Hain Celestial income up 15% in quarter

by Bakingbusiness Staff
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MELLVILLE, N.Y. — First-quarter income for The Hain Celestial Group was up 15% as a result of profits in the United States and continental Europe.

Income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $8,090,000, equal to 20c per share on the common stock, which compared with an income of $7,022,000, equal to 17c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $230,484,000, down 20% from $286,784,000 during the previous year.

"Last year at this time we were experiencing strong sales in our first quarter, which began to moderate in the second quarter," said Irwin D. Simon, president and chief executive officer. "In the current economic climate we are encouraged by signs of momentum in the United States, Canada and selected parts of Europe.

"This year we continue to see expanded distribution from new channels even as certain customers have reduced their inventory levels in the quarter. The company realized more favorable fuel and commodity input pricing, cost containment and productivity initiatives. We believe the company will continue to benefit from such initiatives and from new customers at our Fakenham facility."

The company also reaffirmed its 2010 earnings guidance of $1.19 to $1.28 per share.

"As we stated when we reported our year-end results in late August, we expect to see a stronger second half of fiscal-year 2010," Mr. Simon said. "With the benefit of new commodity contracts, we plan to maintain our higher level of promotional spending toward the consumer in the upcoming quarters and expect this to further our sales momentum."

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