- WhiteWave Foods reported Tuesday a 14% increase in revenue to $1.04 billion for the first quarter, attributed largely to the success of its acquisitions. Organic revenue grew 8% on a constant currency basis, and the company reaffirmed high single-digit organic net sales growth for full-year 2016.
- Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 17% to $0.28 per share, excluding operating costs related to joint venture investments in China. Adjusted net income rose 24% to $48 million.
- Revenue for the Americas Plant-based Foods and Beverages platform soared 29% in the quarter, driven by high single-digit organic growth and the Vega acquisition. Premium dairy was another strong performer, with a 16% increase in net sales, also including high single-digit organic growth and contributions from the Wallaby acquisition.
WhiteWave's top two performers — plant-based foods and premium dairy — have driven company growth in previous quarters. Compared to the fourth quarter, plant foods had an even stronger performance this quarter (26% growth in Q4), while premium dairy's growth slowed (22% in Q4).
WhiteWave is expanding its plant-based food and beverage offerings, such as the debut of Nutchello under the Silk brand earlier this year. Nutchello was just one of nearly $3 billion of opportunities in plant-based product development, such as creamers, ice cream, and yogurts, the company identified. With consumers looking to buy more plant-based products, WhiteWave is positioning different lines with all-day eating occasions, such as using Nutchello as an alcoholic beverage component.
The premium dairy segment's dip in quarterly sales growth was also notable. As major dairy producers like Dean Foods have reported falling sales and lost market share, even WhiteWave hasn't been immune to consumers' waning demand and increased competition in the space.
One opportunity lies in grass-fed cow's milk, which has seen double-digit growth in recent years and is expected to increase this year. Grass-fed milk and dairy products would be a more natural fit for WhiteWave's portfolio than a competitor like Dean Foods. WhiteWave may consider capitalizing on grass-fed and micro-dairy milk (whether through product development or acquisitions) if it continues to see its premium dairy category growth stagnate.
WhiteWave has now reported its third consecutive quarter reaching $1 billion in sales.