Smart Balance net falls, but sales rise 29%

by Eric Schroeder
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PARAMUS, N.J. — Net income at Smart Balance, Inc. in the second quarter ended June 30 was $484,000, equal to 1c per share on the common stock, down 86% from $3,329,000, or 6c per share, in the same period a year ago. Costs associated with the acquisition and integration of Udi’s Healthy Foods, L.L.C. affected the most recent quarter adversely.

Net sales totaled $75,989,000, up 29% from $59,021,000.

“Our results were in line with our expectations,” said Stephen Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer. “In the quarter, our natural brands — Glutino and Earth Balance — reported strong net sales increases of 31% and 27%, respectively. While our spreads and grocery categories reported flat sales, we managed to deliver a modest growth in profit, before the impact of launch expenses from Smart Balance spreadable butter. Since launching this product on Feb. 27, Smart Balance spreadable butter has an average of 1.8 items on the shelf and 11% share of the spreadable butter category. We are encouraged by the early success of spreadable butter, and the potential impact it could have on our core ‘hold the line’ strategy as it pertains to Smart Balance spreads and grocery.”

Smart Balance said Udi’s is expected to benefit its results beginning in the third quarter. As a result, Smart Balance raised its 2012 outlook, with 2012 net sales now expected to total between $360 million and $370 million, up from a previously expected $320 million and $330 million. Cash operating income now is expected to total between $53 million and $55 million, up from earlier forecasts of $46 million to $48 million.

“This (Udi’s) transaction will truly be transformational to our company,” Mr. Hughes said. “The combination of Udi’s, Glutino and Earth Balance should accelerate the overall organic growth of our company and will comprise almost half of our second half 2012 sales. Udi’s sales in the second quarter increased 79.6% to $22.9 million, and adjusted EBITDA increased 137% to $3.5 million, as it continues to benefit from increased distribution and strong velocity growth at retail.”

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