US natural and organic food company Hain Celestial has announced that it has entered into a new five-year US$300m credit facility with its bank group, and that it will increase prices across its US businesses to offset higher commodity costs.

The company said its new credit facility provides it with continuing access to capital, which the company uses principally to finance acquisitions.

Hain Celestial also said that as a result of investments related to the launch of its new CarbFit brand, previously-discussed manufacturing issues at its soup co-packer during its heaviest shipping period, and higher commodity, ingredient and transportation costs, the company will not meet its internal operating income targets for the third quarter to March 31.

The company said initial consumer response to its CarbFit brand had been strong, and Hain Celestial therefore made significant additional investments in its launch during the third quarter.

Hain Celestial also said that effective July 2004 it will raise prices across its US businesses by 4 to 5% in order to offset increased costs of fuel, freight and commodities.

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