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“Despite increased first quarter consolidated sales driven by our Specialty Foods segment, operating income was again challenged by substantially higher material costs,” said John B. Gerlach, Jr., chairman and CEO. “Although economic challenges facing consumers add to the level of uncertainty, we anticipate second quarter top-line trends similar to that of the first quarter, including solid growth in our Specialty Foods segment. Sales of candles will again reflect lower sales volumes, including the loss of certain lower margin seasonal volumes. We anticipate that operating income will be impacted by the effects of these lower candle volumes, as well as higher material costs still not being fully offset by pricing actions and other initiatives. Provided current market conditions persist, we expect to see less impact from higher input costs during the second half of the fiscal year. Regardless, we remain well-positioned to support future growth given the ongoing strength of our market positions and balance sheet.”
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