BOHEMIA, N.Y., Mar 17, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- NBTY, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBTY), a leading manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplements, today announced that effective March 15, 2003, the Company discontinued sales of products that contain ephedra. As a result, NBTY will take a one-time charge of approximately $6 million.
Scott Rudolph, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBTY, said: "We continue to believe that ephedra products that NBTY has sold are safe to use as directed. We believe that the scientific evidence to date supports these conclusions. NBTY has not been a defendant in any lawsuit for any NBTY ephedra product. However, in light of the recent adverse publicity surrounding ephedra and the current environment in the U.S., we have decided that it is in the best interest of the Company to cease selling ephedra products. Overall, sales of ephedra products represent an insignificant portion of the Company's business, and we remain confident in the long term outlook for the Company."
NBTY is a leading vertically integrated U.S. manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of high-quality, value-priced nutritional supplements in the United States and throughout the world. The Company markets more than 1,100 products under several brands, including Nature's Bounty(R), Vitamin World(R), Puritan's Pride(R), Holland & Barrett(R), Nutrition Headquarters(R), American Health(R), Nutrition Warehouse(R) and Dynamic Essentials(R).
This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to our financial condition, results of operations and business. All of these forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of terminology such as "subject to," "believe," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "can," or "anticipates," or the negative thereof, or variations thereon, or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy which, although believed to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. Factors which may materially affect such forward-looking statements include: (i) slow or negative growth in the nutritional supplement industry; (ii) interruption of business or negative impact on sales and earnings due to acts of war, terrorism, bio-terrorism, civil unrest or disruption of mail service; (iii) adverse publicity regarding the consumption of nutritional supplements; (iv) inability to retain customers of companies (or mailing lists) recently acquired; (v) increased competition; (vi) increased costs; (vii) loss or retirement of key members of management; (viii) increases in the cost of borrowings and unavailability of additional debt or equity capital; (ix) unavailability of, or inability to consummate, advantageous acquisitions in the future, including those that may be subject to bankruptcy approval or the inability of the Company to integrate acquisitions into the mainstream of its business; (x) changes in general worldwide economic and political conditions in the markets in which the Company may compete from time to time; (xi) the inability of the Company to gain and/or hold market share of its wholesale and retail customers; (xii) loss or reduction in ephedra sales; (xiii) unavailability of electricity in certain geographical areas; (xiv) exposure to and expense of defending and resolving, product liability claims and other litigation, including ephedra; (xv) the ability of the Company to successfully implement its business strategy; (xvi) the inability of the Company to manage its retail, wholesale, manufacturing and other operations efficiently; (xvii) consumer acceptance of the Company's products; (xviii) the inability of the Company to renew leases on its retail locations; (xix) inability of the Company's retail stores to attain or maintain profitability; (xx) the absence of clinical trials for many of the Company's products; (xxi) sales and earnings volatility and/or trends; (xxii) the effect on Company sales of the rapidly changing nature of the Internet and on-line commerce; (xxiii) fluctuations in foreign currencies, and more particularly the British Pound; (xxiv) import-export controls on sales to foreign countries; (xxv) the inability of the Company to secure favorable new sites for, and delays in opening, new retail locations; (xxvi) introduction of new federal, state, local or foreign legislation or regulation or adverse determinations by regulators, and more particularly the Food Supplements Directive and the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive in Europe; (xxvii) the mix of the Company's products and the profit margins thereon; (xxviii) the availability and pricing of raw materials; (xxix) risk factors discussed in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and (xxx) other factors beyond the Company's control.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company cannot guarantee future results, trends, events, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The Company does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update, republish or revise forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrences of unanticipated events.