- Net sales for Diamond Foods, Inc. in the fourth quarter were down 7.9% and flat for the fiscal year.
- The Snacks segment's net sales dipped 0.2% for the quarter, following a 0.3% decrease in the previous quarter. However, the segment's sales ticked up 1.5% for the fiscal year.
- The company's bottom line improved thanks to strong gross margin improvement in the quarter, with non-GAAP diluted EPS up 21.1% and adjusted EBITDA increasing by 22.4%. In the previous quarter, Diamond Foods reported that non-GAAP diluted EPS was up 109.1% over the prior year.
"We are also pleased with the continued growth of Kettle in North America, Pop Secret market share gains, and the early signs of success in the Emerald transition to stand up bags," said Brian J. Driscoll, President and CEO in a statement. "... Looking ahead, we continue to believe we have a solid foundation for future growth across our portfolio."
Gross profit for Diamond Foods' snack portfolio increased to 36.4% of net sales, as compared to 34.5% in the same quarter last year. This could be due in part to the rise of snacking in the U.S., as 4% of Americans admit to snacking at least once a day, according to Mintel.
The company also attributed this growth to "favorable ingredient costs [and] increased volume and higher net price realization in Kettle, North America," according to the news release.
Diamond Foods has addressed this push for snacks by emphasizing its position in the natural and organic snack foods category and working with retailers for shelf space in that segment. The company is also expanding distribution of Kettle chips from the West Coast, where it holds market share in the teens, to the East Coast, where its market share is in the low single digits, which includes a partnership with Snyder's Lance.