American Italian Pasta Company today [Wednesday] announced record results for the quarter and fiscal year 2002 ended 27 September 2002. 

Revenues for the quarter increased 11.0% to US$102.2m, led by double-digit growth in both retail and institutional revenues. Net income increased to $11.4m (11.1% of sales) up 28.3%, excluding prior year charges. 

Diluted earnings per share increased 27.1% to $0.61, versus last year's $0.48 EPS in the fourth quarter before acquisition and debt related charges. As previously reported by the company, approximately $0.02 in EPS for the quarter is attributable to the net effect of accounting for a December 2001 payment from the US government under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000.

Revenues for the year increased by 22.5% to $380.8m, and diluted earnings per share for the year increased 27.7% to $2.21 compared to $1.73 before acquisition and debt related charges in fiscal 2001. Approximately $0.09 of EPS for 2002 is attributable to the US government payment. Cash flow from operations was $57.5m for the year, up 30% over fiscal year 2001.

Tim Webster, president and chief executive officer, said that the quarterly business performance was at the high end of the company's volume growth expectations. Overall volume growth was over 14%, with very little impact from last year's branded acquisition. Revenue growth of 11% lagged volume growth slightly as expected due primarily to changes in sales mix. 

Operating profit for the quarter was 19.0% of sales, up 133 basis points over operating profit (before acquisition and debt related charges) a year ago. Cash flow was very strong for the quarter and inventories were reduced by almost $7m.