Growth Strategy & Aquisitions
For many years, we have pursued a growth strategy focused on the acquisition of existing shell egg production and processing facilities, as well as the construction of new and more efficient facilities. Since the beginning of fiscal 1989, we have completed eighteen acquisitions. In addition, we have built numerous “in-line” shell egg production and processing facilities as well as pullet growing facilities which added to our capacity. The capacity increases have been accompanied by the retirement of older and less efficient facilities. The “in-line” facilities provide gathering, grading and packaging of shell eggs by less labor-intensive, more efficient, mechanical means. Additionally, we continue to upgrade and modify our facilities, and invest in new facilities, to meet changing demand as many food service customers, restaurant chains, and retailers have committed to exclusive offerings of cage-free eggs over the next several years.
As a result of our strategy, our total flock, including pullets, layers and breeders, increased from approximately 33.5 million at May 28, 2011 to approximately 43.3 million as of May 28, 2016. The dozens of shell eggs sold increased from approximately 821.4 million in fiscal 2011 to approximately 1,053.6 million for fiscal 2016. Net sales amounted to $942.0 million in fiscal 2011 compared to net sales of $1,908.7 million in fiscal 2016.
We continue to pursue opportunities to acquire companies engaged in the production and sale of shell eggs. We will continue to evaluate and selectively pursue acquisitions that will expand our shell egg production capabilities in existing markets and broaden our geographic reach. We have extensive experience identifying, valuing, executing, and integrating acquisitions and we intend to leverage that experience in the evaluation and execution of future acquisitions. We will seek to acquire regional shell egg businesses with significant market share and long-standing customer relationships. We believe enhancing our national presence will help us further strengthen our relationships with existing customers, many of whom have operations across the U.S.