• The Hain Celestial Group is a leading organic and natural products company with operations in North America, Europe and India. Hain Celestial participates in many natural categories with well-known brands. Our mission is to be the leading marketer, manufacturer and seller of organic and natural, better-for-you products. We are committed to growing sustainably while continuing to implement environmentally sound business practices and manufacturing processes.
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The Hain Celestial Group Announces Record Sales
               Sales Grew 22% in First Quarter Fiscal Year 2009

               Reconfirms Full Year Sales and Earnings Guidance

MELVILLE, N.Y., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN), a leading natural and organic food and personal care products company, today reported results for the first quarter ended September 30, 2008. Reflecting continued strong consumer demand for its brands and products, the Company reported record first quarter net sales of $289.3 million, a 22% increase over the prior year's first quarter sales of $237.2 million. Net income in the first quarter was $7.0 million on a GAAP basis and $11.4 million after reflecting previously announced adjustments resulting from continuing personnel and facility costs related to the execution of the Stock Keeping Unit ("SKU") Rationalization Program; acquisition-related integration and start-up costs in the United Kingdom, reflecting initiatives which were completed in this year's first quarter; the costs of the now completed, below market contract at Hain Pure Protein's New Oxford facility; stock compensation related expense; and continued additional professional fees. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter totaled $0.17 on a GAAP basis and $0.28 after these adjustments. Net income and earnings per share were affected by the highest commodity and input costs in the Company's history, with such costs estimated to be $10 million higher than last year. The Company's results do not reflect the benefit of its August price increases, which are expected to improve the Company's sales and margins in the second half of the year. The Company realized approximately $1 million from these increases in its first quarter.

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"We are pleased that, even with the economic difficulties experienced in many markets, consumers increased their demand for our natural and organic food and personal care products. We are also pleased to see that the sales momentum experienced in the first quarter continued through the month of October. With our grocery, snacks, and tea products selling at an average price of $3.99, our brands meet our consumers' needs in this economy. Additionally, we believe our portfolio approach-in products, distribution channels and geographic markets-benefited our performance this quarter. Our new fiscal year began with continued strong sales in all our geographic markets-the United States, Canada, and Europe-across various distribution channels. In North America, our focus on new product innovation and increased sales and distribution of our core items resulted in strong contributions from Rice Dream(R), WestSoy(R), Earth's Best(R), MaraNatha(R), Imagine(R), Spectrum(R), Garden of Eatin'(R), Rosetto(R), Yves(R), Jason(R), Avalon(R) and the Hain Pure Protein brands. In Europe, our approach led to similar sales trends from the Lima(R), Natumi(R), Rice Dream, Grains Noirs(R) and Daily Bread(TM) brands," said Irwin D. Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Company continues to see strong sales despite the slowdown in the economy. Hain Celestial has experienced growth in the natural sector with independent natural stores and supermarkets, mass market retailers, chain drug stores and other retail outlets. The Company believes it is attracting new consumers who are not dining out but are looking for healthful dining experiences at home, and consumers are finding our products at more retail outlets, such as supermarkets, club stores and mass merchants. The Company has also seen an increase in poultry sales, where consumers are trading down from other proteins to chicken and turkey; consumers are also eating more seitan, tofu and tempeh rather than red meat. The at-home dining trend is more prevalent for breakfast and dinner, where the Company's product categories can provide healthy, reasonably priced meals and snacks. The Company continues to see substantial growth in its Earth's Best brands with parents concerned about healthy eating for their infants, toddlers and kids, and believes that consumers staying at home are drinking more tea and trading down from more expensive beverage offerings.

Reflecting the previously stated adjustments, gross margin for the same brands operated by the Company (other than the Company's lower margin Hain Pure Protein joint venture) was 28.6% in the first quarter, versus 30.8% in the prior year quarter. Inflation in input costs, including higher commodity and fuel costs, amounted to over 7% in the quarter when measured against the prior year comparable quarter. While this inflation was partially offset by productivity improvements and price increases, the full impact of the price increase announced in July is expected to benefit the Company over the remaining quarters in its fiscal year. The Company expects that the benefits from this price increase will improve margins during the second half of the fiscal year by 200 to 300 basis points. In Personal Care, where the SKU Rationalization eliminated costs, the brands continued to experience good sales growth, and benefited from a margin improvement of approximately 200 basis points in the first quarter.

Adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses declined as a percentage of sales to 18.2% compared to 20.2%, with the Company's continued focus on cost savings and achieving the benefit of synergies from acquisitions.

The Company's balance sheet remains strong, with $272.2 million in working capital and a current ratio of 2.8 at September 30, 2008. Debt as a percentage of equity was 43.1%, with equity at $745.2 million. The Company's cash conversion cycle was 79 days, compared to 75 days in the prior year period, with the increase coming principally in the Company's inventory of turkey in preparation for the holiday season demands in that category and increased ingredients for Grocery and Snacks. The Company's receivables days have declined, and payables days remain consistent with past periods.

Interest expense, net, was $3.6 million in the first quarter compared to $2.7 million for the prior year quarter. The Company's interest cost this year includes the cost of higher borrowings resulting from acquisitions during the prior fiscal year. "Other expenses, net" in the prior year included a $2.0 million gain on the sale of an investment in a joint venture in Europe. The Company's effective tax rate for the current period was 38%.

"Having good brands in good categories will continue to drive sales. At the same time, the Company will continue to build on the successful productivity initiatives commenced in prior years to control its expenses, reducing overhead and capital expenditures and other costs. Our Company is well-positioned with a proven management team to enable Hain Celestial to deal with this tough economic environment. We continue to experience solid growth and steady performance and expect our strategic pricing actions and productivity initiatives to deliver on our objectives for the year and our long-term goals to enhance shareholder value," concluded Irwin Simon.

Fiscal Year 2009 Guidance

The Company reconfirmed its fiscal year 2009 guidance of $1.2 to $1.3 billion in sales and $1.54 to $1.61 earnings per share. This earnings guidance is before deducting $0.08 per share in stock compensation expense to amortize the previous year's equity grants.


Hain Celestial will host a conference call and webcast at 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time today to review its first quarter fiscal year 2009 results. The event will be webcast and available under the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at

The Hain Celestial Group

The Hain Celestial Group (Nasdaq: HAIN), headquartered in Melville, NY, is a leading natural and organic food and personal care products company in North America and Europe. Hain Celestial participates in almost all natural food categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings(R), Terra(R), Garden of Eatin'(R), Health Valley(R), WestSoy(R), Earth's Best(R), Arrowhead Mills(R), MaraNatha(R), SunSpire(R), DeBoles(R), Hain Pure Foods(R), FreeBird(TM), Plainville Farms(R), Hollywood(R), Spectrum Naturals(R), Spectrum Essentials(R), Walnut Acres Organic(R), Imagine(R), Rice Dream(R), Soy Dream(R), Rosetto(R), Ethnic Gourmet(R), Yves Veggie Cuisine(R), Granose(R), Realeat(R), Linda McCartney(R), Daily Bread(TM), Lima(R), Grains Noirs(R), Natumi(R), JASON(R), Zia(R) Natural Skincare, Avalon Organics(R), Alba Botanica(R), Queen Helene(R), Tushies(R) and TenderCare(R). Hain Celestial has been providing "A Healthy Way of Life(TM)" since 1993. For more information, visit

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within and constitutes a "Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward- looking statements. These risks include but are not limited to general economic and business conditions; our ability to implement our business and acquisition strategy; our ability to effectively integrate our acquisitions; competition; availability and retention of key personnel; our reliance on third party distributors, manufacturers and suppliers; changes in customer preferences; international sales and operations; escalating fuel and commodity costs; the resolution of the SEC inquiry and litigation regarding our stock option practices; changes in, or the failure to comply with, government regulations; and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company's reports filed with the SEC, including the annual report on Form 10-K, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, no assurance can be given as to future results, levels of activity and achievements and neither the Company nor any person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these statements.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Management believes that the non-GAAP financial measures presented provide useful additional information to investors about current trends in the Company's operations and are useful for period-over-period comparisons of operations. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the comparable GAAP measures. In addition, these non-GAAP measures may not be the same as similar measures provided by other companies due to potential differences in methods of calculation and items being excluded. They should only be read in connection with the Company's condensed consolidated statements of earnings presented in accordance with GAAP.

                        THE HAIN CELESTIAL GROUP, INC.
                         Consolidated Balance Sheets
                                (In thousands)

                                                    September 30,   June 30,
                                                        2008          2008
    Current assets:
       Cash and cash equivalents                       $43,506       $58,513
       Trade receivables, net                          127,378       118,867
       Inventories                                     215,590       175,667
       Deferred income taxes                            12,482        12,512
       Other current assets                             23,614        27,482
            Total current assets                       422,570       393,041

    Property, plant and equipment, net                 155,823       159,089
    Goodwill, net                                      539,183       550,238
    Trademarks and other intangible assets, net        140,950       136,861
    Other assets                                        19,252        20,155
            Total assets                            $1,277,778    $1,259,384

    Current liabilities:
       Accounts payable and accrued expenses          $148,261      $145,186
       Income taxes payable                              1,868           907
       Current portion of long-term debt                   246           222
            Total current liabilities                  150,375       146,315

    Deferred income taxes                               25,590        26,524
    Other noncurrent liabilities                         2,163         5,012
    Long-term debt, less current portion               321,177       308,220
            Total liabilities                          499,305       486,071

    Minority Interest                                   33,256        30,502

    Stockholders' equity:
       Common stock                                        414           411
       Additional paid-in capital                      495,639       488,650
       Retained earnings                               244,030       237,008
       Treasury stock                                  (15,486)      (15,473)
       Foreign currency translation adjustment          20,620        32,215
            Total stockholders' equity                 745,217       742,811

            Total liabilities and
             stockholders' equity                   $1,277,778    $1,259,384

                        THE HAIN CELESTIAL GROUP, INC.
                    Consolidated Statements of Operations
                   (in thousands, except per share amounts)

                                              Three Months Ended September 30,
                                                     2008           2007

    Net sales                                      $289,317       $237,245
    Cost of sales                                   217,951        168,394
    Gross profit                                     71,366         68,851

    SG&A expenses                                    56,470         50,546

    Operating income                                 14,896         18,305

    Interest and other expenses, net                  3,569            959
    Income before income taxes                       11,327         17,346
    Income tax provision                              4,305          6,526
    Net income                                       $7,022        $10,820

    Basic net income per share                        $0.17          $0.27

    Diluted net income per share                      $0.17          $0.26

    Weighted average common shares outstanding:
       Basic                                         40,225         40,026
       Diluted                                       41,499         41,825

                        THE HAIN CELESTIAL GROUP, INC.
            Consolidated Statements of Operations With Adjustments
           Reconciliation of GAAP Results to Non-GAAP Presentation
                   (in thousands, except per share amounts)

                                       Three Months Ended September 30,
                                                             2008      2007
                                   2008 GAAP  Adjustments  Adjusted  Adjusted

    Net sales                       $289,317               $289,317  $237,245
    Cost of Sales                    217,951    $(3,540)    214,411   167,321
    Gross profit                      71,366      3,540      74,906    69,924

    SG&A expenses                     56,470     (3,768)     52,702    47,860

    Operating income                  14,896      7,308      22,204    22,064

    Interest and other expenses, net   3,569        360       3,929     2,961
    Income before income taxes        11,327      6,948      18,275    19,103

    Income tax provision               4,305      2,539       6,844     7,164
    Net income                        $7,022     $4,409     $11,431   $11,939

    Basic net income per share         $0.17      $0.11       $0.28     $0.30

    Diluted net income per share       $0.17      $0.11       $0.28     $0.29

    Weighted average common
     shares outstanding:
       Basic                          40,225                 40,225    40,026
       Diluted                        41,499                 41,499    41,825

                                           FY 2009             FY 2008
                                    Impact on            Impact on
                                      Income   Impact on   Income    Impact on
                                      before    Income     before     Income
                                      income      tax      income      tax
                                      taxes    provision    taxes    provision
    Start-up costs at the Fakenham
     manufacturing facility
     related to the integration
     of the Haldane Foods frozen
     meat-free operations and,
     in 2009, also includes
     unabsorbed overhead resulting
     from expiration of a co-pack
     agreement with prior owner      $2,519       $799      $1,073      $406

    Severance and other
     reorganization costs               300        118

    Impact of co-pack pricing
     agreement related to
     acquisition of turkey
     processing facility                721        277
            Cost of sales             3,540      1,194       1,073       406

    Professional fees and other
     expenses incurred in
     connection with the review
     of the Company's stock
     option practices                 1,753        896       2,266       857

    Stock compensation expense        1,417        356         420       159

    Severance and other
     reorganization costs               598        231
                       SG&A expenses  3,768      1,483       2,686     1,016

    Other (income) expenses, net       (360)      (138)     (2,002)     (784)

            Interest and other
             expenses, net             (360)      (138)     (2,002)     (784)

                Total adjustments    $6,948     $2,539      $1,757      $638

SOURCE  The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
    -0-                             11/03/2008
    /CONTACT:  Ira Lamel or Mary Anthes, both of The Hain Celestial Group,
Inc., +1-631-730-2200; or Jeremy Fielding or David Lilly, both of Kekst and
Company, +1-212-521-4800/
    /Photo:  NewsCom:
              AP Archive:
              PRN Photo Desk,
    /Web site:

CO:  The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
ST:  New York

-- NYM150 --
5599 11/03/2008 16:00 EST