Categories Consumer, Earnings Call Transcripts

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (LW) Q3 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

LW Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: LW) Q3 2022 earnings call dated Apr. 07, 2022

Corporate Participants:

Dexter P. Congbalay — Vice President, Investor Relations

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Analysts:

Peter Galbo — Bank of America — Analyst

Andrew Lazar — Barclays — Analyst

Tom Palmer — JPMorgan — Analyst

Rob Dickerson — Jefferies — Analyst

Christopher Growe — Stifel — Analyst

Jenna Giannelli — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

William Reuter — Bank of America — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Please standby, we’re about to begin. Good day, and welcome to the Lamb Weston Third Quarter 2022 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions]

At this time, I’d like to turn the call over to Dexter Congbalay, VP, Investor Relations of Lamb Weston. Please go ahead.

Dexter P. Congbalay — Vice President, Investor Relations

Good morning, and thank you for joining us for Lamb Weston’s third quarter 2022 earnings call. This morning, we issued our earnings press release, which is available on our website, lambweston.com. Please note that during our remarks, we’ll make some forward-looking statements about the Company’s expected performance.

These statements are based on how we see things today. Actual results may differ materially due to risks and uncertainties. Please refer to the cautionary statements and risk factors contained in our SEC filings for more details on our forward-looking statements. Some of today’s remarks include non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered a replacement for and should be read together with our GAAP results. You can find the GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliations in our earnings release.

With me today are Tom Werner, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Bernadette Madarieta, our Chief Financial Officer. Tom will provide some comments on our performance, as well as an overview of the current operating environment. Bernadette will then provide some details on our third quarter results and updated fiscal 2022 outlook.

With that, let me now turn the call over to Tom.

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Dexter. Good morning, and thank you for joining our call today. First of all, I want to thank all my colleagues for their continued dedication and perseverance to keep Lamb Weston as an industry leader and a strong business partner. Our solid financial results in the third quarter are a direct result of how well our manufacturing, supply chain and commercial teams have remained focused on improving our operations and serving our customers during a challenging macro environment, which includes the impact of an exceptionally poor potato crop.

We continue to be encouraged by strong French fry demand and feel good about our continued progress. Specifically, in the third quarter, we delivered solid sales growth and drove sequential and year-over-year gross margin expansion. And we did this despite the impact of Omicron variant, slowing restaurant traffic and disrupting our production and distribution operations more than we expected. We benefited from our previously announced pricing actions to mitigate the significant cost inflation across our supply chain. We’ve also been driving improvements in our manufacturing operations as we focus on what’s in our control. This includes mitigating some of the effects of the poor potato crop with product specification changes and portfolio optimization work that we’ve discussed previously. Factory labor remains challenging as we remain below preferred staffing levels, but we’re making steady progress in the highly difficult labor market.

We’re addressing the labor gap by focusing on retention and new ways of attracting talent. We’ll continue to push hard on our staffing initiatives and are encouraged by the improvements we’re seeing, however, it will take time to get all of our factory staff where they need to be. Like others, we’re managing through freight challenges, including both cost increases and shipping delays. The freight challenges are impacting our top-line as it limits our ability to service full demand. This is caused by a lack of containers for international and domestic shipments and truck driver shortages. This combined with higher fuel costs has also increased our cost to deliver products. We’re continuing to navigate through these and other operating challenges and remain on track to deliver our financial commitments for the year. Our capacity expansion investments in Idaho and China also remain on track and will have us well positioned to support increasing customer demand over the long-term.

Let me provide some brief updates on the operating environment before turning the call over to Bernadette. Let’s start with demand. In the U.S., overall fry demand and restaurant traffic in our third quarter remained solid, although it weakened temporarily as the Omicron variant spread quickly. Omicron’s impact peaked in January and affected consumer traffic at both quick service and full-service restaurants. In addition, some restaurants closed temporarily or reduced operating hours due to staff shortages, which further impacted demand. Restaurant traffic however has rebounded to pre-Omicron levels.

The fry attachment rate in the U.S., which is the rate at which consumers order fries when visiting a restaurant or other foodservice outlets has been fairly consistent since the beginning of the pandemic and remains above pre-pandemic levels. Going forward, we expect restaurant traffic and consumer demand for fries in the U.S. to remain strong. Although it may be more volatile in the near-term as consumers face significant cost inflation. In contrast, fry demand in retail channels may continue to benefit if demand in out-of-home channels is affected. Outside the U.S., demand in Asia and Oceana remained stable. However, we have not been able to meet that demand due to the limited availability of shipping containers for export.

While we expect overall demand in these regions to return to pre-pandemic levels, widespread COVID-related government restrictions in key markets such as China may lead to demand volatility in the near-term. Demand in Europe, which is served by our Lamb-Weston/Meijer joint venture has also been fairly stable, although it was temporarily affected by the spread of Omicron during the quarter. As in the U.S., we expect demand in Europe may be volatile in the upcoming months as cost inflation and COVID variants temper restaurant traffic. So overall while we expect that demand in the near-term will be choppy, we remain confident in the long-term resiliency and growth prospects of the category in the U.S. and our key international markets.

With respect to pricing, our price/mix growth accelerated sequentially in the third quarter as we continued to execute on our previously announced product and freight pricing actions in our Foodservice and Retail segments to offset inflation and as we began to implement pricing actions in our Global segment. Going forward, if we see further inflation, we’re prepared to take additional pricing actions, as well as drive opportunities to improve product and customer mix. To that end, last week, we began implementing another round of pricing actions in our Foodservice and Retail segments, and we expect to see the benefits of these actions gradually build over the next six months.

In our Global segment, contracts representing about one-third of the segment’s volume are up for renewal this year. We’ve begun discussions with those customers and expect to have most of the contract terms agreed by early fall. With respect to this year’s upcoming potato crop, we’ve agreed to a 20% increase in the contracted price per pound in our primary growing regions in the Columbia Basin, Idaho, Alberta and the Midwest. This increase reflects our approach for annual price changes that reflect the cost to grow plus an appropriate return for our growers such that they are viable over the long-term. We’ll begin to see the impact of these higher contracted potato prices during the second quarter of fiscal 2023 as we begin to process the early potato varieties that are harvested in mid-summer.

In addition, over the past few months, we partnered with our growers to contract for acres that represent nearly all of our projected needs associated with this year’s crop. The number of acres contracted assumes an average crop year. Planting [Phonetic] of this year’s potato crops started in March and typically concludes by the end of April, and we’ll provide our usual crop updates during future quarterly earning calls as the growing season progresses. Finally, our hearts go out to all the people affected by Russia invasion of Ukraine.

Our exposure to Russia is indirect as it runs through our 50% ownership in Lamb-Weston/Meijer. Last month, the Russia JV began winding down production of Lamb Weston branded products and paused construction of its previously announced capacity expansion. We continue to monitor the situation and any decisions regarding that operation will be made in conjunction with our partner in Europe.

So in summary, we feel good about our progress in the quarter, especially given the highly challenging operating environment, and we remain on track to deliver our financial commitments for the year. Our pricing actions and cost mitigation efforts enabled us to drive sequential and year-over-year gross margin expansion. We’ve agreed on contract price and acres to be planted for this year’s potato crop, and we remain confident in the resiliency and long-term growth prospects of the category, although demand may be volatile in the near-term.

Let me now turn the call over to Bernadette to review the details of our third quarter results and our updated fiscal 2022 outlook.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Tom, and good morning, everyone. Let me start by echoing Tom’s comments thanking our employees. We appreciate your hard work and dedication. As Tom discussed, we feel good about the benefits from our pricing actions and cost savings efforts to offset much of the significant cost inflation that we’ve been experiencing. And I’m confident in our ability to continue to manage through this volatile business environment. Specifically, in the quarter, our sales increased 7% to $955 million.

Price/mix was up 12% as we continued to execute our previously announced product and freight pricing actions in each of our business segments to offset input, manufacturing and transportation cost inflation. Most of the increase in the quarter reflects these pricing actions, while mix was also favorable. Sales volumes declined 5% as we were unable to fully serve market demand due to logistics constraints, especially for our international shipments, as well as lower production run rates and throughput at our factories resulting from labor shortages. Increased shipments in our Foodservice segment and to our large chain restaurant customers in North America that are served by our Global segment partially offset the volume decline.

However, while volume increased in these channels, it was tempered by the Omicron variant’s negative effect on restaurant traffic, on the availability of labor to keep restaurants open and on our production facilities and supply chain. Gross profit in the quarter increased $24 million. Product and freight price increases along with favorable mix more than offset the impact of higher costs on a per pound basis and lower sales volumes. We expanded gross margin by 110 basis points versus the prior year quarter and 270 basis points sequentially to more than 23%. Looking at our costs, double-digit inflation drove the increase in cost per pound for the third straight quarter and accounted essentially for all of the increase in the quarter.

There were four key areas that drove the increase in cost. First, commodities played the biggest role led by edible oils, ingredients for batter and other coatings and packaging. Labor costs also increased due to competition for factory workers. Second, transportation rates continued to climb [Phonetic] due to the persistent disruption in global logistics networks. We also continue to use an unfavorable mix of higher cost trucking versus rail to meet service obligations for certain customers. Third, we began to see higher potato costs resulting from the poor crop that was harvested last fall in our primary growing regions.

The increase in potato costs reflects the impact of purchasing potatoes in the open market at a significant premium to contracted prices. Higher transportation costs for shipping potatoes from the Midwest and Eastern North America to our plants in the Pacific Northwest, lower potato utilization rates and running production lines at lower speeds to accommodate low quality potatoes. The increase in our potato costs, decrease in potato utilization rates and how the crop is performing in storage are all in line with the expectations that we shared with you last quarter, and we believe we’ve secured enough potatoes to deliver our volume forecast until we begin to harvest the early potato varieties in July.

As a reminder, we will continue to realize the financial impact of this year’s poor potato crop through most of the second quarter of fiscal 2023. The final key area that drove the increase in costs are operational inefficiencies, explained by labor shortages, Omicron-related absenteeism, especially in January and into early February and other industry-wide supply chain challenges. This resulted in lower production run rates and throughput in our factories, leading to fewer pounds to cover fixed overhead. As I’ll discuss later, we’ll continue to see the impact of these costs in the fourth quarter. The effect of lower potato utilization and production run rates in the third quarter was largely offset by a range of cost mitigation efforts, including eliminating underperforming SKUs, changes to product specifications and increased productivity savings from our Win as 1 and other cost saving initiatives. So in short, we’re managing well through this highly inflationary and poor potato crop environment. We feel good about how we are controlling those things that we can control, which led to the year-over-year and sequential gross margin expansion.

Moving on from cost of sales. Our SG&A declined $9 million in the quarter, largely due to lower consulting expenses associated with improving our commercial and supply chain operations as those projects ended, lower [Phonetic] overall compensation and benefits expense, and a $2 million decline in advertising and promotion expenses. The decline in SG&A was partially offset by higher information technology infrastructure costs, including cost to design the next release of a new enterprise resource planning system. Equity method earnings in the quarter were $30 million and included a $20 million unrealized gain related to mark-to-market adjustments associated with currency and commodity hedging contracts.

The large mark-to-market gain in the quarter primarily relates to changes in the value of natural gas derivatives at Lamb-Weston/Meijer as commodity markets there have experienced significant volatility. Excluding the impact of these mark-to-market adjustments, equity earnings increased $1 million versus the prior quarter. Favorable price/mix and higher sales volumes were largely offset by input inflation and higher manufacturing and distribution costs in both Europe and the U.S.

Moving to our segments. Sales in our Global segment were up 2% in the quarter. Price/mix increased 8%, reflecting domestic and international pricing actions associated with customer contract renewals and inflation-driven price escalators. It also reflects higher prices charged for freight. Volume fell 6%. International shipments, which have historically accounted for about 40% of the segment’s total volume were down nearly 20% versus the prior year quarter due to limited shipping container availability and disruptions to ocean freight networks. Sales volumes to North American large QSR and casual dining restaurant customers increased, but at a slower rate than previous quarters due to Omicron’s negative impact on consumer traffic. Global’s product contribution margin, which is gross profit less the advertising and promotional expenses declined 8% to $73 million. Higher manufacturing and distribution cost per pound, as well as the impact of lower sales volumes more than offset the benefit of favorable price/mix.

Moving to our Foodservice segment. Sales increased 34%, with price/mix up 22% and volume up 12%. As expected, the rate of increase in Foodservice’s price/mix accelerated sequentially to 22% in the third quarter from 8% in the second quarter as the benefits of the product and freight pricing actions that we began implementing earlier this fiscal year to mitigate inflation continued to build. In addition, the increase reflects favorable product and customer mix. The ongoing recovery in demand from small and regional restaurant chains and independently owned restaurants, as well as from non-commercial customers drove a 12% increase in sales volumes. While our shipments to restaurants have essentially returned to pre-pandemic levels, our shipments to non-commercial channels have not yet fully rebounded.

As with our sales to large chain restaurants in our Global segment, the Foodservice segment’s volume growth was tempered by Omicron’s negative impact on restaurant traffic and labor availability in those restaurants. In addition, manufacturing labor shortages and the effect of Omicron-related absenteeism limited our ability to fully serve demand due to lower production run rates and throughput in our factories. Foodservice’s product contribution margin rose 52% to $107 million, with favorable price, volume and mix more than offsetting higher manufacturing and distribution cost per pound.

In our Retail segment, sales declined 12%, with volume down 24% and price/mix up 12%. The volume decline reflected two factors. First, more than half of the decline was due to incremental losses of certain lower margin private label products. And second, despite solid category growth, branded product volumes were down as labor and supply chain disruption limited our ability to service demand. The increase in price/mix was driven by product and freight pricing actions across our portfolio to offset inflation, as well as favorable mix. Retail’s product contribution margin declined 5% to $32 million. Lower sales volumes and higher manufacturing and distribution cost per pound drove the decline, which was partially offset by favorable price/mix and a $2 million decrease in A&P expenses.

Moving to our liquidity position and cash flow. We ended the quarter with nearly $430 million in cash and $1 billion of availability on our undrawn revolver. Through the first three quarters of the year, we generated about $175 million of cash from operations. That’s down about $200 million versus the first three quarters of the prior year due primarily to higher working capital and lower earnings. Year-to-date, we’ve spent more than $225 million in capital expenditures as we continued construction of our capacity expansions in Idaho and China. We’ve also returned nearly $230 million of cash to our shareholders, including $103 million in dividends and $126 million in share repurchases. After repurchasing $50 million of shares in the third quarter, we have just under $300 million remaining under our buyback authorization.

Now let’s turn to our updated fiscal 2022 outlook. We expect our full-year sales growth to be above our long-term target of low to mid single-digits. In the fourth quarter, we expect sales to be driven by price/mix as we continue to execute our previously announced product and transportation pricing actions to offset input and transportation cost inflation. However, we expect sales volumes will continue to be pressured as export volumes remain constrained due to limited shipping container availability, supply chain volatility and labor shortages challenge [Phonetic] run rates and throughput at our factories, and as restaurant traffic and consumer demand may slow due to inflation and the persistent effect of COVID variants in the U.S. and key international markets. In addition, please note that we’ll be lapping a high volume comparison in the prior year.

With respect to earnings for the full-year, we expect our gross margin will be 19% to 20%. This update puts us at the high end of the 18% to 20% range that we provided in our previous outlook. We’re comfortable to be at the higher end of that range. Because of our confidence in the pace and execution of product and freight price increases that we’re currently implementing in the market, we have more clarity on the net impact in margin from this year’s poor potato crop, and we’re making steady progress in stabilizing our supply chain operations and driving savings behind our cost mitigation initiatives. Based on our updated full-year estimate, we expect our gross margin in the fourth quarter to be 19% to 21%.

That’s down sequentially from the 23% we delivered in the third quarter and reflects in part our usual gross margin seasonality. It also includes the impact of significantly higher costs held in finished goods inventory that were produced during the third quarter. These costs were driven by incremental costs and inefficiencies associated with very high levels of Omicron-related factory worker absenteeism in January and February that resulted in broad-based production disruptions. Since we typically hold 50 to 60 days of finished goods inventory, we’ll realize these costs during our fiscal fourth quarter as that inventory is sold.

The low [Phonetic] gross margins, we expect our SG&A expenses in the fourth quarter to step up to $105 million to $110 million as we continue to invest in the design and build of our new ERP system. We expect equity earnings, excluding the impact of any mark-to-market adjustments, will remain pressured due to input cost inflation and higher manufacturing costs in both Europe and the U.S. For the year, we continue to expect interest expense to be approximately $110 million, excluding the $53 million of costs associated with the senior notes that we redeemed in the second quarter, total depreciation and amortization expense of approximately $190 million, and an effective tax rate of approximately 22%. We’ve reduced our estimate for capital expenditures to $325 million from our previous target of $450 million to reflect the timing of expenditures related to our capacity expansion projects in Idaho and China.

So in sum, in the third quarter, we delivered solid sales growth and expanded our gross margins behind our pricing actions and our cost mitigation efforts. For the year, we’re targeting the upper end of our previous gross margin range due to our confidence in our pricing execution to offset inflation, the more clarity that we now have on our potato costs and the steady progress that we’re making in stabilizing labor and our supply chain.

Now here’s Tom for some closing comments.

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Bernadette. Let me just quickly reiterate our thoughts on the quarter by saying I’m proud of how our Lamb Weston manufacturing, supply chain and commercial teams are continuing to take the right operating steps to manage through this challenging business environment. We’re on track to deliver on our targets for the year, and we remain committed to investing to support growth and create value for our stakeholders over the long-term.

Thank you for joining us today, and we’re now ready to take your questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] We’ll take our first question from Peter Galbo with Bank of America.

Peter Galbo — Bank of America — Analyst

Hey, guys, good morning. Thank you for taking the question.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Hey.

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Peter.

Peter Galbo — Bank of America — Analyst

Tom, I just — I wanted to get your thoughts kind of now that the summer ’22 crop has started to go into the ground, just — how are you thinking about some of the different puts and takes? Obviously, nobody has the perfect crystal ball, but it seems like drought in the Pac Northwest is still kind of relatively high, you’re using a seed crop from last year of a poor crop, heat last year was obviously an issue, fertilizer, like how are you thinking about all those puts and takes and encompassed in what’s gone in the ground?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, Peter. So it’s early on in the planning and how we look at every crop year. Certainly, we look at history, but we plan it at average historical levels. And in terms of the impact that we had last year because of the high heat, which is highly abnormal, it’s early innings, and we’re going to have to really — we’ll monitor it. No impact from a seed standpoint, but as I said in my prepared remarks, as the crop progresses, as we always do in July and October, we’ll give you an update, but we plan for an average yield quality crop year every year. So we’ll adjust it as we learn more as the growing season progresses.

Peter Galbo — Bank of America — Analyst

Got it. No, that’s helpful. And Bernadette, maybe if I could ask on gross margins. In your prepared remarks, you mentioned the fourth quarter would follow kind of historical seasonality or more normal historical seasonality. As we continue to process this kind of lower quality crop through the first half of next year, would you still expect, I guess, first quarter, second quarter seasonality to kind of come back into play as other elements of the business start to normalize?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, absolutely, Peter. The first half of next year will continue to be affected by this year’s poor crop. And then once we move into next year’s crop, which as Tom mentioned we’re planning will be average, that’s when we should be able to get closer to those pre-pandemic margins.

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Still there, Peter?

Peter Galbo — Bank of America — Analyst

Yeah, sorry, still here. No, thanks very much guys. I’ll pass it on.

Operator

Thank you. We’ll take our next question from Andrew Lazar with Barclays.

Andrew Lazar — Barclays — Analyst

Good morning, everybody.

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Andrew.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning.

Andrew Lazar — Barclays — Analyst

Hi. So I think if I’m not mistaken, you just may have mentioned that your — I guess your anticipation would be that you still get back to sort of your more normalized margins in the second half of fiscal ’23. With some of the — just the recent news and knock-on effects, the next wave of inflation for a lot of items, even potato sort of out of the mix for a minute as those are contracted, I guess, how do you continue to sort of have the comfort level on that? Is it just that you’re seeing obviously the pricing go through, and therefore, given what we’ve seen more recently in terms of incremental costs, there’s the confidence that more can be passed through in a timeframe that allows you to get back to those margins as you had initially expected or is there something else?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, Andrew, it’s a couple of things. The — certainly, a average crop is going to help that obviously significantly. And as we plan our — in the middle of planning our fiscal ’23, we have a point of view on what inflation is going to be, which I won’t get into until the next call as we wrap our plan for ’23 up. But we’ve — have a — and have been executing our pricing actions. And this — as we’re all dealing with, inflation is a challenge, but I’m confident in how we’ve been executing. And we’re in the early innings of contract negotiations with some of our bigger customers. And we’re going to work — we’ll work through it and the team is doing a great job. So I feel very confident we will pass through this inflation. And we’re going to get some help from the crop next year if it comes in on an average level. So those are really the two things that gives me a lot of confidence that we’re going to get back to pre-pandemic margin levels. And there’s no indication right now that it’s telling me that we’re not, and so I feel really good about it.

Andrew Lazar — Barclays — Analyst

Great. And then I realize you’re in the early innings of some contract negotiations for the third of those large customer contracts that are coming up for renewal. For the remainder of them that are — that aren’t not yet up for renewal, I know you’ve talked about the possibility of sort of maybe expanding or kind of expanding the definition of what some of those sort of inflation escalators or how they’re defined in those contracts to try and get some relief even for contracts where they’re not up for renewal just yet. And I’m just trying to get a sense of how sort of progress has been made there? Are you able to get some additional pricing through even where there’s not a contract that’s up for renewal?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I mean we’re having very robust conversations with those customers, Andrew, and we’re partnering with them, we’re working through it. And we’re being very transparent with what’s — what our inflation is, what we’re dealing with. And I would say those conversations have been very positive, everybody understand the environment we’re all working in. And so again, the team is doing a great job having those conversations, being very transparent with the customers, letting them know what we’re dealing with and what is potentially coming at them when their contracts are coming due. So it’s a very — it’s a work in progress, but we are making progress.

Andrew Lazar — Barclays — Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Thank you. We’ll take our next question from Tom Palmer with JPMorgan.

Tom Palmer — JPMorgan — Analyst

Good morning. Thanks for the question.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, Tom.

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Tom.

Tom Palmer — JPMorgan — Analyst

So first, I just wanted to ask on the potato side, when you consider yield losses and spot market purchases, what is your potato inflation? I’m really just trying to understand how much of the 20% higher contracted rate might be offset by normalized yield per acre and fewer spot market purchases next year?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, Tom, we’re — we won’t get into our yield and our processing performance, those kind of things, we don’t talk about that, but the cost increase is 20%. The big impact are two things to our P&L this year from a potato processing standpoint. It’s yield per acre, which is down because of the weather conditions. So we’ve had to procure more potatoes on the open market. And it’s no secret, we’ve trucked potatoes from the East Coast, like other processors have, and that costs more money obviously, and it’s also how the quality of the potatoes processed through our factories. So the yield to make a pound of French fries, it takes more potatoes just because of the quality and size and all that.

So it’s — we take the hit in two different areas, it’s yield per acre and it’s processing efficiency in our factories. And we haven’t — we haven’t disclosed what the overall impact is because we’re still trying to understand it as we take these potatoes out of storage. Typically this time of year, it’s always a cyclical issue because your quality of potatoes coming out of storage is less than when coming right out of field. So we’re still — we have an estimate on what the overall impact for the year is going to be, but we’re still have two months to go here, two, three, four, five months to go on processing these potatoes.

Tom Palmer — JPMorgan — Analyst

Okay, understood. And then maybe switching just to the capital expansion plan, capex coming quite a bit below your initial outlook, but indicated in the prepared remarks that both plant expansions remain on track. So what’s really causing the delays this year, and why is that not affecting the timing? Is it there’s just a ton of catch-up coming next year, and as long as that takes place, you’ll still be on track?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, that’s absolutely right. This is Bernadette. It’s just a matter of timing, and when those equipment pieces are coming in, but based on our current projections and what we’re seeing from our vendors, we’re still on track with the estimated completion date. It’s just a function of timing between this and next year.

Tom Palmer — JPMorgan — Analyst

Great. Thank you.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

You bet.

Operator

Thank you. We’ll take our next question from Rob Dickerson with Jefferies.

Rob Dickerson — Jefferies — Analyst

Great, thanks so much. So, Tom, just kind of a question on segment margins and kind of the differentiating factors between, let’s say, Foodservice and the Global segment. If we look at Foodservice now, right, the op margin in Q3 was actually already higher, I believe than pre-pandemic, which is a great positive and it’s obviously driven by pricing. The Global side, not so much, right, takes a little bit more time there. And maybe this kind of ties into Andrew’s question on the contracted side.

I guess, first, if we think about the go forward where pricing is now at Foodservice, we’re assuming kind of more normalized demand environment. Is it your perspective that, that’s a margin that we — you hope you can retain, right, as you get into Q4, maybe next year, all things considered? And on the Global side, even as you get into the back half of next year, even if the crop is or if it weren’t normalized and some of those costs roll off, should that Global margin just be going up anyway just because of the incremental pricing you would be getting from your other negotiations in that segment as you get through the summer? So I’m just trying to get a sense of kind of margin potential on the go forward even if the crop weren’t normal, if that makes sense?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, well, I — the plan is as we look at our inflation, our plan for 2023, we’re factoring in pricing actions and cost savings to offset all the inflation and to get our margins back to pre-pandemic levels. That’s where we’re headed. And there’s going to be puts and takes as we negotiate these contract prices with our customers. But again, the — it is dependent upon an average crop, which we’ll know in the next six months where the crop is going to end up, but that’s where we’re driving the business.

And again, my confidence level is very high that we’re going to continue to execute towards that based on how we’ve been executing with some of the — with the pricing actions we’ve taken to-date, and — but it’s going to take time. The Global segments are laggard. We’ll get through the negotiations, and you’ll see improvement in the back half in the Global segment specifically.

Rob Dickerson — Jefferies — Analyst

Okay, okay. And then maybe just — so I understand this a little bit better. Obviously, the potatoes are contracted with the growers, it’s got the market by some more, understood. If we’re thinking out multi-year period, right, as you get to the end of this year and then, let’s say, you recontract with those growers, if there were some increased costs to the growers, right, as we get to the end of this year for the forward, I mean it’s still challenges if kind of pass-through pricing ability in the business would still be alive and well and the potential for you to further pricing, right, on the multi-year would still be possible, right? It’s not as if you would say, right now, we’ve taken a lot of pricing, we feel like we’re in a good spot, we have to be careful about it, maybe it’s still very contingent on kind of what the cost of those potatoes would be on the go forward, is that right?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, yeah, it is. And you got to — let me step back. You have to understand what we’re doing from a pricing standpoint, we’re just — we’re pricing through inflation. And it’s as pervasive as I’ve ever seen it, a lot of us in the industry. So when you think about that and you also think about the importance of French fries on a menu from a — it’s a profit driver. So it’s going to be a continuation. Cost to grow is potentially going to go up, and we’ll continue to price through just as we have in past years. So it’s a question of — to me, there is an element that at some point as — if the costs continue to increase to the levels they are, what’s the elasticity of a French fry, and right now, we haven’t seen it. So we’ll continue to run our game plan, and we’ll adjust to the market down the road.

Rob Dickerson — Jefferies — Analyst

All right. Super. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. We’ll take our next question from Chris Growe with Stifel.

Christopher Growe — Stifel — Analyst

Thank you. Good morning.

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Chris.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, Chris.

Christopher Growe — Stifel — Analyst

Hi. I had a first question, a bit of a follow-on to Rob’s question there. And you have another price increase going through, I guess that’d be — I think that’s in Foodservice and Retail. It sounds like that would take hold roughly in September or so if we think about the timing it takes to get that through. I’m just curious how to think about that? Is that related to costs that you’re bearing now? Is it anyway getting in front of what is going to be a higher potato cost [Phonetic] next year and given the timing when this takes hold? So I just want to understand that price increase if I could?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Chris, this is Bernadette. It absolutely is related to the significant cost inflation that Tom was just referring to that we’re seeing now, and we’re passing those costs through, and we’ll continue to monitor the environment and the inflation that we continue to see in packaging, ingredients, oil, etc., and make decisions in terms of when further pricing actions maybe necessary to offset that significant inflation that we’re seeing.

Christopher Growe — Stifel — Analyst

Have you said what percentage of this price increase is?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No.

Christopher Growe — Stifel — Analyst

Do you want to?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Chris, we don’t disclose that.

Christopher Growe — Stifel — Analyst

Okay. Thank you. I just had one more question for you, if I could, which is, if I’m just thinking about the piece of your Global division that is — that was affected by, and you mentioned how it was down 20-plus percent in volume. Quick math, let’s say it’s about a 4% drag on volume on the overall Company, I just want to make sure, is that math in the right area there? And maybe related to that then more importantly, is export volume clearing anymore now, are you getting more on the road, and maybe are competitors coming in or is anyone else able to come in and satisfy that volume?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So as it relates to the Global volume, the math you did there is right in terms of the impact on the total Company. And then as we look at export volume, it is starting to increase. We’re seeing a few more containers be available than what we saw during the third quarter. So that is a positive sign, but it’s still much lower than what we’ve seen previously and what we’ve come to expect for that international business.

Christopher Growe — Stifel — Analyst

Okay. Thank you for your time today.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Chris.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] We’ll take our next question from Adam Samuelson with Goldman Sachs.

Jenna Giannelli — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Good morning, everyone.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, Adam.

Jenna Giannelli — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Thank you for taking my question. This is actually Giannelli stepping in for Adam. I was wondering if you could provide some additional color on a few items. When we think about the next 6 to 12 months, what are your expectations on cost inflation, and what parts of your COGS basket have become more or less inflationary compared to your prior call?

Tom Werner — President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So we’ve indicated we’re up 20% on potato for — potato raw price. The — in terms of the overall basket inflation, we’re right in the middle of putting together our 2023 plan. And we’ll give some more color on that in the upcoming earnings calls on what our overall view of inflation is for 2023.

Jenna Giannelli — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

That’s helpful. Thanks. And if I could ask a follow-up. How does the performance in your JV compared to your base business, and any differences in volume trends or inflationary pressures?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, no, as it relates to our joint venture, they’re seeing very similar inflationary cost increases, and then more recently, certainly as a result of what’s going on between Russia and Ukraine, there have been large increases in prices for natural gas and then we’ve had to make some changes to the oil that’s used in that joint venture. But absolutely, they’re seeing the same impact on their business is what we’re seeing here from an inflation standpoint.

Jenna Giannelli — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Thanks, and congrats on the quarter.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

We’ll take our next question from William Reuter with Bank of America.

William Reuter — Bank of America — Analyst

Good morning. So I know you contract for your raw material sort of for your raw potatoes. In terms of the other oils that are part of your cost of goods sold, other ingredients and packaging, what level of forward contracting purchases do you do there?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So as it relates to our oil purchases and contracting as it relates to price, we have contracts in place for first quarter of ’23 and some of second quarter, but a pretty minimal amount, beyond there, we don’t have any other contracts in place.

William Reuter — Bank of America — Analyst

Perfect. And then secondarily, given the delay in capex associated with the two expansion projects, do you have an early sense of even ballpark where capex could be for fiscal year ’23?

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, we’re in our planning process right now. So we don’t have anything to share today, but certainly, we’ll provide you an update at our next earnings call.

William Reuter — Bank of America — Analyst

I understand. Okay, thank you.

Bernadette Madarieta — Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

At this time, that will conclude our question-and-answer session. I’d like to turn the call back over to Mr. Congbalay for any additional or closing remarks.

Dexter P. Congbalay — Vice President, Investor Relations

Thanks for joining the call today. Happy to take any follow-up questions over the next number of days. Please email me so we can schedule a time. Happy opening day, everybody, and kind of go from there. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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