USA: United Natural Foods announces fiscal 2000 fourth quarter and year end results
United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) today announced results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000, ending July 31, 2000, in line with the Company's previous guidance.Net sales for fiscal year 2000's fourth quarter totaled $229.7 million, a 7.1% increase over the $214.5 million recorded in the fourth quarter a year ago. The improvement in revenue is attributable to increased sales to the Company's existing customer base, sales to new customers and increased market penetration in the Company's Eastern Region. Net income for the current quarter was $2.6 million, or $0.14 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.3 million or $(0.07) per share, for the prior year. Prior year results included $0.9 million, net of tax, of restructuring charges. Excluding these charges, net loss was $0.4 million, or $(0.02) per share. The Company's gross profit increased 15.4% to $46.1 million from $39.9 million for the same period last year, and operating expenses as a percentage of sales were reduced to 17.4% compared to 18.6% a year ago, even though the Company experienced significant fuel price increases this year and higher expenses related to a tight labor market.Commenting on the Company's fourth quarter performance, Chief Executive Officer Michael Funk said, "We are very pleased with the continuation of the Company's improved performance and the achievement of our fourth quarter earnings targets. We were especially pleased with the sales growth in the Eastern Region, which showed an approximate 2% increase over last year's fourth quarter and a significant increase in the growth rate versus the 2000 third quarter. The Company's other divisions continue to average low double digit growth. Committed to building on this momentum, we are focused on the continuation of our sales and marketing efforts designed to bring the entire company into low double digit growth rates over the near-term."
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