3.11.2003: Meldung: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.: Results for the Fiscal 2004 first quarter

The Hain Celestial Group Reports Strong 32% Revenue Growth And 36% EPS Growth in First Quarter
Thursday October 30, 7:05 am ET

Net Income of $0.19 per share vs. $0.14 per share in Prior Year"s Quarter

Revenue Grows 32% Over the Prior Year"s Quarter to Record First Quarter Revenue of $127.1 Million

MELVILLE, N.Y., Oct. 30 / The Hain Celestial Group (Nasdaq: HAIN - News), the leading natural and organic food company, today announced strong results for the Fiscal 2004 first quarter. Hain Celestial reported net income of $6.5 million, or $0.19 per share in the first quarter this year, compared with net income of $4.7 million, or $0.14 per share in the prior year"s comparable quarter. Net income per share grew 36% over the prior year"s quarter. First quarter sales grew 32% to $127.1 million, a first quarter record for the company, compared with net sales of $96.4 million in the prior year period.

Operating income increased by 47% in the quarter to $11.3 million as compared to $7.7 million in the prior year"s quarter. The Company reported that gross margins increased to 29.3% over the prior year"s 28.8%. Further, selling general and administrative expenses were reduced to 20.3% of sales this year versus 20.8% last year, even with increased advertising and marketing expenses, reflecting the Company"s ability to drive increased sales through its existing infrastructure.
Irwin Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are very pleased with our good performance this quarter. Our company-wide growth reflects our success in capitalizing on increased consumer demand for natural and organic products. We grew several key brands and businesses, including 6% growth at Celestial Seasonings and 40% in our Melville businesses. Terra enjoyed renewed growth, with sales increasing 13% in the quarter over the prior year. Our business in Canada grew 23% during the quarter, and our business in Europe grew 59% in the quarter.
"We are particularly pleased that our businesses experienced strong growth both internally and from brands acquired during the 2003 fiscal year. Our progress in integrating Imagine, Walnut Acres, and Grains Noirs continues on track. As we integrate acquired businesses, we are confident that we will continue to improve our margins," said Mr. Simon.

The Company said that its previously announced "30 in 3" cost savings initiative is underway, and that it expects initial savings from this program to begin in the second half of the current fiscal year.

Mr. Simon continued, "At The Hain Celestial Group, we are proud to be in our 10th Anniversary Year, and we are even prouder to be Changing the Way the World Eats. Today, over 60% of adults and 13% of children in the United States are considered obese. Our continued mission is to provide people with high quality natural and organic products that adhere to stringent standards and have never included trans-fat or hydrogenated oils, ingredients that can cause serious health issues."

Hain Celestial launched numerous new products this quarter that reflect this approach. "In September, we were proud to be the first company to launch a full line of all natural, low-carb products under our CarbFit® label, co-branded with our popular Health Valley®, Hain Pure Snax®, and DeBole"s® brands," said Mr. Simon. "Beginning this November, CarbFit® snacks will be coupled with Michelob® ULTRA low carb beer in promotional displays at participating stores nationwide. We also introduced Celestial Seasonings innovative TeaHouse Lattes and Chais, Health Valley® Heartwise(TM), Enpower(TM) and Slender(TM) cereals, Mini Cookies and Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, and exciting new Terra Potato Chip products. Our new Rice Dream Heartwise(TM) rice drink co-developed in our new collaboration with Cargill will be launched in November."

Mr. Simon concluded, "As we look forward to the remainder of our Fiscal 2004, we confirm our earlier earnings guidance for the full year of $0.95 -- $1.03 per share, reflecting 20% to 30% earnings per share growth over Fiscal 2003"s GAAP earnings of $0.79 per share. As previously announced, we expect revenues of $540 - $565 million reflecting annual growth of 16% to 21% over Fiscal 2003"s sales of $466.5 million."

About The Hain Celestial Group
The Hain Celestial Group, headquartered in Melville, NY, is a natural, specialty and snack food company. The Company is a leader in 13 of the top 15 natural food categories, with such well-known natural food brands as Celestial Seasonings (R) teas, Walnut Acres®, Hain Pure Foods®, Westbrae®, Westsoy®, Rice Dream®, Soy Dream®, Imagine®, Arrowhead Mills®, Health Valley®, Breadshop"s®, Casbah®, Garden of Eatin®, Terra Chips®, Yves Veggie Cuisine®, The Good Dog (R), The Good Slice®, DeBoles®, Lima®, Biomarchi®, Grains Noirs®, Earth"s Best®, and Nile Spice. The Company"s principal specialty product lines include Hollywood® cooking oils, Estee® sugar-free products, Kineret® kosher foods, Boston Better Snacks®, and Alba Foods®. The Hain Celestial Group"s website can be found at www.hain-celestial.com.

Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands)
September 30, June 30,
2003 2003
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 12,879 $ 10,984
Trade receivables, net 74,895 61,215
Inventories 69,068 66,444
Recoverable income taxes 641 223
Deferred income taxes 3,171 3,171
Other current assets 7,019 7,671
Total current assets 167,673 149,708
Property, plant and equipment, net 67,425 68,665
Goodwill, net 298,971 296,508
Trademarks and other intangible
assets, net 55,891 55,975
Other assets 10,393 10,692
Total assets $ 600,353 $ 581,548
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable and accrued
expenses $ 53,684 $ 55,710
Income taxes payable 4,312 1,867
Current portion of long-term debt 19,056 8,807
Total current liabilities 77,052 66,384
Deferred income taxes 14,912 14,912
Long-term debt, less current portion 59,227 59,455
Total liabilities 151,191 140,751
Stockholders" equity:
Common stock 349 348
Additional paid-in capital 365,464 364,877
Retained earnings 85,631 79,089
Treasury stock (8,435) (8,156)
Foreign currency translation
adjustment 6,153 4,639
Total stockholders" equity 449,162 440,797
Total liabilities and
stockholders" equity $ 600,353 $ 581,548
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
Three Months Ended September 30,
2003 2002
Net sales $ 127,053 $ 96,420
Cost of Sales 89,891 68,622
Gross profit 37,162 27,798
SG&A expenses 25,819 20,095
Operating income 11,343 7,703
Interest expense and other expenses 791 170
Income before income taxes 10,552 7,533
Income tax provision 4,010 2,844
Net income $ 6,542 $ 4,689
Basic per share amounts $ 0.19 $ 0.14
Diluted per share amounts $ 0.19 $ 0.14
Weighted average common shares
Basic 34,221 33,702
Diluted 35,356 34,382
Ira Lamel, CFO
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
Jeremy Fielding/David Lilly (Media)
Kekst and Company

Source: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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