US food distributor United Natural Foods has said it expected to incur approximately US$6.0m to $8.2m of share-based compensation expense on a pre-tax basis during the 2006 fiscal year related to the implementation of an accounting rule.

Earnings excluding special items and share based compensation for the year to 31 July 2006 are expected to be in the range of $1.14 to $1.19 per share, an increase of 15% to 20% over fiscal 2005 levels, excluding special items. Revenues for the fiscal year are expected to increase approximately 10% to 15% from fiscal 2005 levels to a range of $2.25bn to $2.35bn.

The company expects to incur $1.4m to $2.0m on a pre-tax basis, or $0.02 to $0.03 per share after tax, of the share-based compensation expense during the first quarter of the 2006 fiscal year.

United Natural Foods distributes more than 40,000 products to more than 20,000 customers nationwide. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the foodservice channel.

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