NEW YORK — Despite a drop in sales of its Folgers coffee brand, J.M. Smucker Co. saw its fourth-quarter net income rise 28 percent as costs fell and shoppers bought more jams, jellies and Jif peanut butter.
Smucker said it will cut peanut butter prices 5 percent next month to pass along savings from lower ingredient costs. But it will raise prices for cake mixes and other baking products by 4 percent to 5 percent because their ingredients have become more expensive.
In the three months that ended April 30, Smucker, which owns the Jif peanut butter plant in Lexington, earned $120.6 million, or $1.01 a share. In the same period last year the company earned $94.3 million, or 80 cents a share.
Revenue rose less than 1 percent, to $1.07 billion.
The company has many top brands, which analysts say hold up better in a recession because people tend to keep buying top sellers even if they are largely trading down to cheaper store brands.
"I think they do provide a value even in a tough economy," co-chief executive Richard Smucker said. "So it doesn't mean that we don't have to be competitive — and we will be — but I think we're pretty well positioned."
The company noted the peanut butter business was much stronger this quarter than a year earlier, when a widespread peanut butter recall cut into sales.
For the full year, net income rose 86 percent to $494.1 million, or $4.15 a share, compared with $266 million, or $3.11 a share. Revenue rose 23 percent, to $4.6 billion.