• Company raises FY profit forecast
  • Q3 net income reaches "record" $24.1m
  • Net sales surged 31.5% 

US food company Hain Celestial has upped its full-year earnings forecast, after posting a "record" increase in third-quarter profits. 

The company estimates annual earnings will reach $1.76 to $1.80 per diluted share. In February, Hain Celestial published a forecast for earnings per share of $1.63 to $1.73.

Hain Celestial did cut its forecast for annual sales after it decided to offload assets in the UK. It predicts net sales will be $1.4bn to $1.41bn. The firm's previous forecast was for sales of $1.46-1.48bn. 

For the third quarter ended 31 March, Hain Celestial reported its net income reached a "record" level of $24.1m, up from $16.8m the year before. Operating income grew 31.7% to $40.6m.

Net sales surged 31.5% to $379.4m. This does not include $21m of net sales from a private-label chilled ready meals business in the UK, which was acquired as part of Daniels Group in October. The ready meals unit is being offloaded and is now classified as discontinued operations.

Hain Celestial said its growth was driven by "increased consumption in core categories and expanded distribution". The results also included the first full quarter of results from UK-based Daniels Group.

"Our natural and organic products continue to resonate with consumers both domestically and internationally, outpacing the trends of conventional consumer packaged goods companies," said Irwin Simon, founder, president and CEO of Hain Celestial.   

"The third quarter was also our first full quarter with the results of the Daniels Group, and I'm excited to see the focus on building our brands in the UK and integrating our existing business while we continue to take out costs. We also saw great distribution growth from our Europe's Best brand in Canada, which we owned for the full quarter." 

For the nine month period, net income jumped 32.5% to $55.8m, while operating income grew 24.1% to $98.1m. Net sales reached $1.04bn, up 24.2% on the same period last year.

Hain Celestial said it continues to expand its international business with its acquisition of Cully & Sully announced yesterday (3 May)