- ConAgra said its fiscal third-quarter sales rose substantially, as profit nearly doubled on the strength of its private-label brands business; earnings that surpassed the packaged food company's expectations.
- Despite the boost in profits, ConAgra has experienced declining sales volumes; its consumer segment posted a sales decrease of 3.5% to $1.87 billion on a 3% decline in volume in the last quarter.
- Some key brands—Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher's and Chef Boyardee, which have collective annual sales of more than $1 billion—continue to post "substantial" declines in volume.
The reported decline in sales volumes should not come as a surprise. ConAgra last month lowered its full-year per-share earnings view, reflecting weak volumes and a longer-than-expected time frame to get its private-label segment to meet profitability targets, reported here. The private label production decline is also the reason ConAgra gave for its plan to close two plants in New York by February 2015.