UNFI's Q1 Sales Soar

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UNFI's Q1 Sales Soar

DAYVILLE, Conn. --United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) yesterday reported sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2008, ended Oct. 27, 2007 of $736.4 million, a rise of $90.0 million, or 13.9 percent, from the $646.4 million in sales recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. According to the company, the supernatural channel of the wholesale segment contributed to the increase, with a comparable growth rate of about 22 percent.

UNFI posted net income of $13.6 million, or 32 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared with net income in the year-ago period of $12.4 million, or 29 cents per share.

Gross margin was 18.4 percent for the first quarter of fiscal 2008, representing a 72-basis point decline from the gross margin of 19.1 percent last year. The company attributed the decline in gross margin to new customer contracts, along with a shift in the mix of customer growth.

"With the Sarasota, Fla. facility now open, and the Portland, Ore. area facility expected to open in early December, we look forward to realizing the transportation savings and operational efficiencies expected to be provided by these facilities in the second half of the fiscal year," said UNFI president and c.e.o. Michael Funk in a statement.

UNFI noted that its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 didn't reflect the company's recent acquisition of Millbrook Distribution Services, Inc., which closed earlier this month.

The company has raised its net sales guidance for fiscal 2008, ending Aug. 2, 2008, to reflect the Millbrook acquisition. Fiscal 2008 projected revenues are now expected to increase to $3.27 to $3.35 billion, representing an increase of 19 percent to 22 percent over net sales in fiscal 2007.

UNFI carries and distributes over 40,000 products to more than 17,000 customers across the United States. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats, including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the foodservice channel.