In line with expectations, the firm saw net income rise by 27 per cent to $10.4 million for the three month period ended December 31, 2003 on revenues of $142.8 million, a 16 per cent increase over the second quarter of fiscal 2003.
'Our results confirm the increase in our products' popularity and in eating healthy generally, as well as our expansion into a wider range of distribution channels,' said Irwin D. Simon, president and CEO of The Hain Celestial Group.
With growth across all business segments the company reported a 6 per cent rise at Celestial Seasonings for the quarter,18 per cent for the snacks business, and double-digit growth at its Earth's Best unit with the launch of the KIDZ and Toddler product lines. A link up with the fast food chain McDonalds in southern California contributed to the boost in results, the company added.
As with a raft of other food manufacturers, Hain Celestial has rolled out a low-carb range, stepping into a booming consumer trend in the US for low carbohydrates.
"We are very excited about the performance of our new Carb Fit brand of low-carb products. The launch included four categories of Carb Fit products: snacks, cookies, pastas and condiments, each co-branded with our flagship brands such as Hain PureSnax, Health Valley cookies, and Deboles pasta,' said the CEO, adding that the company will launch a total of 80 low-carb products by the end of spring of this year.
In December 2003 the natural foods firm confirmed its entry into the functional beverages sector with the launch of Rice Dream Heart Wise, a cholesterol-lowering rice-based drink. Lactose-free, the beverage contains the same amount of calcium as whole milk as well as Cargill Health & Food Technologies' CoroWise brand phytosterols, allowing it to carry the FDA-approved heart health claim.