DENVER — Acquiring such companies as the Wallaby Yogurt Co. and Vega Foods in 2015 helped push the WhiteWave Food Co.’s earnings higher during the second quarter of fiscal 2016. During the quarter ended June 30, the company’s net income rose 38% to $52 million, equal to 29c per share on the common stock. Company sales rose 14% during the quarter to $1,050 million.
|Greg Christenson, executive vice-president and c.f.o. of WhiteWave
“We are pleased with the strong second-quarter results we achieved on the top and bottom line,” said Greg Christenson, executive vice-president and chief financial officer. “We continue to expect strong performance over the second half of 2016 behind continued core growth, additional innovation, and our new branding and marketing campaigns. We continue to forecast increasing operating performance over the back half of the year and expect to deliver on our goals of high-single digit organic constant currency percentage sales growth and at least 75 basis points of constant currency operating margin expansion for 2016.”
The company’s America’s Foods & Beverages business unit, which consists of its plant-based foods and beverages, fresh foods, premium dairy, and coffee creamers and beverages businesses, saw its sales rise 14% to $898 million during the quarter. Operating income for the business unit rose 19% to $106 million, according to the company.
In plant-based food and beverages, the acquisition of Vega Foods pushed sales up 25% compared to the second quarter of 2015. Excluding the Vega acquisition, the company said sales rose in the mid-single digits.
|Blaine McPeak, executive vice-president and c.o.o. of WhiteWave
“While our organic growth rate in U.S. plant-based was lower than high-single digits in the quarter due to the impact from the disruption in frozen desserts, we continue to see robust long-term growth opportunities for plant-based foods and beverages,” said Blaine McPeak, executive vice-president and chief operating officer. “We have launched a completely new advertising campaign to further broaden consumer awareness of the benefits of plant-based and are very excited with new Silk branding and packaging we are rolling out in the third quarter. We also have several new innovative products and packaging formats in both Silk and Vega that we are introducing over the balance of the year.”
A similar scenario played out in WhiteWave’s premium dairy business, where sales rose 11% in the second quarter compared with the same period of 2015. Excluding the acquisition of the Wallaby, sales in the platform rose in the “low-single digits,” according to the company.
The company also announced it completed the acquisition of Innovation Packaging and Process, S.A. DE C.V. (I.P.P.) on June 2 for a purchase price of approximately $18 million in cash. Founded in 2007 and based in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, I.P.P. is an aseptic beverage manufacturer that produces a variety of products for WhiteWave and other parties. The acquisition supports WhiteWave’s growth initiatives in Latin America with internal production capacity, the company said.
Paris-based Danone S.A. entered into an agreement on July 6 to acquire WhiteWave Foods for $56.25 per share in an all-cash transaction, representing a total value of approximately $12.5 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.