Pennsauken / NJ. (jj) J+J Snack Foods Corporation announced sales and earnings for the third quarter ended June 26th, 2021. Sales increased 51 percent to USD 324.3 million from USD 214.6 million in last year’s third quarter. Net earnings were USD 28.9 million in the current quarter compared to a USD 12.6 million loss last year. Earnings per diluted share was USD 1.51 for the third quarter, a significant increase compared to the USD 0.67 loss per diluted share last year. Operating income increased to USD 38.1 million in the current quarter versus a USD 19.4 million loss last year.
For the nine months ended June 26, 2021, sales were USD 821.5 million, a 7 percent increase from the same period last year when sales were USD 769.5 million. Net earnings were USD 36.7 million for the nine months compared to USD 11.7 million last year. Earnings per diluted share was USD 1.92 for the nine-month period compared to USD 0.62 last year. Operating income increased 246 percent to USD 46.0 million this year from USD 13.3 million last year. Operating income was impacted by USD 2.1 million of Covid-19 related costs during this nine-month period.
The overall sales environment improved significantly this quarter benefiting our business across all three segments. Food service venues are approaching pre-Covid capacity levels and more confident consumers are getting out of the house and spending more as the market normalizes. Our Food Service segment rebounded with 68 percent growth versus last year and exceeded fiscal 2019 sales by 1 percent led by strength in soft pretzels, churros, handhelds and bakery. Even as our food service business rebounds, we continue to see strength in our Retail segment where sales were just 6 percent below last year despite lapping a 38 percent growth in the prior year. Benchmarked against a pre-Covid fiscal 2019, retail sales grew 29 percent even as consumer trends shift out of the home. The Frozen Beverages business was 83 percent above prior year for the quarter which was a significant improvement when compared to Q2 of this year where sales were still 32 percent below the prior year. This growth was led by the amusement, c-store and mass merchandise channels. While theater attendance continues to lag 2019 levels, traffic and average ticket are improving and should further benefit our business down the road. Improved sales volume, product mix and a strong focus on cost efficiencies helped drive improved gross margins and profitability.
Dan Fachner, J+J’s President, commented, «I am so proud of our employees across the business for helping deliver a strong quarter. Our business performance is starting to benefit from an economy that is moving much closer to pre-Covid activities. The strength of our product and brand portfolio enables us to quickly leverage consumer traffic across multiple food service and retail customers. Consumers are embracing the opportunities they missed over the last year whether that is enjoying a Superpretzel at the game or sipping on an ICEE at the beach with their family. I remain extremely confident in our business and future growth opportunities.»