ORRVILLE, OHIO – The J.M. Smucker Company expects its net sales for fiscal 2020, which ends April 30, to be down 1% to the prior year compared to previous guidance of down 3%. The improved results are due to increased demand across all United States and Canadian retail channels, because of the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Management said it expects adjusted earnings per share to exceed the high end of its previous guidance range of $8.10 to $8.30 per share, because of increased contribution from sales and reduced selling distribution and administrative expenses. In fiscal 2019, the company earned $514.4 million, equal to $4.52 per share on the common stock. Sales for the year were $7.8 billion.

All of Smucker’s manufacturing and distribution facilities are open, and none have experienced significant disruptions or illness-related labor shortages associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the company. It has increased production at all its manufacturing plants and taken steps to maintain business continuity.

“As we experience one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history, we remain committed to providing a safe and reliable supply of food,” said Mark Smucker, president and chief executive officer. “Our team is united in supporting our customers, consumers, and communities in this time of heightened need, while doing our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Steps taken to protect its employees include incremental sanitation measures and temperature screenings at all its locations.

The company said its previous commentary related to its outlook for fiscal 2021 is no longer applicable due to the near- and long-term implications of COVID-19. Management will provide an update when it releases its fiscal 2020 results in June.

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