Dean Foods Company savors ‘strongest’ 4Q

Dean Foods Company earned $0.43 per diluted share from continuing operations for the quarter ended December 31, 2008, an increase of 79% from the $0.24 per diluted share from continuing operations earned in fourth quarter 2007. Net income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2008 totaled $67.4 million, compared with $32.6 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

"By many measures, the fourth quarter of 2008 was the strongest in our history," said Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer. "Consolidated adjusted operating income was 27% above the fourth quarter of 2007. Both business units turned in solid performances, with DSD Dairy operating profit 31% above year ago levels and WhiteWave-Morningstar operating profit up 14% in the quarter."

Total net sales for the fourth quarter totaled $3.1 billion, 5% below total net sales in the fourth quarter of 2007. Consolidated operating income in the fourth quarter totaled $183.6 million, an increase of 29% from $142.5 million in fourth quarter 2007.

Net sales for the 12 months ended December 31, 2008, totaled $12.5 billion, a gain of 5% from net sales for the year before, due to stronger volumes in DSD Dairy and increased sales at WhiteWave-Morningstar. Net income from continuing operations for the full year 2008 totaled $184.8 million, compared with $130.5 million in the previous year.

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