Hormel divvies $16.9M in bonuses

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jeff Denisen takes a look at his check Wednesday morning. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Missie Lindberg sees the annual bonus check she got today as a way to usher in the holiday season. She will use it to do her Christmas shopping.

“It’s awesome,” said the Hormel Foods Corp. plant worker. “We work hard all year, and it’s a nice cherry on top.”

Lindberg, who works in Spam production, is one of 1,750 plant workers. And all of those workers who have been at Hormel for the whole year will get a profit sharing bonus, which totals a record $16.9 million this year.

Bill McLain hands out profit sharing checks Wednesday morning during the 74th annual Hormel Foods profit sharing check distribution.

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While Hormel doesn’t guarantee a bonus, it has given one for 74 straight years, and plant manager Tim Fritz said it’s a way of telling workers their contribution matters.

“That’s what this day is all about: hard work,” Fritz said. “It helps employees make the connection between what they do and financial results.”

Plant worker Jeff Denisen agrees.

“With the economy the way it is, it’s nice to know you’re secure,” said Denisen, who added he will use his bonus to pay bills and take care of his family. “It’s nice to know the company is thriving.”

Hormel released its fourth quarter and annual earnings report Tuesday, reporting an annual profit of $500.1 million and $8.23 billion in total sales, both company records. The profit, which has gone up four-straight years, was a 5.5 percent increase from 2011.

“Our record year in net sales and earnings is a testament to our hard-working and dedicated employees,” Hormel CEO and President Jeff Ettinger said in a news release.