WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wisc., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Northland Cranberries, Inc. (BULLETIN BOARD: NRCNA) , manufacturer of Northland brand 100% juice cranberry blends and Seneca brand fruit juice products, today reported fiscal 2003 first-quarter financial results for the period ended November 30, 2002. The company reported net income for the quarter of $1.0 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared to fiscal 2002 first-quarter net income of $51.7 million, or $1.70 per diluted share. First-quarter fiscal 2002 net income included a $50.5 million net gain (net of $32.8 million income taxes) on forgiveness of indebtedness (or $1.66 per diluted share) resulting from the previously announced restructuring of Northland's debt and equity capital structure, which took place on November 6, 2001. Income excluding the gain on forgiveness of indebtedness and the related tax effect was $1.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2002, or $0.04 per diluted share.
Net revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 were $21.7 million, down from last year's first-quarter net revenues of $30.3 million, primarily due to reduced sales of cranberry concentrate and reduced co-packing revenue. These revenue decreases were partially offset by increased sales of Northland branded juice products.
John Swendrowski, Northland's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "It is apparent that our investment in national television advertising is resulting in increased sales of Northland juice. We will continue to emphasize the important attributes of the Northland brand - 100% juice, with 27% cranberry content across the entire line of flavors. Consumers can be easily confused when buying cranberry juice or cranberry drinks, and we want to educate them about the difference between 100% juice cranberry blends and juice drinks, and the wide range of cranberry content contained in many of our competitors' products."
The company also announced the introduction of its Northland Cranberry Blueberry Blend, the latest addition to the company's family of 100% juice cranberry blends. The company expects that this new flavor will be available in retail outlets nationally in the coming months. "We believe consumers will enjoy this healthy, great-tasting new flavor, which is a natural extension of our existing line of premium 100% juice cranberry blends," Swendrowski said.
Northland is a vertically integrated grower, handler, processor and marketer of cranberries and value-added cranberry products. The company processes and sells Northland brand 100% juice cranberry blends, Seneca brand juice products, Northland brand fresh cranberries and other cranberry products through retail supermarkets and other distribution channels. Northland also sells cranberry and other fruit concentrates to industrial customers who manufacture juice products. Northland is the only publicly-owned, regularly- traded cranberry company in the United States, with shares traded on the Over- the-Counter Bulletin Board under the listing symbol NRCNA.
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The Company makes certain "forward-looking statements" in this press release, such as statements about future plans, goals and other events which have not yet occurred. These forward-looking statements are intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified because they include words such as the Company "believes," "anticipates," "expects" or words of similar import. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements about actions by the Company's competitors, sufficiency of the Company's working capital, potential operational improvements and efforts to improve profitability, sales and marketing strategies, expected levels of trade and marketing spending, anticipated market share of the Company's branded products, cranberry concentrates and other products, and disposition of significant litigation. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and the actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward- looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks associated with (i) the Company's ability to reinvigorate its Northland and Seneca brand names, regain lost distribution capabilities and branded products market share and generate increased levels of branded product sales; (ii) the level of cranberry inventory held by industry participants; (iii) the development, market share growth and continued consumer acceptance of the Company's branded juice products; (iv) the resolution of certain litigation related to the sale of the net assets of the Company's private label juice business, and claims asserted by the Company against our principal competitor regarding what the Company believes to be anticompetitive tactics and unlawful monopolization within the cranberry products industry; (v) agricultural factors affecting the Company's crop and the crop of other North American growers; and (vi) the Company's ability to comply with the terms and conditions of, and to satisfy its responsibilities under, its credit facilities and other debt agreements. You should consider these risks and factors and the impact they may have when you evaluate these forward-looking statements. These statements are based only on the Company's knowledge and expectations on the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any duty to update these statements or other information in this press release based on future events or circumstances.