Amplify Snacks sees positive Q1 results due to solid SkinnyPop performance

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Amplify Snack Brands has reported positive growth in the first quarter of 2017, especially driven by its SkinnyPop popcorn brand. Pic: ©iStock/BravissimoS
Amplify Snack Brands has reported positive growth in the first quarter of 2017, especially driven by its SkinnyPop popcorn brand. Pic: ©iStock/BravissimoS

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Amplify Snack Brands reported its performance “exceeded expectations and continued to gain momentum” for the 13 weeks ended April 1, according to Tom Ennis, president and CEO.

The Austin, Texas, based manufacturer of Better-For-You (BFY) snacks reported a revenue of $87.21m for Q1 2017, up 60.5% year-over-year, compared to $54.3m.

Profit and loss

Gross profit was $35.3m, representing 40.5% of sales, compared to $28.4m the year prior.

Net income was $0.5m; adjusted net income (non-GAAP) was $4.3m; and adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) was $20.1m, representing 23.1% of sales.

Ennis stated revenue was due to the contribution of Oatmega protein bars (Amplify acquired maker Boundless Nutrition in May last year),​  and Tyrrells chips (procured by Amplify for $390m in August 2016),​but was particularly the result of especially strong North American performance driven by the company’s cornerstone SkinnyPop brand and the launch of SkinnyPop popcorn cakes, popcorn mini cakes and microwave popcorn.

North American sales were $60m, up from $54.3m, while operating income was $21.1m, up from $20.4m for the same period in 2016.

Conversely, “our international business experienced more headwinds than tailwinds particularly in regard to the challenging food retail operating environment in the UK,”​ said Ennis, noting net sales and operating losses were $27.2m and $1.2m, respectively.

“What we are seeing is a lot more focus on private label right now as UK retailers are combating the discounters.”

While the Tyrrells brand is viewed favorably in the UK, Ennis said consumer awareness is lacking, and the company will be stepping up marketing to get the consumer more engaged.

SkinnyPop’s success

However, the company’s strength came to the fore with its SkinnyPop brand.

Ennis noted IRI data showed the Ready-To-Eat (RTE) popcorn category growth is one of the strongest in food, growing just under 5.5% in the IRI MULO Plus convenience universe for the 13-weeks, ended April 16, 2017.

“SkinnyPop continues to drive the category growth as one of the fastest-growing major RTE popcorn brands and number two in category dollar share in measured channels,”​ accounting for a 19.6% share, said Ennis.

“SkinnyPop IRI dollars sales grew 8.2% while unit sales grew 15.5% for the same period on the heels of a variety of New Year’s Better-For-You retail promotions.”

He said the company’s brands – including SkinnyPop, Tyrrells, Oatmega, Paqui tortilla chips, Lisa’s Chips, The Wholesome Food Company and Thomas Chipman – are well positioned to capitalize on the growing BFY trend.

However, he hinted the company will not be sitting on its laurels and will be releasing more SkinnyPop product innovations throughout the year.

The company is now producing SkinnyPop at its UK manufacturing facility and is in the processing of preparing manufacturing capacity of the Tyrells brand in North America during the second half of 2017.

International management changes

Ennis also reported several management changes, including the resignation of David Milner as president of the international business. Ben Clark – former CEO of UK-based Burton’s Biscuits and prior to that, an executive of Kraft Foods – will be stepping in for the interim until a permanent replacement is found.

Amplify has also recruited a new marketing, operations, finance and sales team to lead the UK and European business.

Related topics Manufacturers Business Snacks Health

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