UNITED NATURAL POSTS FIRST-QUARTER GAINS

DAYVILLE, Conn. -- Despite the loss of its second-largest customer, Wild Oats, Boulder, Colo., United Natural Foods posted first-quarter net income growth of 9% to $5.4 million, or 28 cents per share on a diluted basis, excluding special items for the period ending Oct. 31. This compares to $4.9 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, excluding special items, for the prior year's quarter.d the acquisition

DAYVILLE, Conn. -- Despite the loss of its second-largest customer, Wild Oats, Boulder, Colo., United Natural Foods posted first-quarter net income growth of 9% to $5.4 million, or 28 cents per share on a diluted basis, excluding special items for the period ending Oct. 31. This compares to $4.9 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, excluding special items, for the prior year's quarter.

d the acquisition of Blooming Prairie Cooperative, a large natural food distributor in the Midwest, and entered into an agreement to merge with Northeast Cooperatives, a natural foods distributor in the Northeast and Midwest.

The company projected second-quarter sales will be 9% to 12%, and earnings per diluted share will be 26 cents to 28 cents for the period ending Jan. 31, 2003. Year-end earnings are expected to be $1.18 to $1.20 for the period ending July 31, 2003.