The J.M. Smucker Company is reporting a 9.7% increase in fourth quarter earnings.
For the quarter ended April 30, Smucker reported a profit of $104.1 million, or 93 cents a share, up from $94.9 million, or 82 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items such as restructuring, merger and integration costs, earnings rose to $1.10 from $1. Sales jumped 14% to $1.36 billion.
The Orrville-based jams and jellies maker saw earnings increase despite a 7% decline in overall sales volume, caused by significantly higher retail prices and a more competitive environment in the food industry.
"While higher food prices continue to pose a challenge to consumers, we believe that softening commodity costs should provide some relief to improve volume," President and Chief Operating Officer Vince Byrd said in a Thursday release. "We remain committed to price leadership as demonstrated by our recent 6% price decrease on coffee," he added.