08.07.03

8.7.2003: Meldung: United Natural Foods: Outlook for 2004

Monday July 7, 8:31 am ET

DAYVILLE, Conn., July 7 / United Natural Foods, Inc., (Nasdaq: UNFI - News) announced today that it anticipates revenues, for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2004, in the range of $1.55 billion to $1.57 billion, representing growth of approximately 15% over fiscal year 2003. The Company also noted that gross margin is expected to be in the high 19% to low 20% range. The gross profit figures reflect the impact of the adoption of the Financial Accounting Standards Board"s Emerging Issues Task Force Issue No. 02-16, "Accounting by a Customer (Including a Reseller) for Certain Consideration Received from a Vendor," which requires the reclassification of advertising income to cost of goods sold from operating expenses. The adoption of this pronouncement will have no impact on operating income, net income or earnings per share in fiscal year 2003 or fiscal year 2004.

The Company expects earnings per diluted share, excluding potential special items, in the range of $1.42 -- $1.46 per share. This guidance reflects the impact of compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is expected to negatively impact fiscal 2004 earnings by approximately $0.02 per share. Special items may include 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, and labor, moving and other costs related to the expansion of the Company"s Iowa City, Iowa, Dayville, Connecticut and Bridgeport, New Jersey distribution facilities. A description of the Company"s use of non-GAAP information is provided under "Non-GAAP Results" below.

Steven Townsend, the Company"s Chief Executive Officer, commented, "With the acquisition and ongoing integration of Blooming Prairie and Northeast Cooperatives and the recent completion of our Chesterfield, New Hampshire expansion we remain well positioned to capitalize on the growing market for natural products. Looking forward into fiscal 2004, we will continue to pursue a broad range of internal and external growth strategies. Central to this focus is an emphasis on maximizing profitability, expanding our customer base and increasing our penetration with existing accounts. Furthermore, our fiscal 2004 plan includes taking advantage of historically low interest rates by scheduling several capital projects that were originally planned for fiscal 2005. Therefore, we expect capital expenditures for fiscal 2004 to range from $24 million to $28 million."

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.

For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the Company"s web site at www.unfi.com .


Source: United Natural Foods, Inc.
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