Ceramic Industry News

Lancaster Colony Reports Improved Fiscal 2nd Qtr Sales

February 1, 2010
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Lancaster Colony Corp. recently reported higher sales, operating income and net income for its second fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2009, compared with the corresponding quarter a year ago. Consolidated net sales increased 6% to $304 million vs. $288 million in the second quarter last year. Net income totaled $39,527,000, compared with $28,452,000 for the corresponding quarter a year ago. Net income per diluted share was $1.40 vs. $1.02 in the year-ago quarter.

For the six months ended December 31, 2009, net sales were $558 million compared to $552 million for the first half last year. Net income was $67,932,000, or $2.41 per diluted share. In the prior year, six-month net income totaled $39,472,000, or $1.40 per diluted share.

Second quarter sales for the Glassware and Candles segment increased 42% to $61.0 million, which reflected improved consumer demand for high-quality, value-priced candles; increased placement of seasonal items; and customers shifting certain seasonal purchases from the fiscal first quarter. Segment operating income totaled $6.1 million, compared to a prior-year second quarter operating loss of $1.0 million. Current-year performance reflects higher sales, lower material costs and improved capacity utilization.

“For both the quarter and six months ended December 31, we were very pleased with the bottom-line progress made by both of our operating segments in what clearly remains a challenging economic environment,” said John B. Gerlach, Jr., chairman and CEO. “Our key retail brands are benefiting from our enhanced marketing efforts. However, we believe second half year-over-year comparative results will be less robust than the first half comparisons, as we face further pressure on foodservice sales, substantially less benefit from lower ingredient costs, and the seasonal dip in food and candle retail sales dynamics. For the long-term, we will continue to leverage our food and candle new product development efforts aimed at providing sustainable top-line growth.”

Visit www.lancastercolony.com for more information.

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