United Natural Foods fiscal 2007 earnings rise

by Keith Nunes
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DAYVILLE, CONN. — United Natural Foods, Inc., a distributor of organic foods, posted net income of $50,153,000, equal to $1.18 per share on the common stock, for the fiscal year ended July 28, an increase of $6,876,000 over net income of $43,277,000, or $1.04 per share, in fiscal 2006. Sales for the year were $2,754,280,000, which compared with $2,433,594,000 for the previous year.

Operating expenses for fiscal 2007 were 15% of net sales, according to the company. They were negatively impacted by losses at the company’s two facilities in Auburn, Calif., and startup expenses related to the company’s new distribution facilities in Sarasota, Fla., and Ridgefield, Wash.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, United Natural Foods had net income of $13,124,000, or 31c per common share, a slight increase over $12,675,000, or 30c per share for the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $706,786,000, which compared with $619,804,000.

"Our sales growth in the 2007 fourth quarter remained strong and consistent with our forecast of 13% to 15% growth," said Michael Funk, president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to executing our fiscal 2008 plan, which will deliver shareholders a 19% to 24% increase in earnings and top-line growth between 11% and 14%."

For fiscal 2008, the company expects earnings per share to be in the range of $1.40 to $1.45 per share.

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