US: J.M. Smucker Reports Weak Q1 Figures

J.M. Smucker has reported weaker-than-expected results for its fiscal first quarter, hurt by lower demand for its pet food products. The results sent shares in the company down by 9% on Tuesday.

For the three months to 31 July, net profit was up 24.6% to $170m, but sales fell by 7% to $1.82bn – the first such drop in six quarters. The results were hurt by a 6% drop in sales of Smucker’s pet foods, which account for a third of overall sales.

The group’s Retail Consumer Foods in the US also reported lower sales, hurt by the divestment of its canned milk business, and lower prices for key brands such as Jif.  Sales at its Coffee unit were also down, due to lower prices.

Smucker said it remains open to acquisitions or licensing brands in the mass-premium category to drive sales.  It also said it will offer bonus bags of its Kibbles brand to arrest sales declines, and will also revamp its packaging and marketing later in the year.

The company now expects full-year underlying sales to be flat to down 1%, compared to its previous forecast of 1% growth.

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