Hain Celestial believes Cully & Sully acquisition could bolster US portfolio

Hain Celestial believes Cully & Sully acquisition could bolster US portfolio

Hain Celestial has said its acquisition of Irish food firm Cully & Sully will help it roll out chilled products in the US.

The US natural and organic food group has continued its international expansion with the purchase of privately-owned soup and pie manufacturer Cully & Sully for an undisclosed sum.

The deal comes seven months after Hain's acquisition of another European chilled foods firm, Daniels Group, the UK-based owner of brands including New Covent Garden soup. Hain said then the Daniels deal could boost its portfolio in the US and it sees a similar impact from the Cully & Sully acquisition.

"The Cully & Sully will help us introduce fresh products in the US sooner rather than later," Hain Celestial president and CEO Irwin Simon told analysts after the announcement.

International acquisitions were a focus throughout a conference call that also took in Hain Celestial's third-quarter results.

Looking at Asia, John Carroll, CEO of Hain Celestial's US operations, there were "lots of acquisitions out there that we're looking at" and added "we will continue to pursue what makes sense". Hain Celestial is now present in seven Asian countries and shipments to the region doubled in the quarter.

However, Hain Celestial is looking at offloading at least one business. It yesterday revealed plans to sell private-label ready meal assets in the UK that it acquired through the Daniels Group deal.

Simon said would like to sell the business by the end of the fiscal year. "We looked at it but just no margin," he said. "We got approached by a lot of strategic buyers to sell this."

Yesterday, the company also upped its full-year earnings guidance forecast, after posting a "record" increase in third-quarter profits. Simon said the quarter saw the "highest sales in the history of Hain".

Carroll admitted to feeling "bullish" about the company's prospects in the US, as sales were up 11%, driven by strong growth in all units and consumption growth up 9%, driven by gains across the portfolio. This along with increased innovation "reflected accelerated momentum for Hain Celestial US", Carroll said.

The recent warm weather also seemed to boost results for the company. "Even with how warm it was, we had significant growth in some of our brands," Simon said.