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May 4, 2016

Hain Celestial revises FY sales, earnings forecasts

Hain Celestial today (4 May) lowered the top end of its forecasts for net sales and earnings per share as the US food group tightened its predictions for its top and bottom lines.

By Dean Best

Hain Celestial today (4 May) lowered the top end of its forecasts for net sales and earnings per share as the US food group tightened its predictions for its top and bottom lines.

The Tilda rice and Earth’s Best baby food owner expects its net sales to grow by around 9-10% to US$2.95bn to US$2.97bn and its earnings per diluted share to grow approximately 6-9% to US$2.00 to US$2.04.

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

The new forecasts came as Hain Celestial reported its financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of its financial year.

For the nine months to the end of March, Hain Celestial’s net sales came in at US$2.19bn, up from the US$1.99bn generated a year earlier.

The company’s operating income stood at US$214.2m, versus US$163m in the first nine months of 2014/2015.

Hain Celestial’s operating income in both periods included one-off items, although the cost of these were higher last year.

Net income reached US$137.2m, against US$96.8m a year ago.

Over the first nine months of the year, Hain Celestial saw net sales in the US fall, although it reported a year-on-year increase in the third quarter. Nine-month net sales in the UK grew 3.1%, with third-quarter sales up 17%.

Alongside the results, Hain Celestial made a series of announcements. The company provided more detail on Project Terra, a programme it started earlier this year with Boston Consulting Group to try to improve its performance.

Hain Celestial said the project had led to US$100m of cost savings being identified. The group also plans to set up “five strategic platforms” within its US business to accelerate the growth in its sales and margins.

In an echo of moves by other US food manufacturers, Hain Celestial also plans to set up a venture unit to invest in smaller business.

Hain Celestial has also earmarked brands worth around US$30m in sales that no longer fit its “core strategy for future growth”. It plans to offload these brands.

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