Natural and organic wholesaler United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) released its third quarter fiscal 2021 financial results on June 9, posting expected declines but reporting revenues 6.7% higher than pre-pandemic figures.
According to the Q3 report, UNFI had a net income of $48.6 million for the period ending May 1. That’s down from the $88.1 million net income in the same pandemic-defined period in 2020. Adjusted EBITDA was $179 million, a nearly 20% slide.
Net sales for the quarter came in at $6.62 billion, down 5.9% from the same time frame in 2020. Breaking it down, net sales in chains dipped 5.6% to nearly $3 billion for the 13-week period. At independent retailers, sales sagged 11.4% to just under $1.6 billion.
Operating expenses related to restructuring, acquisition and integration rose slightly in third quarter of this fiscal year, attributed in part to UNFI’s business positioning in the wake of the Supervalu acquisition.
Overall, in addition to improved revenue generation compared to 2019, there were other silver linings for the quarter, according to Steven L. Spinner, chairman and CEO. “Our results reflect our unrelenting focus on efficiency and the profitability of our business, as we cycled the highest spikes of sales revenue from pantry loading in the prior-year quarter,” he said. “As the industry and economic backdrop continue to evolve, UNFI remains well positioned for future growth. Fiscal 2020 was a record year for UNFI and fiscal 2021 is on-track to set another record. Looking ahead, we fully expect fiscal 2022 to be even better than this year.”
Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 47 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.