Performance Food Group (PFG) recently made several moves it says strengthen its business during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The foodservice distributor said the moves included new partnerships and customer support, along with financial transactions designed to bolster its ability to withstand the economic impact of the virus.
“As we all adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, our company is in a crucial position to keep our country’s food supply chain strong,” said George Holm, PFG chairman, president and CEO. “We are proud of the tremendous effort and dedication shown by our talented associates who are working tirelessly to keep people fed during this time.
“In addition to working with our existing customers, we have formed several new partnerships, brought in new business and shared many of our associates with organizations that are experiencing labor shortages. PFG is also diligently assessing and managing how we spend our capital so that we are in the best financial position possible. With our new partnerships and the innovation shown by our organization, we believe we can come out of this period as a stronger company.”
Over the past few weeks, PFG says it took several actions to support the customers and communities it serves, to engage its workforce in new ways and manage its cost base. Examples of these activities include:
- Signing agreements with 10 new grocery retail partners and sharing more than 1,000 associates to help keep shelves stocked with food
- Distributing groceries to approximately 480 new grocery locations as PFG builds out its distribution capabilities to this channel
- Entering into new partnerships to support on-line ordering for its customers through OpenMenu, Swipeby and several other third-party delivery operators
- Supporting its restaurant customer base by launching tools to assist the independent channel, advertise which restaurants are open, and help with a transition to higher volume in take-out and delivery.
The company also took the following measures to protect its long-term financial position:
- Drawing $400 million from its $3 billion credit facility, which was put to cash on the company’s balance sheet
- Halting all non-essential capital expenditure activities
- Suspending its share repurchase program; during the fiscal third quarter and through March 23, the company repurchased 315,100 shares for approximately $5 million or a weighted average of $15.80 per share.
“The current COVID-19 situation has created a challenging operating environment for our industry and the customers and communities we serve,” Holm said. “PFG’s decentralized operating model allows quick decisions at the local level, which will continue to serve us well. We will remain nimble to protect our current business and continue to look for new opportunities to grow.”