NBTY’s sales totaled $751 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, compared to $661 million during the same period in 2008, as revenues in all divisions increased. The company’s wholesale U.S. nutrition division saw the greatest gains with a 16% jump, while North American retail saw a 6% increase, European retail experienced 13% growth and the direct response division was up 7%.
“Our significant increase in revenue and profitability reflect NBTY’s on-going initiatives to improve operations, control costs and expand our premiere position as the leading nutritional supplement company,” said NBTY Chairman and CEO Scott Rudolph. “Our growing financial strength continues to play a vital role in generating future growth and shareholder value.”
The company was aided by supplement sales growth in the mass market, where NBTY has a strong presence. According to the Nielsen Company, total supplement sales jumped 14% jump in the mass channel for the thirteen-week period ending January 2, 2010.
NBJ Bottom Line
NBTY is flying high right now. All of its divisions are growing; its 2009 restructuring of the direct response division appears to have restored profitability and its stock is outperforming much of the competition. The company also benefits from a supplement category that has shown steady growth even in the face of a 2008 and 2009 global consumer spending downturn. The modernization of its Vitamin World retail locations has been well received by consumers, as is evidenced by NBTY’s strong North American retail performance. The European retail division is still waiting on the full integration of the Julian Graves acquisition, which will include transitioning a number of Julian Graves locations into Holland & Barrett stores. Once that integration is complete, NBTY should be able to realize even greater profits as it eliminates redundant operations. As NBTY continues to grow and leverage its vast supply and distribution networks, so too does the chasm between the company and its closest competitors. In 2008, NBTY outsold the No. 2 U.S. supplement company—Pharmavite—by almost $700 million. Based on its recent performance, there is no reason to believe NBTY will be surrendering its No. 1 status anytime soon.
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