The free-from business, which was acquired by Pinnacle on January 15 this year, drove a 13.4% hike in Pinnacle’s net sales in the company’s first quarter. Pinnacle said it also benefitted from growth in its Birds Eye Frozen segment, although this was partially offset by lower sales of the Duncan Hines Grocery segment.
Pinnacle’s net sales were $754.3m in Q1 compared with $665.3m in the same period a year ago. This reflected a 15.2% benefit from the Boulder Brands acquisition, said Pinnacle, and a 0.1% increase from net price realization, partially offset by lower overall volumes and unfavorable foreign currency translation of 0.2%.
Boulder Brands contributed $100.8m in net sales for the 10 weeks the business was owned by Pinnacle.
'Robust' retail consumption trends
“Retail consumption trends for the Udi's, Glutino, Earth Balance and EVOL brands continued to be robust, with softness in the Smart Balance brand moderating slightly,” said Pinnacle.
EBIT for Boulder Brands for the 10-week period was a $11.2m loss as a result of acquisition-related fees and integration expenses.
The favorable impact of the Boulder deal contributed to a 15.6% increase in Pinnacle’s overall gross profit to $198.6m, as did an improved overall product mix and higher net prices.
'Solid start to 2016'
"The first quarter marked a solid start to 2016, with both the base business and the integration of Boulder Brands very much on track,” said Pinnacle Foods CEO Bob Gamgort, who leaves the business this week (see below).
“We again outpaced the performance of our categories, generating significant share growth in our North America Retail business. Our gross margin also advanced significantly in the quarter, driven by productivity in excess of inflation, as well as favorable mix, including the addition of Boulder Brands."
Mondelēz CCO Clouse to lead Pinnacle
Pinnacle this week announced that current Mondelēz International chief commercial officer Mark A Clouse would be joining the business as CEO from next month.
Clouse will take up the new role on May 23, and replaces Bob Gamgort, who is leaving the company at the end of this month. Craig Steeneck, Pinnacle chief financial officer, will hold the CEO role for the interim period.
Clouse, 47, has held leadership positions with brands including Oreo, Nabisco, Cadbury and Trident during 20 years at Kraft Foods and subsequent spin-off of Mondelēz. Before joining Kraft he served in the United States Army as a pilot and completed his service as a captain. He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, with a degree in economics.
In his current role, Clouse oversees Mondelēz’s commercial activity in its five geographic regions. Prior to this, he was Mondelēz chief growth officer and oversaw areas such as corporate strategy, global marketing, global sales, and research, development and quality. Clouse has also led smaller, entrepreneurial businesses in emerging markets such as China and Brazil
"We are thrilled to welcome Mark to Pinnacle as our new CEO,” said Pinnacle chairman Roger K Deromedi. “Mark's strong operating background and proven track record of success, combined with his broad experience in both the North American market and more entrepreneurial developing market businesses, make him the ideal candidate to lead Pinnacle.”