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November 7, 2016

Hain Celestial granted SEC extension for financial filing 

US natural and organic food group Hain Celestial has been granted an extension to file financial reports with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

US natural and organic food group Hain Celestial has been granted an extension to file financial reports with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the end of August, Hain Celestial was contacted by the Nasdaq over its failure to file its annual report for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2016. The filing had been scheduled for 29 August. 

At the time, Hain Celestial said it would not be in a position to file its form 10-K until the completion of an “independent review” of its audit committee and the audit process relating to the 2016 fiscal year”. Earlier that month, Hain Celestial had been forced to push back the publication of its annual results because it launched a review the payment of concessions to distributors in the US.

The company, which owns brands including Tilda rice and Ella’s Kitchen baby food, said it was “evaluating whether the revenue associated with those concessions was accounted for in the correct period”. It added it was reviewing “its internal control over financial reporting”. 

The group, which also owns Greek Gods yogurt and Linda McCartney vegetarian foods, said in the past it had recognised revenue on the sale of its products to certain distributors at the time the products are shipped to them. Hain Celestial said it is weighing up whether the revenue associated with the concessions granted to certain distributors should instead have been recognised at the time the products sell through its distributors to the end customers. 

At the end of October, Hain submitted its plan to regain compliance and last week (2 November) the company was granted an extension by the securities regulator. Hain Celestial now has until 27 February to file its outstanding documentation. 

Hain Celestial has also said it “does not expect” to achieve its previously announced guidance for its 2016 fiscal year, which has already been lowered twice this year. 

In May, Hain Celestial lowered the top end of its forecasts for annual net sales and earnings per share. The Earth’s Best baby food owner expects its net sales to grow by around 9-10% to US$2.95-$2.97bn and its earnings per diluted share to grow approximately 6-9% to $2.00 to $2.04.

This adjustment came on the back of a prior profit warning. In January, Hain Celestial cut its forecasts after a challenging start to its financial year. It then estimated full-year net sales would $2.9bn to $3.04bn, with earnings per share in the range of $1.95 to $2.10.

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