PARK CITY, Utah, Nov 25, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via Comtex/ -- Nutraceutical International Corporation (Nasdaq: NUTR) today reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended September 30, 2003.
Net sales for the fiscal 2003 fourth quarter were $35.3 million compared to $29.3 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2002. For the fourth quarter, net income was $3.3 million, or $0.29 diluted earnings per share, compared to $2.8 million, or $0.25 diluted earnings per share, for the same quarter of fiscal 2002. The fiscal 2002 fourth quarter results included $0.2 million, or $0.02 diluted earnings per share, for payments received as partial settlement of price-fixing litigation to which the Company was a plaintiff.
Net sales for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2003 were $124.5 million compared to $110.9 million for fiscal 2002. For fiscal 2003, income before change in accounting principle was $12.7 million, or $1.09 diluted earnings per share, compared to $12.4 million, or $1.09 diluted earnings per share, for fiscal 2002. The fiscal 2002 results included $1.8 million, or $0.16 per share diluted, for payments received as settlement of price-fixing litigation to which the Company was a plaintiff. During fiscal 2003, the Company strengthened its balance sheet, generated EBITDA of $25.0 million, reduced debt by $2.0 million and completed the acquisitions of Nature's Life and Arizona Health Foods for an aggregate purchase price of $15.0 million.
Bill Gay, chairman and chief executive officer, commented, "We are pleased with our net sales and income growth for fiscal 2003 and the most recent quarter. Nutraceutical was formed in 1993 to effect a consolidation strategy in the fragmented nutritional supplements industry. Ten years later, we believe that our Company has become one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of branded nutritional supplements and other natural products to and through health and natural food stores. We have focused and will continue to focus on new product development, synergistic acquisitions, internal growth, cost management and creating shareholder value. We wish to express our sincere appreciation to all of our consumers, customers, employees, financial partners, stockholders, bankers, friends and family who have contributed to our success over these years. We remain positive about our business strategy and look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as we begin our next decade."
The Company is an integrated marketer, distributor, retailer and manufacturer of branded nutritional supplements and other natural products sold primarily to and through domestic health and natural food stores. Internationally, the Company sells its branded products to and through natural product distributors and stores. The Company was formed with a core business strategy of acquiring, integrating and operating, from beginning to end, the marketing, distribution, retailing and manufacturing operations of businesses in the natural products industry. The Company believes that the consolidation and integration of acquired businesses provides ongoing financial synergies through increased scale and market penetration.
The Company sells its branded products under the trademarks Solaray(R), KAL(R), Nature's Life(R), NaturalMax(R), VegLife(R), Premier One(R), Sunny Green(R), Natural Sport(R), ActiPet(R), Action Labs(R), Thompson(R) and FunFresh Foods(TM). The Company also sells branded bulk products and unbranded custom blends under the trademarks Monarch Nutritional Laboratories(TM) and Great Basin Botanicals(TM). Under the name Woodland Publishing(TM), the Company publishes, prints and markets a line of books and booklets to, among others, book distributors, national retail bookstores and health and natural food stores. The Company's neighborhood natural food markets operate under the trade names The Real Food Company(TM) and Thom's Natural Foods(TM) and its health food stores operate under the trade name Arizona Health Foods(TM). The Company also distributes the branded products of certain third parties.
The Company manufactures and/or distributes one of the broadest branded product lines in the industry with over 3,000 SKUs, including over 600 SKUs exclusively sold internationally. The Company believes that as a result of its emphasis on innovation, quality, loyalty, education and customer service, the Company's brands are widely recognized in health and natural food stores and among their customers.
In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Nutraceutical's estimates only as of the day of this press release and should not be relied upon as representing Nutraceutical's estimates as of any subsequent date. No assurance can be given that the future results covered by such forward-looking statements will be achieved and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or historical results of Nutraceutical. While Nutraceutical may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Nutraceutical specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. For further details and a discussion of these risks and uncertainties, see Nutraceutical's SEC filings, which are updated from time to time, copies of which are available upon request from Nutraceutical at 435-655-6106.