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Coconut water brand to hit GNC stores in May post PepsiCo deal

By Elaine Watson, 28-Apr-2011

Related topics: Suppliers

New fortified coconut water products under the Phenom brand will hit shelves at nutrition and dietary supplements GNC from next month following a recent tie-up with PepsiCo, bosses at GNC have revealed.

In a conference call with analysts about its first quarter earnings today, GNC boss Joe Fortunato said the first Phenom products would arrive at GNC stores in May followed by a wider release in the mass market in July/August.

Under the deal, which follows the launch of PepsiCo’s Gatorade G Series Pro at GNC stores last year, the two have developed a range of products based on coconut water fortified with additional nutrients from GNC.

18.2 percent surge in Q1 profits

GNC, which posted an 18.2 percent surge in adjusted profit* to $81.9m in the first quarter of 2011 on an 8.8 percent rise in sales to $506m, predicted full-year sales of $1.95 to $1.97bn in 2011, a 7-8 percent increase over 2010 revenues of $1.82bn.

Adjusted earnings of $294-$299m, an 11-13 percent increase over 2010 are expected.

The firm, which has recently begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange, is also planning to boost capital expenditure to $45m this year compared with $33m in 2010, opening around 100 new company owned stores and 15 new franchise locations in the US, 100 new international franchise locations and 120 new GNC-Rite Aid store-in-store openings.

Solid results at GNC.com

Chief executive Joe Fortunato said: "Our consumer packaged goods approach to new product development differentiates us in the market and enables us to consistently deliver first-to-market, premium offerings to our core sports and vitamin customers.

“Our retail store performance is complemented by solid results from other high growth businesses like GNC.com and international franchise.

“The manufacturing business continues to add new third party contract sales, and we are starting to see contribution from our brand extension efforts with PetSmart and Sam's Club [GNC recently struck a deal to supply 400 Sam's Club outlets].”

Pittsburgh-based GNC has more than 5,600 stores in the US and 1,700+ overseas selling a range of products under GNC proprietary brands including Mega Men, Ultra Mega, GNC Wellbeing, Pro Performance, and Longevity Factors, and third party brands.

*Net earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization, sponsor obligation payments, and non-recurring transaction costs.