Lifeway Foods announces 28% sales increase for Q2

Lifeway Foods announces 28% sales increase for Q2

Lifeway Foods, Inc. announced results for three and six months ended June 30, 2011 with gross sales increased 28% to $19.9 million compared to $15.5 million for the second quarter of 2010.

 

Lifeway Foods, Inc., LWAY +2.54%, a leading supplier of cultured dairy products known as kefir and organic kefir, announced results for three and six months ended June 30, 2011.

Second Quarter Results

Second quarter of 2011 gross sales increased 28% to $19.9 million compared to $15.5 million for the second quarter of 2010. This increase is primarily attributable to increased sales and growing awareness of benefits of Lifeway's flagship line, Kefir as well as ProBugs® Organic Kefir for kids, and the successful introduction of new product lines such as Bio Kefir(TM). In addition, Lifeway Frozen Kefir contributed approximately $0.2 million in sales during the second quarter of 2011. The frozen kefir line was launched in April 2011.

Second quarter total consolidated net sales increased $3.9 million, or approximately 27%, to $18.2 million from $14.3 million in the second quarter of 2010. Net sales are recorded as gross sales less promotional activities such as slotting fees paid, couponing, spoilage and promotional allowances as well as early payment terms given to customers.

Gross profit for the second quarter of 2011 decreased 3% to $5.3 million, compared to $5.5 million in the second quarter of the prior year. The Company's gross profit margin decreased to 29% in the second quarter versus 39% in the second quarter of 2010. Gross profit was negatively impacted primarily by increased transportation and other petroleum based production supply costs, as well as the increased price of conventional milk, the Company's largest raw material. The cost of milk was approximately 35 to 45% higher in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.

Operating expenses as a percentage of net sales were approximately 25% during the second quarter of 2011 compared to approximately 24% during the same period in 2010. The increase was primarily due to a $1.0 million increase in selling expenses to $2.8 million, of which $0.7 million was directly attributable to the Company's 25th Anniversary Cross Country Mobile Tour in the second quarter of 2011. The Company views this as a non-recurring advertising expense.

Operating income decreased to $0.7 million in the second quarter of 2011 compared to $2.2 million in the same period last year. The decrease in operating income is due to the lower gross profit and increased operating expenses in the second quarter of 2010 as compared to the second quarter of 2011.

Provision for income taxes was $0.4 million, or a 59% effective tax rate, for the second quarter of 2011 compared to $1.0 million, or a 47% tax rate, during the same period in 2010. In addition to the higher tax rate, the Company's tax expense was higher due to a Minnesota State Department of Revenue audit from tax years 2006 to 2009, which resulted in approximately $0.1 million in additional taxes being paid in the second quarter of 2011.

The Company reported net income of $0.3 million or earnings of $0.02 per diluted share compared to net income of $1.2 million or earnings of $0.07 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2010.

Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods, Inc. commented, "We are extremely pleased with our ability to continue to realize record sales results as we capitalized on the opportunity to increase customer awareness and further increase our retail distribution with our 25th anniversary mobile tour and the launch of our frozen kefir."

Smolyansky continued, "Going forward, we expect to achieve record sales and believe the cost and expense headwinds experienced in the second quarter are behind us. We will continue to manage the controllable aspects of our business as we take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to expand distribution in the U.S. and internationally with Lifeway's leading market position which should lead to strong sales, profitability and cash flow generation long-term."

Six Month Results

Total consolidated gross sales increased by $7.4 million, or approximately 24%, to $39 million during the six-month period ended June 30, 2011 from $31.5 million during the same six-month period in 2010. This increase is primarily attributable to increased sales and awareness of Lifeway's flagship line, Kefir as well as ProBugs® Organic Kefir for kids and BioKefir(TM). In addition, Lifeway Frozen Kefir line, which was launched in April 2011, contributed to approximately $0.3 million to revenue during the second quarter 2011.

Total consolidated net sales increased by $6.3 million, or approximately 22%, to $35.5 million during the six-month period ended June 30, 2011 from $29.2 million during the same six-month period in 2010. Net sales are recorded as gross sales less promotional activities such as slotting fees paid, couponing, spoilage and promotional allowances as well as early payment terms given to customers.

Gross profit for the first six months of 2011 increased 5% to $12.5 million, compared to $12.0 million in the second quarter of the prior year. The Company's gross profit margin decreased to 35.3% in the first six months versus 41% in the same period last year. Gross profit was negatively impacted primarily by increased transportation and other petroleum based production supply costs, as well as the increased price of conventional milk, the Company's largest raw material. The cost of milk was approximately 20 to 25% higher compared to the first six months of 2010.

Operating expenses as a percentage of net sales were approximately 24% during the six-month period ended June 30, 2011 compared to approximately 24% during the same period in 2010. Selling related expenses increased by $1.3 million, or approximately 34%, to $5.0 million during the six-month period ended June 30, 2011, from $3.7 million during the same period in 2010. This increase is directly attributable to the Company recording an approximate $0.7 million expense related its 25th Anniversary Cross Country Mobile tour, which occurred in the second quarter of 2011 and was expensed during the second quarter of 2011. The Company views this as a non-recurring advertising expense. The Company also accrued for $0.1 million in bonuses the first six months of 2011 to be paid in the fourth quarter of 2011. In 2011 the Company records expenses throughout the year for bonuses so the full impact is not taken in fourth quarter alone and rather spread out across each of the four quarters equally. The Company accrued for all expenses in the fourth quarter last year.

Total operating income decreased by $0.9 million, or approximately 19%, to $4.0 million during the six-month period ended June 30, 2011, from $4.9 million during the same period in 2010.

Total net income was $2.2 million or $0.13 per share for the six-month period ended June 30, 2011 compared to $3.0 million or $0.18 per share in the same period in 2010.

Balance Sheet/Cash Flow Highlights

Net cash provided by operating activities was $0.8 million during the three months ended June 30, 2011 which is a decrease of $1.4 million when compared to the same period in 2010. This decrease is primarily attributable to the decrease in net income of $0.8 million.

The Company had a net increase in cash and cash equivalents of $0.5 million during the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year. The Company had cash and cash equivalents of $1.4 million as of June 30, 2011 compared to cash and cash equivalents of $0.9 million as of June 30, 2010.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call to discuss these results with additional comments and details. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. The call will be broadcast live over the Internet hosted at the Investor Relations section of Lifeway Foods' website at www.lifeway.net, and will be archived online through August 30, 2011. In addition, listeners may dial 877-407-9039 in North America, and international listeners may dial 201-689-8470. Participants from the Company will be Julie Smolyansky, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Edward Smolyansky, Chief Financial Officer.

For more information about Lifeway Kefir, please visit http://www.lifewaykefir.com.

About Lifeway Foods

Lifeway Foods, Inc. LWAY +2.54% , recently named one of Fortune Small Business' Fastest Growing Companies for the fifth consecutive year, is America's leading supplier of the cultured dairy products known as kefir and organic kefir. Lifeway Kefir is a dairy beverage that contains 10 exclusive live and active probiotic cultures plus ProBoost(TM). While most regular yogurt contains only two or three of these "friendly" cultures, Lifeway Kefir products offer greater nutritional benefits and support a healthier life. Lifeway produces various different flavors of its drinkable Kefir and Organic Kefir beverage, and recently introduced a series of innovative new products such as a children's line of Organic Kefir called ProBugs(TM) with a no-spill pouch and kid-friendly flavors like Goo Berry Pie and Strawnana Split. In addition to its line of Kefir products, the company produces a variety of probiotic cheese products. Lifeway also sells frozen kefir, kefir smoothies and kefir parfaits through its Starfruit(TM) retail stores.

 

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