United Natural sees solid profits

- Last updated on GMT

Natural products wholesaler predicts sales of $1.15 - $1.17 million
for fiscal 2003 after end of Wild Oats contract.

United Natural Foods, the natural food wholesaler, is predicting revenues in the range of $1.15 million to $1.17 million for the year to 31 July 2003. Net profit for the year is expected to be in the range of $1.18 - $1.20 per diluted share.

The company said it expected gross margin to be slightly above 20.0 per cent while operating margin would be just under 4 per cent. The predictions were made in light of the fact that United Natural Foods has not renewed its contract as primary distributor for Wild Oats, which expires on 31 August 2002.

Michael Funk, the company's chief executive officer, commented: "With our operating divisions continuing to turn in strong performances and industry fundamentals remaining positive, we remain well positioned to capitalise on the growing market for natural products.

"The company remains focused on executing its business plan and market strategy and, looking forward into fiscal 2003, we will continue to pursue a broad range of internal and external growth strategies. Central to this focus is an emphasis on maximising profitability, expanding our customer base and increasing our penetration with existing accounts. Furthermore, our improved balance sheet along with our line of credit provides us with ample flexibility to pursue other strategic opportunities that may arise.

"We are particularly interested in using the capital available resulting from the non-renewal of the Wild Oats contract to expand geographically into the Midwest and Texas markets."

Funk added that the company​ was confident of good sales growth for the final quarter of fiscal 2002 - somewhere in the 12 to 14 per cent range.

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