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Post gives best swing at Q1 curveballs

ST. LOUIS — Post Holdings, Inc. navigated the primary quarter successfully and feels good about its efforts to handle the controllables, Robert V. Vitale, president and chief government officer, informed analysts throughout a Feb. 4 convention name.

“We’re remaining nimble enough to adapt to curveballs as they come our way,” Mr. Vitale stated.

Those curveballs, Mr. Vitale stated, included price inflation that ran forward of pricing actions and unmet buyer demand ensuing from shortages in labor.

Post Holdings sustained a lack of $20.8 million within the first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020, which in contrast with web revenue of $81.2 million, equal to $1.24 per share, in the identical interval a 12 months in the past. This 12 months’s outcomes included $36.9 million in bills on swaps, whereas final 12 months’s quarter included revenue of $41.6 million on swaps.

Net gross sales, in the meantime, elevated 13%, climbing to $1.64 billion from $1.46 billion a 12 months in the past. Sales in 2021 have been lifted $98 million by the acquisitions of TreeHouse Foods’ non-public label ready-to-eat cereal enterprise and Peter Pan nut butter.

Segment revenue within the Post Consumer Brands unit was $71.3 million, up 1.1% from $70.5 million a 12 months in the past, whereas gross sales elevated to $507.3 million, 14% from $445 million.

“In US cereal, consumption for our branded products continues to run ahead of pre-COVID levels by nearly 2%, and our related market share is just shy of 20%,” Mr. Vitale stated. “Pebbles, in particular, continues to show strong growth. Last quarter, I mentioned we may have seen an inflection point in the value trade. And so far, that is holding. Our value segment sequentially improved throughout the quarter. A shift to value in the category is margin dilutive to Post, but it’s profit-accretive.”

Operating revenue within the Foodservice enterprise unit elevated 40% to $15.1 million from $10.8 million, whereas gross sales rose 24% to $438.6 million from $354.5 million.

“We continue to expect sequential improvement towards recovery to pre-pandemic levels of profit in 2023,” Mr. Vitale stated. “During the second quarter, we are experiencing some soft demand resulting from the omicron COVID variant. Nevertheless, we now understand that the volumes bounce back quickly as variants recede, and we expect this softness to be limited to a month or two.”

Post’s Refrigerated Retail enterprise unit, which incorporates facet dishes, egg, cheese and sausage merchandise, had working revenue of $13.6 million within the first quarter, down 60% from $33.7 million in the identical interval a 12 months in the past. Sales of $273.4 million have been up 3.9% from $263.1 million the earlier 12 months.

“Refrigerated Retail made great strides this quarter,” Mr. Vitale famous. “Our staffing levels are much improved, and we saw a far greater capacity utilization. Most products remain on allocation, so we remain below our potential, but I’m quite pleased with the progress. Weetabix continues to be a rock-solid performer, all the factors our US businesses face are present in the key UK market. The pricing and mix is pacing favorably.”

Operating revenue within the Weetabix unit fell 3.3% to $27.2 million from $28.1 million, whereas gross sales rose 4.4% to $118.6 million from $113.5 million.

Operating revenue within the BellRing Brands enterprise, which incorporates ready-to-drink protein shakes, drinks, powders and vitamin bars, elevated 5.9% to $50.6 million from $47.8 million. Sales, in the meantime, rose 8.5% to $306.5 million from $282.4 million.

Looking forward, Mr. Vitale stated whereas provide chains are getting higher — or at worse staying the identical — the larger issue contributing to unmet demand stays transportation.

“We are continuing to see situations in which we are unable to get trucks to move product and we have inventory sitting in the wrong place,” he stated. “So I would say that it’s also not getting worse. Perhaps slowly getting better, but the load-to-truck factor is still very high, historically high. So I don’t think that we’re through the woods yet on transportation, both costs and availability, that could be another couple of months.”

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