05.06.03

5.6.2003: Meldung: United Natural Foods, Inc.: Results for Third Quarter

United Natural Foods Reports Results for Third Quarter Ended April 30, 2003
Wednesday June 4, 8:30 am ET

Earns $0.31 Per Diluted Share Excluding Special Items, $0.29 Per Diluted Share Including Special Items

DAYVILLE, Conn., June 4 / -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI - News) 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.

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.

Source: United Natural Foods, Inc.
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