Silk owner WhiteWave Foods upped profit forecasts

Silk owner WhiteWave Foods upped profit forecasts

WhiteWave Foods, the US group behind brands including Silk and Alpro, today (9 November) raised its profit forecasts after a third quarter of higher sales and earnings.

The company estimates its adjusted diluted earnings per share will hit $1.17 to $1.18 in 2015, up from its previous $1.14-1.17 forecast.

WhiteWave's management expects adjusted operating income will grow at a percentage rate "in the mid- to high twenties" on a constant-currency basis. Based on current foreign exchange rates, WhiteWave predicts a rate of percentage growth in the "low- to mid-twenties".

In August, WhiteWave forecast constant-currency adjusted operating income would increase at a rate in the mid-twenties and in the low twenties growth on foreign exchange rates.

In WhiteWave's third quarterm which ran until 30 September, the company generated net income of $50m, up from $40.9m a year earlier.

Operating income stood at $93.1m, versus $73.3m in the third quarter of 2014. Adjusted operating income, which stripped out items including acquisition-related transaction and integration costs, as well as the elimination of a gain linked to an asset disposal, rose 25%, reflecting what WhiteWave called "continued operating margin expansion".

Net sales increased 17% to $1bn; on an adjusted, constant-currency basis, net sales were up 20%.

WhiteWave did see its adjusted operating income from its Americas fresh foods division, which comprises the Earthbound Farms business, fall 12% in the quarter. The company pointed to higher farming costs as it upped crop inventories "to ensure higher customer service levels".

Shares in WhiteWave were up 4.58% at $43.35 at 14:52. The company's stock has risen 23.78% so far this year.