United Natural Foods, the US-based marketer of natural food products, has reported sales of US$285.5 million (€327.5m) for the second quarter of 2002, a 16.8 per cent increase over the same quarter a year earlier and well ahead of the 10 to 14 per cent increase predicted by the company.
The increase was primarily due to increased sales throughout all the company's divisions and included double digit growth in the supernatural food stores, independent and mass market distribution channels.
Sales in the second quarter included a full quarter of sales for Boulder Fruit Express, an organic produce and perishables distributor acquired by the company in November 2001, and a full quarter of sales for a Florida retail store opened by the company in October 2001. Sales growth excluding acquisition and new store sales would have been 15.3 per cent. Net sales for the six months ended 31 January 2002 were $565.8 million, a 15.8 per cent increase over the comparable prior year period.
Net profits for the second quarter of fiscal 2002 were $5.2 million, compared to $2.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2001.
Commenting on the second quarter results, Michael Funk, chief executive officer, said: "We are extremely pleased by the strength of our 2002 second quarter operating results which we believe reflect the effectiveness of our business plan. During the quarter we achieved higher than expected sales as we achieved double-digit growth in both our eastern and western regions.
"Additionally, sales growth exceeded 25 per cent in our supernatural distribution channel and approached 20 per cent in our mass market distribution channel. Looking forward, we believe our sales growth for fiscal 2002 will continue in the 12 to 14 per cent range."