For the fourth quarter, EBITDA was $40.7 million, an increase of 13 percent, with egg sales of $275.4 million, up 24 percent.

“Given the very high egg and grain markets we faced, we were again pleased with EBITDA for the egg products division in the fourth quarter. It was pretty much a replay of the third quarter,” the Minnetonka, Minn., company says. “Food service margins were hampered by high costs that could not be fully passed through due to the rapid run-up in grain and egg costs. Food ingredients executed well in volatile markets, which allowed for profitability. Retail egg products had a solid quarter.”

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The company also said that it saw “noticeable profitability, for the quarter and year, from our modest shell egg business. These are great times for grading eggs and putting them into cartons.”

Looking ahead, the company says its higher value lines, or its food service business, may improve margin contribution in the months ahead as price increases are realized with help from productivity cost savings, but will still be under notable pressure due to high grain and breaking stock costs. “The food ingredients business should continue to help us on the upside if the egg market holds this high ground.”