“Employee safety remains our top priority as a company,” Snee said. “We know that even with vaccines being distributed across the country, we must remain vigilant. As the pandemic evolves, we continue to adjust and refresh our awareness campaign, called KEEP COVID OUT!, in order to maintain relevancy with our team members.”
In the first quarter, the company absorbed approximately $15 million in direct incremental supply chain costs primarily related to lower production volumes and enhanced safety measures in its production facilities. The company estimates most of the incremental supply chain costs are temporary and will be minimized after the pandemic subsides.
“We were very excited to announce the definitive agreement to acquire the Planters® snack nuts business last week,” Snee said. “The Planters® business adds another iconic brand to our portfolio while meaningfully increasing our presence in the snacking space. This strategic acquisition is perfectly aligned to our long-term growth strategy of building strong brands, delivering insights-driven innovation and intentionally building balance in our business.”
“The Planters® business also complements our existing snacking portfolio primarily focused on social snacking occasions with products such as Hormel Gatherings® party trays, Herdez® salsas and sauces, Wholly® guacamole and Columbus® charcuterie,” Snee said. “We believe there is a compelling opportunity to share insights across our existing brands and the Planters® brand to drive growth for our total company.”
The company will acquire the business for an effective purchase price of $2.79 billion. The transaction provides a tax benefit valued at $560 million equating to a purchase price of $3.35 billion in cash. Adjusting for the tax benefit, the 2020 EBITDA multiple was 12.5x. The proposed transaction is expected to close in calendar Q2 2021, subject to regulatory review and approval. The acquisition includes the Planters®, NUT-rition®, Planters® Cheez Balls and Corn Nuts® brands. Net sales for the Planters® business were approximately $1 billion in calendar year 2020. See the press release dated Feb. 11, 2021, for additional details.
SEGMENT HIGHLIGHTS – FIRST QUARTER
- Volume down 2%
- Net sales up 1%
- Segment profit down 16%
Strong retail and deli sales growth more than overcame significant declines from foodservice. Growth was led by brands such as Hormel® Black Label®, Sadlers®, Applegate®, Columbus® and Hormel® pepperoni. Segment profit declined due to lower foodservice sales, a decrease in commodity profits and incremental supply chain costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Volume up 4%
- Net sales up 7%
- Segment profit up 35%
Volume and sales growth were driven by strength across many center store products, including the SPAM® family of products, SKIPPY® spreads, Hormel® Compleats® meals, Hormel® chili and Herdez® salsas and sauces. Segment profit increased due to higher sales, improved mix and higher earnings from our MegaMex business.
Jennie-O Turkey Store
- Volume down 2%
- Net sales up 1%
- Segment profit down 30%
Sales growth across the entire retail portfolio, led by double-digit growth of Jennie-O® lean ground and Jennie-O® Oven Ready® products, and strong holiday sales of whole birds more than offset significantly lower foodservice sales. The decline in foodservice sales, increased supply chain costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and higher freight expenses were the primary drivers of the decline in segment profit.
International & Other
- Volume down 5%
- Net sales up 13%
- Segment profit up 61%
Sales increased due to broad-based strength across branded businesses, including continued growth in China and robust sales of SPAM® luncheon meat and SKIPPY® peanut butter. The significant increase in segment profit was due to improved results for branded exports, an accelerating recovery in China and higher income from our partners in the Philippines, South Korea and Europe.
CHANNEL HIGHLIGHTS – FIRST QUARTER
In an effort to add an increased level of disclosure and clarity to the nature and timing of our revenue, net sales have been disaggregated into sales channels, which can also be found in the upcoming Form 10-Q. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent changes in consumer behavior continued to drive higher and sustained retail sales in each of the company’s segments. Deli channel sales increased on strong demand during the holidays for branded grab-and-go items. Foodservice net sales were impacted by regional shutdowns during the quarter and remained below year-ago levels. International sales increased due to growth from branded exports and an accelerating recovery in China.
- U.S. retail net sales up 13%
- U.S. deli net sales up 7%
- U.S. foodservice net sales down 17%
- International net sales up 9%
SELECTED FINANCIAL DETAILS
- Selling, general and administrative expenses were flat compared to the prior year.
- Advertising spend was $34 million, down 3% compared to last year.
- Interest and investment income increased during the quarter. Higher investment income partially offset the additional interest expense from the bond issuance in the prior year.
- Operating margin was 10.9% compared to 11.8% in fiscal 2020. The decline for the quarter was due to lower sales and profitability for the company’s foodservice businesses.
- The effective tax rate was 19.7% compared to 16.3% last year. Last year’s rate benefited from a large volume of stock option exercises during the quarter.
Cash Flow Statement
- Cash flow from operations was $206 million, up 9%.
- Operating free cash flow1 was $165 million, up 27%.
- The company paid its 370th consecutive quarterly dividend on Feb. 16, 2021, at the annual rate of $0.98 per share, a 5% increase over the prior year.
- Capital expenditures in the first quarter were $40 million compared to $58 million last year. The company’s target for capital expenditures in fiscal 2021 is $260 million. Large projects include a new dry sausage facility in Nebraska, Project Orion and other projects to support growth of branded products.
- Share repurchases for the quarter totaled $9 million, representing 0.2 million shares purchased.
- Depreciation and amortization expense in the first quarter was $51 million, compared to $49 million last year. The full-year expense is expected to be approximately $210 million.
- The company announced the acquisition of the Planters® snack nut business last week, with an expected close in calendar Q2, 2021, subject to regulatory review and approval. The company expects this acquisition will responsibly leverage its balance sheet without compromising its disciplined capital allocation policy. The acquisition is expected to be financed through a combination of cash on hand, short-term debt and long-term debt.
- Cash on hand increased to $1.8 billion from $1.7 billion at the beginning of the year.
- Total debt is $1.3 billion.
- Working capital increased to $2.2 billion from $2.1 billion at the beginning of the year.
A conference call will be webcast at 8 a.m. CST on Feb. 18, 2021. Access is available at www.hormelfoods.com by clicking on “Investors.” The call will also be available via telephone by dialing 888-317-6003 and providing the access code 9922621. An audio replay is available by going to www.hormelfoods.com. The webcast replay will be available at noon CST, Feb. 18, 2021, and will remain on the website for one year.