Post Holdings was able to navigate the impacts of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak on its Michael Foods egg products subsidiary, seeing profit increases in both of its business units that involve Michael Foods.
Post Holdings addressed the outbreak as it released the financial results of the first quarter of its 2023 fiscal year, which ended December 21, 2022. The company issued a press release on those results on February 2 and hosted a conference call to discuss those financial results the following morning.
“I think the reality is that some of the avian influenza attack has persisted longer than we expected. There’s been occurrences that are outside the normal seasonal patterns that have caused that too linger a bit longer,” Post Holdings CEO Robert V. Vitale said.
Two of Post’s business units – Foodservice and Refrigerated Retail – are impacted by the egg business.
In the Refrigerated Retail unit, net sales increased 7.2% percent, while volumes declined 4.6%. While the company noted that side dish volumes grew 11.7% on a year-over-year basis, that growth was partially offset by 32.4% egg volume decreases, brought on by reduced supply driven by avian influenza and elasticities resulting from inflation-driven price increases. Segment profit increased 5.4%.
For the Foodservice segment, net sales rose 36.9% when compared to the same quarter during the previous fiscal year. Meanwhile, volumes increased 4.4%, with that being largely driven by increased away-from-home egg and potato demand. The segment profit increased 423.8%.
Post Holdings disclosed in April 2022 that it lost a flock of about 2 million laying hens at a facility in Nebraska as a result of an avian influenza infection, but the company also said at the time it would not disclose any other avian influenza infections at its facilities unless its impact exceeds 5% of the company’s hen supply.
To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States and Canada, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com.
Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.