Dr Pepper Snapple Profit Falls Short, Disappointing Guidance

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15 Feb 2017 --- Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (DPS) has reported fourth quarter 2016 net income of $1.65 million, or 90 cents a share, which included an $0.11 per diluted share loss on the early extinguishment of certain debt. Reported EPS were $0.97 in the prior year period. Core EPS were $1.04, up 4%, compared to $1.00 in the prior year period. For the year, the company reported earnings of $4.54 per diluted share compared to $3.97 per diluted share in the prior year. Core EPS were $4.39, up 9%, compared to $4.02 in the prior year.

DPS President and CEO Larry Young said, "I'm proud of our teams and the strong performance they delivered in 2016. In a continuously competitive environment, we remained focused on our integrated communication and execution strategies and unlocked growth across our priority brands. We recently completed our acquisition of Bai, which will strengthen our priority brand portfolio and bring exciting innovation opportunities to the company. We also remained relentlessly focused on driving growth and productivity across our business with Rapid Continuous Improvement."

For the quarter, reported net sales increased 2% on favorable product and package mix, a 1% increase in sales volumes and higher pricing. Net sales was partially offset by 1 percentage point of unfavorable foreign currency translation and unfavorable segment mix. Reported segment operating profit (SOP) increased 2% as net sales growth, lower logistics costs and ongoing productivity improvements were partially offset by increases in certain operating costs and an $8 million increase in planned marketing investments. Currency neutral segment operating profit was further reduced by 2 percentage points of foreign currency transaction.

Reported income from operations for the quarter was $335 million, which included $11 million in unrealized commodity mark-to-market gains and $3 million in expenses related to our acquisition of Bai. Reported income from operations was $322 million in the prior year period, which included a $7 million impairment charge on the Garden Cocktail brand. Currency neutral core income from operations for the quarter was $330 million compared to $329 million in the prior year. Currency neutral income from operations was further reduced by 3 percentage points of foreign currency transaction.

For the year, reported net sales increased by 3% to $6.44 billion. Foreign currency translation negatively impacted reported net sales by 1%. Reported income from operations was $1.43 billion, including $52 million in unrealized commodity mark-to-market gains and $3 million in acquisition expenses related to Bai. Reported income from operations in the prior year was $1.30 billion, which included a $7 million impairment charge and a $5 million unrealized commodity mark-to-market loss. Core income from operations was $1.38 billion, up 5%, representing 21.5% of net sales compared to 20.9% in the prior year. Currency neutral core income from operations was further reduced by 2 percentage points of foreign currency transaction.  

For the quarter, BCS volume was flat, with carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) increasing 1% and non-carbonated beverages (NCBs) decreasing 1%.

By geography, U.S. and Canada volume was flat, and Mexico and the Caribbean volume increased 5%.

In CSDs, Squirt grew 8% driven by strong performance in Mexico and the U.S. Schweppes grew 7% on distribution gains in sparkling waters and growth in the ginger ale category. Our Core 4 brands increased 3%, as a mid-single-digit increase in Canada Dry and a low-single-digit increase in 7UP were partially offset by a low-single-digit decrease in A&W. Sunkist was flat in the quarter. Peñafiel grew 1%, while Crush decreased 1%. Brand Dr Pepper decreased 1% in the quarter, primarily driven by timing in fountain foodservice performance. Fountain foodservice volume decreased 4% in the period.

In NCBs, Snapple decreased 3% and Hawaiian Punch declined 5% on category headwinds and higher pricing on single-serve packages. Mott's decreased 2% in the quarter as growth in sauce was more than offset by declines in juices. Our water category increased 8% on strong growth in Bai, Core Hydration and FIJI. Clamato increased 13% on distribution gains, increased promotional activity and product innovation. 

For the year, BCS volume increased 1% with both carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) and non-carbonated beverages (NCBs) increasing 1%.

By geography, U.S. and Canada volume increased 1%, and Mexico and the Caribbean volume increased 5%.

In CSDs, Squirt increased 6% driven by strong performance in Mexico and the U.S. Schweppes increased 8% on distribution gains in sparkling waters and growth in the ginger ale category. Peñafiel increased 3% primarily due to distribution gains, increased promotional activity and product innovation. Brand Dr Pepper increased 1% on growth in fountain foodservice. Crush increased 3% for the year, and our Core 4 brands were flat, as a mid-single-digit increase in Canada Dry was offset by a mid-single-digit decline in 7UP and low-single-digit declines in both A&W and Sunkist. Fountain foodservice volume increased 2% for the year.

In NCBs, our water category grew 18% primarily on growth in Bai, FIJI, Aguafiel and Core Hydration. Snapple was flat and Clamato increased 10% on distribution gains, increased promotional activity and product innovation. Hawaiian Punch decreased 6% due to category headwinds and higher pricing for our single-serve packages. Mott's decreased 3% for the year with declines in juice partially offset by growth in sauce.

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