Food Business News - February 23, 2016 - (Page 10)

WhiteWave broadening its Horizon DENVER - The WhiteWave Foods Co. continues to expand its Horizon brand beyond the organic milk category as new non-dairy products in the portfolio contributed to strong growth in the past year. Net income for WhiteWave in the year ended Dec. 31, 2015, was $168 million, equal to 96c per share on the common stock, up 20% from $140 million, or 81c per share, in 2014. Net sales for the full year were $3,866 million, up 13% from year-ago sales of $3,437 million. "When we take a look at the broader Horizon business, we are incredibly pleased with what we saw in 2015," said Blaine McPeak, chief operating officer, during a Feb. 11 earnings call with financial analysts. "It had some of the strongest growth across our company, with growth in the teens here. That's off of an organic milk category that is growing high single digits... At the same time, we are seeing these extra adjacencies really contribute to our top-line growth perspective." Within the past couple years, WhiteWave has added macaroni and cheese, cookies, crackers and squeezable fruit snacks under the Horizon banner. Along with shelf-stable single-serve milks, Horizon's center-store platform represents a "couple hundred million dollar business" that is growing at an accretive rate, Mr. McPeak said. "We are really going to focus on velocities and continuing to build the strength of that portfolio as well as some selective innovation here, in particular in the mac and cheese area," Mr. McPeak said. "And beyond that, we see nice runway as well in other adjacent dairy categories, be that cheese or butter or yogurt. And we have seen nice strong growth in those areas, double-digit growth, that has been added to our top-line profile as well. "I think it all reflects that we have a very, very strong brand that has great credence with moms. And we continue to look to build upon the strength in the core milk category, as well as extend that a little bit further in others." Net income for the fourth quarter rose 46% to $48 million, or 28c per share, from $33 million, or 19c, for the prior-year period. Net sales increased 13% to $1,028 million from $911 million. WhiteWave's Americas Foods and Beverages segment, which includes plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, and premium dairy, posted full-year net sales of $2,768 million, an increase of 18% over the prior year, driven by volume growth and aided by pricing benefits within the premium dairy platform. Operating income for the segment increased 26% to $334 million for the year. Net sales for the Americas Fresh Foods segment, which includes the Earthbound Farm brand, fell 2% to $566 million for the year, as 9% growth in the organic packaged salad category was offset by a decline in fresh fruits as a result of the company's decision to rationalize the lower-margin business. Operating income declined 47% to $25 million for the year. For the year ahead, WhiteWave expects to deliver constant-currency net sales growth of 11% to 12% and adjusted operating income growth in the high teens to low-twenties on a constant currency basis. FBN Pilgrim's Pride plans sizable strategic investment GREELEY, COLO. - Pilgrim's Pride Corp. has unveiled a $190 million strategic capital investment plan designed to enhance growth and expand production of Pilgrim's Pierce Chicken brand, which is marketed and sold to food service operators. The effort, initiated in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, is part of a focused effort to reinvest cash flow back into the business to support sustained margin growth and improve efficiencies, Pilgrim's Pride said. "We believe one of our competitive advantages is the 10 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® valued partnership we provide to key customers," said Bill Lovette, president and chief executive officer. "Our cash flow reinvestment plan will present opportunities for our customers to accelerate sales, improve profitability and grow their businesses." Pilgrim's Pride said the cash flow reinvestment plan is tailored to meet customer needs through targeted capital spending in feed production, fresh chicken and prepared foods, including caseready. Strategic investments within the plan include: * An $18 million investment at a Pilgrim's case-ready facility to streamline deboning and packaging processes; * A $25 million investment at the company's Moorefield, W. Va., prepared foods facility to enhance existing fully cooked chicken lines and add an additional line to meet growth demands for the Pierce Chicken brand; * A $35 million investment to acquire property and construct a new feed mill in Nashville, Ark., to lower feed costs, enhance feed conversion and improve live poultry performance; and * A $20 million investment at the company's Mayfield, Ky., poultry complex to reengineer the facility to improve its value-added product mix in alignment with the needs of a key customer. The project will result in the addition of approximately 150 new jobs in 2016. "We are excited to have the opportunity to leverage our strong balance sheet to reinvest into our company," said Fabio Sandri, chief financial officer. "Our strategy remains to explore every opportunity at our disposal to grow our business and create shareholder value. Today's announcement reinforces Pilgrim's commitment to operational excellence, sustainable growth and margin creation." FBN February 23, 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - February 23, 2016

Food Business News - February 23, 2016
Campbell Soup defends G.M.O. labeling decision
Whole grains versatility
Dairy Business News - The many shades of cocoa
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Pickup ahead in food m. & a. activity
WhiteWave broadening its Horizon
Pilgrim’s Pride plans sizable strategic investment
Consumers not clear on clean label definition
W.H.O. report urges tax on sugar-sweetened drinks
Snacks ‘area of weakness’ for Kellogg
US Foods files for initial public offering
Beyond Tyson 2.0
General Mills ahead of natural, organic sales goal
Mondelez ‘Lines of the Future’ steadily proliferating
Smucker looks to ‘lead with innovation'
Food business blossoming for
Mars to remove artificial colors across portfolio
Three trends driving gluten-free market
Market Insight - The demise of orange juice
Washington - President’s budget for food safety leans heavily on user fees
Ingredient Trends - Manufacturers responding to non-G.M.O. trend
Whole grain intake still could improve
Is there a U.S. cocoa shortage?
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - Secretary Vilsack says reports demonstrate net energy benefits of ethanol
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - February 23, 2016