Michael Foods announces loss of 4.2 million layers to HPAI

The U.S. egg producer’s farms that were affected are located in Iowa and Ohio.

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Two commercial Michael Foods egg laying flocks are confirmed to have contracted highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), following an announcement from the producer’s parent company Post Holdings on December 7th, 2023.

The two facilities that tested positive housed 4.2 million egg-laying hens, or approximately 10% of Post Holding’s flock.

Post Holdings management said the company does not expect to provide additional updates on its HPAI incidents unless they exceed an additional 5% of its layer flock.

Additionally, following the confirmations, Post Holdings updated its outlook for fiscal year 2024.

Post Holdings’ management stated: “Post management updated its outlook for fiscal year 2024 Adjusted EBITDA to the range of US$1,220-US$1,280 million to incorporate 10 months of contribution from the previously announced acquisition of Perfection Pet Foods, LLC, which was completed effective December 1, 2023.”

“No change was made to the outlook range for today’s announcement of avian influenza as Post management believes the related financial impact is within the tolerances of the range. The updated guidance range does not incorporate a significant expansion of avian influenza within Post’s network, the impact of which is uncertain.”

Michael Foods’ fiscal 2023 review focused on HPAI

In November 2023, Post Holdings held a quarterly earnings call and gave a review of Michael Foods’ egg sales and HPAI status.

Post Holdings reported a 2.1% decline in egg volumes for the producer during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023, compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

Jeff Zadoks, Post Holdings interim president and CEO, explained that the volume change was more related 2022’s HPAI outbreak than to competition from other egg companies.

Zadoks said, “We were able in the fourth quarter of last year to take advantage of HPAI impacting our competitors sooner than it impacted us, so we were able to pick up some volume that wouldn’t have been our normal volume.”

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