LENEXA, Kansas — Hostess Brands, Inc., in February reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2022.
“Hostess Brands delivered another year of strong top and bottom-line results in 2022, highlighting our attractive snacking portfolio and the resiliency of our advantaged business model. I am very proud of the focus, agility, and commitment of the Hostess Brands team as they continue to execute with excellence against our key strategic growth initiatives in a dynamic environment,” commented Andy Callahan, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
He added, “Our track record of top-tier net revenue and earnings growth over the last three years, operational excellence and continued investments in our marketing and innovation capabilities give us the confidence to maintain our profitable growth momentum and deliver growth ahead of our long-term targets in 2023, as outlined by our initial guidance.”
Fourth Quarter 2022 Financial Highlights as Compared to the Prior Year Period:
- Net revenue of $339.5 million increased 14.2% from the same period last year, as 20.5% contribution from price/mix more than offset lower volumes in the quarter.
- Gross profit increased 10.4% to $121.9 million, or 35.9% of net revenue, while on an adjusted basis, gross profit increased 11.3% to $123.1 million, or 36.3% of net revenue. Fourth quarter gross margin declined by 124 basis points, 95 basis points on an adjusted basis, from year-ago quarter largely due to 20.2% inflation.
- Net income was $32.9 million, or $0.24 per diluted share compared to $36.5 million, or $0.25 in the same period last year. Adjusted net income remained relatively flat at $33.9 million, resulting in $0.25 adjusted EPS in both periods.
- Adjusted EBITDA increased 2.6% to $75.1 million as higher gross profit was partially offset by the planned increase in operating costs, particularly advertising and marketing. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 22.1% declined 249 basis points from 24.6% in the prior year period.
Full Year 2022 Financial Highlights as Compared to the Prior Year Period:
- Net revenue of $1,358.2 million increased 18.9% from last year driven by positive volume growth of 2.6% and 16.3% contribution from price/mix.
- Gross profit increased 13.6% from the year-ago period to $465.7 million, or 34.3% of net revenue, while on an adjusted basis, gross profit increased 13.9% to $467.7 million, or 34.4% of net revenue. Annual gross margin declined by 161 basis points, 152 basis points on an adjusted basis.
- Net income of $164.2 million, or $1.19 per diluted share increased from $119.3 million, or $0.86 per diluted share in the same period last year. Adjusted net income and adjusted EPS, which exclude the receipt of Voortman insurance proceeds, increased by double-digits to $134.6 million, and $0.98, respectively.
- Adjusted EBITDA increased 9.4% to $294.1 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 21.7% declined from 23.5% in the prior year period due to lower gross margins and higher operating expenses.
- Cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments were $116.5 million as of December 31, 2022. Net leverage ratio improved from 3.1x to 2.9x.
- Capital expenditures increased to $130.5 million from $65.4 million in the prior-year period as a result of the ongoing investments, including the addition of a new bakery in Arkadelphia, to support growth.
- Hostess Brands’ Sweet Baked Goods point-of-sale (“POS”) increased by 9.2% and 16.4% for the quarter and year respectively. Its share of the Sweet Baked Goods category decreased by 150 basis points to 20.1% during the quarter and remained relatively stable at 21.2% for the year.
- Voortman® branded POS grew 28.2% for the quarter, nearly 1.5x faster than the overall Cookie category, and 27.7% for the year, driven in part by the ongoing momentum in the faster-growing sugar-free sub-segment.
- Repurchased $130.1 million of shares in 2022.
- Prepaid $100.0 million on its term loan.
2023 Financial Guidance
The Company’s guidance for the full year 2023 is as follows:
- Adjusted net revenue growth of 4% to 6%
- Adjusted EBITDA of $315 million to $325 million, an increase of 7% to 10% from 2022
- Adjusted EPS of $1.08 to $1.13, an increase of 10% to 15% from 2022
- Weighted average diluted shares outstanding of approximately ~135 million
- Capital expenditures of approximately $150 million to $170 million
- Income tax rate of approximately ~27%
Fourth Quarter 2022 Compared to Fourth Quarter 2021
Net revenue was $339.5 million, an increase of $42.3 million, or 14.2%, compared to the same period last year. Contribution from previously taken pricing actions and favorable mix provided 20.5% of the growth, offset by a 6.3% decline in volume. Sweet baked goods net revenue increased $36.8 million, or 13.8%, while cookies net revenue increased $5.5 million, or 18.0%.
Gross profit increased 10.4% and was 35.9% of net revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2022, a decrease of 124 basis points from a gross margin of 37.1% for the same period last year. The decrease in gross margin was primarily due to inflation, partially offset by favorable price/mix, including revenue growth management initiatives.
Operating income was $56.6 million. Adjusted operating income of $57.8 million increased 1.6% from the same period last year as higher gross profit was partially offset by higher advertising and marketing expense as well as higher investments in our workforce.
Adjusted EBITDA of $75.1 million, or 22.1% of net revenue, increased 2.6% from the same period last year. The improvement in adjusted EBITDA was driven by higher gross profit, partially offset by the planned increase in operating costs, particularly advertising and marketing expense, as well as higher investments in our workforce.
The Company’s effective tax rate was 27.3% compared to 19.6% in the prior year. Effective tax rates were impacted by non-taxable changes in the fair value of the warrant liabilities in the prior year as well as a tax benefit related to revaluing our deferred tax liabilities due to a change in the estimated state tax rate. The effective tax rates, excluding discrete items, were 27.3% and 27.7% in the current year and prior year period, respectively.
Net income was $32.9 million. Adjusted net income of $33.9 million remained relatively consistent as compared to the same period last year. Diluted EPS was $0.24 compared to $0.25 in the prior period. Adjusted EPS was $0.25 in both periods.
Cash flow from operations for the twelve months ended December 31, 2022 was $248.8 million compared to $203.0 million for the same period last year. Operating cash flow benefited from current year improvement in profitability, including the insurance proceeds of $33.0 million, partially offset by an increase in tax payments and an increase in working capital.