said Donnie Smith, president and chief executive officer. Net income in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 28 was $261 million, equal to 70c per share on the common stock, up 41% from $185 million, or 51c per share, in the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, net income was $778 million, or $2.12 per share, up 33% from $583 million, or $1.58 per share, in fiscal 2012.

Net sales during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 increased 7% to $8,894 million from $8,315 million. For the full year, sales were up 4%, at $34,374 million.

“We had a great fourth quarter, and 2013 was the best year in company history in terms of record sales and earnings per share,” Mr. Smith said. “The company achieved these results while buying back $550 million in stock, paying more than $100 million in dividends, continuing to build our operations in China and growing our prepared foods business through acquisitions and by entering new product categories.

“A year ago we outlined our expectations for growth. We said you should expect top-line sales to grow around 3% to 4% annually. In fiscal 2013, we grew sales by 4%. This time last year, we projected earnings for fiscal 2013 would be roughly flat to the previous two years but would grow at a rate of at least 10% a year in 2014 and beyond. By overcoming many challenges, we grew adjusted earnings from continuing operations by 15% this year. Sales growth from value-added products was almost 6%, against an aggressive goal of 6% to 8% growth per year. And finally, we set a goal of growing sales from international production by 12% to 16% a year, and we beat that goal with 20% growth.”

Mr. Smith said Tyson plans to “raise the bar higher.”

“Although we’ve been successful, there is still so much potential,” he said. “We have a great team that is focused and united. As a leader and as a shareholder, I’m excited about the future of Tyson Foods.”

Operating income within the Chicken segment during fiscal 2013 totaled $646 million, up 33% from fiscal 2012. Sales totaled $12,296 million, up 8% from $11,368 million. Tyson said sales volumes grew behind increased domestic and international production driven by stronger demand for the company’s chicken products.

Beef segment operating income totaled $296 million in fiscal 2013, up 36% from $218 million a year ago. Sales also increased, moving up 5% to $14,400 million from $13,755 million. Sales volume for the full year decreased due to less outside trim and tallow purchases, Tyson said.

Operating income within the Pork segment fell to $332 million, down 20% from $417 million a year ago. Sales eased 2% to $5,408 million from $5,510 million. Tyson said sales volume was held back as the company tried to balance supply with customer demand and reduced exports.

In the Prepared Foods segment, operating income was $101 million, down 44% from $181 million in fiscal 2012. Sales were virtually unchanged at $3,322 million, which compared with $3,237 million. The company attributed the decline in operating income to higher raw materials and additional costs incurred as it invested in its lunchmeat business and growth platforms.

In addition to its financial results, Tyson announced the creation of several new leadership positions to support future growth in its domestic and international protein and prepared foods businesses, including:

• Donnie King, currently senior group vice-president of poultry and prepared foods, was named president of prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions.

• Noel White, currently senior group vice-president of fresh meats, was named president of poultry.

• Steve Stouffer, currently senior vice-president of beef margin management, was named president of fresh meats.

“Separating our poultry and prepared foods businesses will give us sharper focus in two critical, expanding areas,” Mr. Smith said. “I’m excited that Noel White, a proven leader in our fresh meats business, is moving to Arkansas to run our poultry business. And I’m equally excited that Donnie King will devote his considerable talents to our growing value added foods business and creating an integrated sales and marketing organization to deepen our relationships with customers.”

Additionally, two new leadership positions will report to the president of prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions. Wes Morris, currently group vice-president of consumer products, was named president of prepared foods, and Devin Cole, currently group vice-president of food service, was named president of sales and marketing and chief commercial officer.