Del Monte 1Q Boosted by Pet-Food Acquisition

Del Monte Corp. said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income more than tripled, with the help of its pet foods business. The privately held company, based in San Francisco, owns food brands such as Del Monte, Contadina and S&W.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Del Monte Corp. said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income more than tripled, with the help of its pet foods business.

The privately held company, based in San Francisco, owns food brands such as Del Monte, Contadina and S&W. It also owns pet food brands such as Meow Mix, Milk-Bone and Pup-Peroni. In July, it completed its $341.4 million acquisition of pet food brand Natural Balance.

Del Monte said that pet product sales jumped 5 percent during the quarter, benefiting from the acquisition and higher prices, which were partially offset by sales volume declines.

Sales of consumer products fell 5.5 percent, as its sales volume dropped due to weaker fruit supply and economic issues in Venezuela.

The company said that its total sales for the quarter that ended July 28 increased a fraction to $823.9 million from $821.1 million last year.

Costs for products dropped more than 4 percent, and selling, general and administrative expenses fell nearly 7 percent, also helping to drive higher earnings.

Del Monte's net income jumped to $19.9 million from $6.3 million.

Dave West, CEO of Del Monte Foods said that the company is focused on generating long-term growth by investing in its brands. The company also plans to further expand its pet business in the independent and specialty channels.

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