US producer and marketer of food brands, Aurora Foods, has reported a first-quarter net loss of US$4.3m, compared to a prior-year loss, before the cumulative effect of accounting changes, of $12.9m.
For the first quarter ended 31 March, Aurora reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $30.5m, compared with EBITDA of $13.2m in the same period last year. The first quarter 2002 EBITDA included a charge of $19.8m, primarily related to trade promotion expenses.
Net sales in the first quarter 2003 were $190.2m versus $194.1m a year earlier. The first quarter 2002 net sales included a charge of $17.7m, primarily related to trade promotion expenses.
“We believe we are getting Aurora’s business stabilised,” said Dale F. Morrison, Aurora’s chairman and CEO. “The first quarter EBITDA is in line with our business plan for 2003 and, with the late timing of Easter and the trade changes we made in the quarter, we expected volumes to be lower than the prior year. The initiatives we have implemented to increase productivity and reduce complexity have begun to make a positive impact. For example, we reduced inventories by more than $22m during the first quarter.”