WATERBURY, VT. — Sales of single-serve packs for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (G.M.C.R.) rose 59% during fiscal year 2012, ended Sept. 29, and provided ample support to drive the company’s earnings upward.
For the year, G.M.C.R. recorded net income of $363,500,000, equal to $2.34 per share on the common stock, a significant increase compared with fiscal 2011 when the company earned $201,048,000, or $1.36 per share.
Sales for the year rose 46% to $3,859,198,000, which compared with sales of $2,650,899,000 for the same period in 2011.
The company noted that any comparison between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2011 must take into account a 53rd week in 2012. The additional week added approximately $90 million in net sales and approximately $11 million in net income, according to G.M.C.R.
The company said approximately 90% of consolidated fiscal year 2012 net sales were from sales of Keurig Single Cup Brewers, single-serve packs, and Keurig-related accessories, with the remainder of net sales consisting primarily of sales of bagged coffee and sales from the office coffee services business. Sales of single-serve packs rose to $2,708.9 million in 2012 from $1,704 million in 2011.
The billion dollar increase in single-serve pack net sales was driven by a 49% increase in sales volume; a 9% increase in K-Cup pack net price realization due primarily to price increases implemented during fiscal year 2011 to offset the then higher green coffee and the other input costs; and, a 2% increase in K-Cup pack net sales due to the acquisition of Van Houtte, according to the company. The increases in single-serve pack net sales were offset by a 1% reduction due to single-serve pack product mix.
During a conference call with financial analysts on Nov. 27, Lawrence J. Blanford, president and chief executive officer, addressed the performance of the company’s single-serve packs. He noted that in September two of the company’s patents associated with K-Cup packs expired and there was concern among the investment community that G.M.C.R.’s position in the market would be diluted due to increased competition.
“Last quarter, we discussed our expectations for our addressable U.S. brewer opportunity and the potential impact of non-licensed single-serve packs both brand name and store brand on our business,” he said. “Since then, we have seen new single-serve pack entrants and new single-serve brewer entrants. But to date, we have seen nothing that causes us to change our expectations. On the contrary, there have been developments both internally and externally that have left us with more confidence in our outlook than just one quarter ago.”
Mr. Blanford said G.M.C.R. has continued to innovate the category with the introduction of its Wellness Brewed collection, the addition of Snapple and Kirkland brands to G.M.C.R.’s roster of partners, and the launch of Eight O’Clock coffee in the grocery channel.
“With 32 brands and more than 200 varieties at a range of price points and growing, we are confident that consumers will continue to find the choice and variety, along with the quality and performance they’ve come to expect in licensed products with the official Keurig Brewed seal,” he said. “And, we keep adding more variety, including most recently, the addition of Snapple premium iced teas and Costco’s Kirkland brand coffee. It’s worth noting, both of these relationships were announced after patent expiration.”
He added that it is his belief that G.M.C.R.’s manufacturing expertise and scale will continue to give the company an advantage in the marketplace.
“…We continue to invest in our equipment, continue to work on increasing efficiencies in throughputs and quality,” he said. “So, the scale required to serve this business, that’s continuing to grow significantly, certainly is a factor in our competitive position. I would also say it’s not necessarily as easy to produce these portion packs as it may appear.”
Fourth-quarter net income rose to $92,035,000, or 59c per share, and an increase compared with 2011 when the company earned $75,821,000, or 49c per share.
Sales for the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter were $946,736,000 compared with $711,883,000 during the previous year.
“Our fourth-quarter fiscal year 2012 revenue and earnings growth speaks to G.M.C.R.’s continued strategic progress and we believe points to the significant opportunity still ahead for the company,” Mr. Blanford said. “We continue to drive awareness of Keurig single-cup brewing and consumers continue to embrace and adopt Keurig brewers and Keurig brewed beverages as an integral part of their daily routine.”