ST. LOUIS — Expenses related to non-cash mark-to-market adjustments and cash settlements on interest rate swaps dragged down consolidated net earnings available to common shareholders of Post Holdings in the three months ended June 30. Earnings in the period totaled $16.2 million, equal to 22c per share on the common stock, down 83% from $94.5 million, or $1.41 per share, in the prior-year period.
Net earnings included expense on swaps, net of $86.2 million in the third quarter of 2019, and income on swaps, net of $17.2 million in the third quarter of 2018.
Net sales decreased 11% to $1,439.2 million from $1,608.1 million.
Despite the lower results, Robert V. Vitale, president and chief executive officer of Post Holdings, gave most of the company’s business segments a positive review during an Aug. 2 conference call with analysts.
Segment profit for the Post Consumer Brands segment, which includes North American R.-T.-E. cereal brands such as Pebbles, Honey Bunches of Oats and Malt-O-Meal, decreased narrowly to $82.7 million from $83.3 million. Net sales increased 1.6% to $474.1 million from $466.4 million.
“Post Consumer Brands had a solid quarter,” Mr. Vitale said. “Consumption performance faced challenging comps as we lapped strong merchandising support and chose not to repeat certain low-R.O.I. promotions. Nonetheless, consumption dollars were relatively flat in tracked channels, and our branded market share reached 20.8%.”
Mr. Vitale noted “great performance” in the company’s Weetabix segment. Segment profit was $26.8 million, up from $26.1 million in the same period a year ago. Net sales totaled $108.4 million, up 1.2% from $107.1 million.
In the Refrigerated Retail segment, which includes side dishes, egg, cheese and sausage products, segment profit fell 39% to $15.8 million on net sales of $207.1 million, a 3.5% decrease from the prior-year period.
The Active Nutrition segment, which includes ready-to-drink protein shakes, other R.-T.-D. beverages, powders and nutrition bars, generated profit of $55.6 million, up 38% from the comparable quarter. Net sales increased nearly 10% to $237.6 million.
“Active Nutrition had an excellent quarter, with strong shake consumption growth of 16%,” Mr. Vitale said. “All flavors returned to the shelf, and market share in tracked channels reached 18%. Total distribution points have recovered at nearly all major customers and reached 95% of their previous high.”
The Foodservice segment, which primarily includes egg and potato products, posted profit of $58.5 million, up 90% from a year ago. Net sales increased 3.3% to $412.6 million in the period.
In the nine months ended June 30, Post had net earnings of $182.8 million, or $2.61 per share, down from $474.9 million, or $7.13 per share, in the comparable period a year earlier. Net sales decreased 8.5% to $4,238.3 million.