UNFI Reports Continued Sales, Earnings IncreasesUNFI Reports Continued Sales, Earnings Increases
October 21, 2002
UNFI Reports Continued Sales, Earnings Increases
DAYVILLE, Conn.--United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) (NASDAQ:UNFI)reported Sept. 5 that for its fiscal year (FY02), ended July 31, sales were updue to increased demand from its supernatural, mass market and independentcustomers.
Net sales were $1.2 billion, up from FY01's $1.1 billion. Gross margin heldsteady at 19.6 percent of sales, while operating expenses rose to $190.0million. Earnings rose to $17.2 million, or $.91 per share earned, from $13.4million, or $.72 per share earned.
"In terms of revenues, sales to our supernatural and mass marketcustomers grew approximately 27 percent and 19 percent, respectively, and salesto our independent customers increased 6 percent compared to the same periodlast year," said Michael Funk, chief executive officer. He added that thiswas UNFI's fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales and earnings growth.
The company is preparing for more growth, announcing that it recentlyreceived approval from local planning and zoning officials to expand itsChesterfield, N.H., distribution facility from 117,000 square feet to 289,000square feet. UNFI also reaffirmed its outlook for FY03, expecting revenues to bein the $1.15 billion to $1.17 billion range and income, excluding special items,to come in at $1.18 to $1.20 earned per diluted share.
"Given UNFI's cheap valuation we believe UNFI is the cheapest wayfor investors to play the rapidly growing natural food industry," said GregBadishkanian, an industry analyst at New York-based Salomon Smith Barney. As ofSept. 23, the stock was at $19.51 per share.
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