Earns $0.31 Per Diluted Share Excluding Special Items, $0.29 Per Diluted Share Including Special Items
DAYVILLE, Conn., June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) today reported net income of $5.8 million, or $0.29 per share on a diluted basis, for the third quarter of fiscal 2003, ended April 30, 2003. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2003, excluding special items, was $6.2 million or $0.31 per share on a diluted basis.
Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2003 were $363.6 million, an increase of 21% from the $300.4 million recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2002. This increase included growth in the mass market and independent distribution channels of approximately 21% and 38%, respectively. Sales in the supernatural distribution channel decreased by approximately 3% compared to the same period last year primarily due to the previously announced transition of the Company's former second-largest customer to a new primary distributor. These results included a full quarter of the net sales resulting from the acquisitions of Blooming Prairie and Northeast Cooperatives. Sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2003, excluding the effect of acquisitions, were relatively flat compared to the same period last year.
Net income increased 9.4% to $5.8 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2003 compared to $5.3 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, in the same period last year. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2003, excluding the effect of special items, increased 11.2% to $6.2 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, compared to $5.6 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, excluding special items, for the same period last year.
The special items for the third quarter of fiscal 2003 included non-cash expense related to the change in fair value of interest rate swaps and related option agreements caused by unfavorable changes in yield curves. In addition, special items included labor, moving and other costs related to the expansion of the Company's Chesterfield, New Hampshire distribution facility. Special items for the third quarter of fiscal 2002 consisted of moving and other costs related primarily to the start up of the Company's southern California distribution facility and non-cash income related to the change in fair value of interest rate swaps and related options agreements.
Comments from Management
Steven Townsend, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Natural Foods, said, "Our solid third quarter performance reflects continued strong consumer demand for natural foods as well as our commitment to effectively service customers at the highest levels. Operationally, we continue to focus on the integration of our recent acquisitions, and have seen the benefits with improved operating margins over the second quarter of this year. The improvements have come about through our ability to gain efficiencies in our purchasing practices and by leveraging operating expenses. Additionally, we have completed the expansion of our Chesterfield, New Hampshire distribution center and we are on track to consolidate Northeast Cooperatives' Brattleboro division into our Chesterfield facility this June."
The Company believes that sales growth for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003 will be in the 15% - 19% range. The Company believes earnings per diluted share for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2003 will be $1.18 - $1.20, consistent with previous guidance.
About United Natural Foods
United Natural Foods, Inc. carries and distributes over 30,500 products to more than 11,000 customers nationwide. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores and independent retail operators.
Financial Tables Follow
For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the Company's web-site at www.unfi.com .
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding United Natural's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to general business conditions, the impact of competition and our dependence on principal customers, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Commission on March 17, 2003, and its other filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. United Natural is not undertaking to update any information in the foregoing reports until the effective date of its future reports required by applicable laws.