Food distributor United Natural Foods has reported increased sales and net profit for the year ended 31 July 2005.

Net sales for the year were $2.060bn, compared with $1.670bn in the previous year, while net income was $41.572m, compared with $31.986m the previous year.

“I am very pleased with our company’s financial and operating performance in fiscal 2005,” said chairman and CEO Steven Townsend. “These results reflect the success of our sales and marketing strategies which enabled us to achieve solid growth across our three primary distribution channels.  We remain focused on serving a growing customer base and are pleased that we achieved strong year over year growth in all channels.”

“In addition, we continue to leverage our expenses, as we saw a 57 basis point improvement in our operating expenses, in spite of the higher fuel costs and
Sarbanes-Oxley compliance costs that have been experienced,” he said. “Overall, we realized solid increases in net sales, net income and earnings per share, which further indicates that our operating strategies are on target.  We were also able to strengthen our financial position and solidify our balance sheet.”

“At the same time, we continued to strengthen our industry presence by entering new channels of business and fostering several new business relationships,” he said.

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“As we look ahead, we are excited about our company’s prospects for fiscal 2006 and beyond. Our efforts remain focused on helping our customers be more successful in their marketplace while maintaining our position as America’s premier certified organic distributor. To ensure that United Natural Foods is well positioned to capitalize on favourable growth opportunities in the natural and organic foods industry, we will continue to invest in our people, facilities, equipment and new technologies.”