TreeHouse Foods gets slight bump in Q1 sales from pandemic shopping

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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TreeHouse Foods thanked its plant workers, warehouse staff and all employees working under COVID-19, saying the company’s $1.08 million in revenue for the first quarter came in above expectations, despite a loss per diluted share from continuing operations compared to a year ago.

The company said the pandemic has brought some uncertainty to future sales and earnings attributable to the spread of COVID-19 in North America. The high demand did help drive an overall increase in net sales by 2.6%, versus the same period a year ago.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based TreeHouse Foods Inc. did say the organic net sales gain was partially offset by the divestiture of two in-store bakery facilities, which was unfavorable by half a percent. Other efforts to simplify and rationalize low margin SKUs from the product portfolio was unfavorable 0.3% within its snacking and beverages segment.

Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 18.0% in the first quarter of 2020, compared to 18.4% in the first quarter of 2019. Net loss from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2020 was $32.8 million, compared to $14.5 million for the same period last year.

First quarter 2020 loss per diluted share from continuing operations was $(0.58) compared to $(0.26) for the same period in 2019. First quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations was $0.37, above its guidance range and $0.04, or 12%, above first quarter 2019, driven in large part by TreeHouse's ability to service significant demand related to COVID-19.

“I'm very proud of the way the entire TreeHouse organization has come together in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis to deliver solid operational, commercial and financial results," said Steve Oakland, chief executive officer and president. "First quarter adjusted EPS of $0.37 and revenue of $1.08 billion came in above our expectations, as our hard work over the last three years to transform the business and our reorganization from three to two divisions have enabled us to quickly and successfully escalate production to meet the significantly higher demand for food and beverages during this pandemic."

Bill Kelley, executive vice president, chief financial officer, added that the 2.6% increases in organic net sales exceeded original expectations of a year-over-year decline. “Our first quarter adjusted EBITDA of $98.7 million was in line with our guidance range for the first quarter, despite incurring additional costs to add production shifts and ensure labor availability throughout our network of manufacturing and distribution facilities across the country."