Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc (DPS)

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

April 27, 2011 11:00 am ET


Aly Noormohamed - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Martin Ellen - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Larry Young - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Member of Special Award Committee and Member of Capital Transaction Committee


Judy Hong - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

John Faucher - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Mark Swartzberg - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.

Ann Gurkin - Davenport & Company, LLC

Christine Farkas - BofA Merrill Lynch

William Pecoriello - Consumer Edge Research, LLC

Wendy Nicholson - Citigroup Inc

Damian Witkowski - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

Carlos LaBoy - Crédit Suisse AG

Andrew Kieley - Deutsche Bank AG

Caroline Levy - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc.

Unknown Analyst -

Stephen Powers



Good morning, and welcome to Dr Pepper Snapple Group's First Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Today's call is being recorded and includes a slide presentation which can be accessed at www.drpeppersnapple.com. The call and slides will also be available for replay and download after the call has ended. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to introduce Mr. Aly Noormohamed, Senior Vice President, Finance. Sir, you may begin.

Aly Noormohamed

Thank you, Art, and good morning, everyone. Before we begin, I would like to direct your attention to the Safe Harbor statement and remind you that this conference call contains forward-looking statements, including statements concerning our future financial and operational performance. These forward-looking statements should also be considered in connection with the cautionary statements and disclaimers contained in the Safe Harbor statement in this morning's earnings press release and our SEC filings. Our actual performance can differ materially from these statements, and we undertake no duty to update these forward-looking statements.

During this call, we may reference certain non-GAAP financial measures that reflect the way we evaluate the business, and which we believe provide useful information for investors. Reconciliations of those non-GAAP measures to GAAP can be found in our earnings press release and on the Investor Relations page at www.drpeppersnapple.com.

This morning's prepared remarks will be made by Larry Young, Dr Pepper Snapple Group's President and CEO; and Marty Ellen, our CFO. Following our prepared remarks, we will open the line for your questions.

With that, let me turn the call over to Larry.

Larry Young

Thanks, Aly, and good morning, everyone. As I hope you saw in this morning's earnings press release, we're off to a fast start in 2011. The investments we have made in our supply chain, our organization, technology and, most recently, Rapid Continuous Improvement while providing a solid foundation, allowing us to capture the latent potential of our brands in this business.

For the quarter, bottler case sales increased 1%, lapping double-digit growth in Crush, Snapple and Mott's. Dr Pepper was up 1% on strong Fountain gains. Sun Drop achieved 89% ACV distribution in grocery for the 4 weeks ended March 26, adding $3 million incremental cases in the quarter.

Given a still value-conscious consumer, we continue to see strong growth in Hawaiian Punch. Snapple was up 10% as we rolled out the 64-ounce package internationally and the leverage that tie in with the amazing race. Mott's declined 8% as we lapped 14% growth in the prior year and double-digit price increases took effect at the beginning of March.

For the quarter, currency neutral net sales grew 6%, reflecting solid volume growth, 3 points of growth related to the PepsiCo licensing fees and repatriate cases and 2 points of growth from pricing.

Segment operating profit on a currency-neutral basis was flat as we absorbed almost $50 million of input and transportation cost inflation in the quarter.

Additionally, margin investments increased $14 million to support a front-half loaded innovation calendar, as well as Diet Dr Pepper's integration into Cougar town and national advertising for Canada Dry.

With strong performance below the segment operating profit line, specifically corporate, interest expenses and taxes and with an 11% reduction in share count, diluted earnings per share grew 25% to $0.50 per share.

As we shared on our February earnings call, we kind of kicked off 2011 with a very strong pipeline of new products, including the national launch of Sun Drop. I'm thrilled with our progress on Sun Drop. It's not only gaining share and driving growth in the Citrus segment, it's also quickly becoming a fan favorite with over $4 million views of its TV spot on YouTube during its first 4 weeks on the air. Consumers also love its thirst-quenching citrus flavor, with repeat purchases outpacing the launch of Dr Pepper Cherry.

And Snapple, our 64-ounce multiple-serve packages is a home run, driving almost half of Snapple's volume growth in the quarter. ACV in grocery reached 34% in March, leaving us plenty of room for more growth. With its bold face and unique innovative blend of sweeteners, Dr Pepper 10 is having a positive impact in its 6 test markets. The mail-oriented advertising campaign and our very own mobile "man cave" are driving trial and awareness. Consumer feedback and repeat rates are strong, so we may look to launch the product nationally in Q4.

Hawaiian Punch's new 10-ounce 6-pack offering is bringing new users into the franchise and is allowing families to enjoy the great taste and value of Hawaiian Punch on the go.

Now let me highlight some of our current and upcoming activation plans, which will keep the strong momentum going through the summer. To further engage in Hispanic consumer, Dr Pepper recently named platinum recording artist, Pittbull, as the brand's spokesperson for the 2011 VITA 23 marketing campaign. We also unveiled our newly designed Dr Pepper Club23, a fully customized traveling club where fans can sample the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper while dancing to the sounds of DJ O'Neil and enjoying the latest gaming technology. As part of its summer tour, Dr Pepper Club23 will make stops in Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.

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