Excluding the extra week in the prior year period, net sales would have increased 9.1%. Overall food cost inflation was approximately 2.0% in the fourth quarter versus the prior year quarter.
Gross profit dollar growth of 2.4% outperformed sales growth as the Company sold a more profitable mix of sales channels and products, specifically to the independent channel.
Looking more into the quarter... total case volume decreased 2.4% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to the prior year period, with underlying organic total case volume down 4.1%. Excluding the extra week in the prior year, case volume would have increased approximately 5.1%, with underlying organic total case volume growth of 3.3%.
Total case growth was driven by an increase in independent cases, strong growth in Performance Brands, and broad-based growth in Vistar's sales channels. Excluding the extra week in the prior year period, the Performance Foodservice segment's case growth to independent customers rose 6.6%.
The company sees fiscal year 2018 EPS growth of 13-18%, which equates to approximately $1.40-1.46, excluding non-recurring items, which falls in-line with expectations.
For fiscal 2018, PFG expects Adjusted EBITDA growth to be in a range of 8% to 11% over its fiscal 2017 Adjusted EBITDA of $390.7 million.
The company expects that the 8% to 11% Adjusted EBITDA growth for fiscal 2018 will reflect first-half growth in the range of mid-to-high teens. Second half Adjusted EBITDA growth is expected to be in the mid-single digit range.
First-half fiscal 2018 growth is expected to reflect easier comparisons versus the first half of fiscal 2017 as the company laps its strategic investments in Customized and Vistar. Organic case growth in a range of 3% to 5%.
"We generated strong fourth-quarter results and ended the year with solid adjusted EBITDA growth," said George Holm, PFG's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our robust and consistent case growth, strong top-line growth, combined with increased gross profit per case, led to profitability at the high end of our expectations for fiscal 2017. Our strategic investments in fiscal 2017 will provide us with additional growth in fiscal 2018 and beyond."
Through its family of leading foodservice distributors -- Performance Foodservice, Vistar, and PFG Customized -- Performance Food Group Company (PFG) markets and distributes approximately 150,000 food and food-related products from 76 distribution centers to over 150,000 customer locations across the United States. PFG's 14,000+ associates serve a diverse mix of customers, from independent and chain restaurants to schools, business and industry locations, hospitals, vending distributors, office coffee service distributors, big box retailers, and theaters.