United Natural Posts Profit Gains

United Natural Foods yesterday said its second-quarter net income rose 50%, which the company attributed to benefits from the integration of the Millbrook specialty business, lower fuel costs and better expense control.

DAYVILLE, Conn. — United Natural Foods here yesterday said its second-quarter net income rose 50%, which the company attributed to benefits from the integration of the Millbrook specialty business, lower fuel costs and better expense control. Net income totaled $16.6 million, vs. $9.1 million in the year-ago period, when the natural-products distribution company was still struggling to integrate the Millbrook acquisition. Sales for the quarter were up 2%, to $847.6 million. Investors sent the shares up 20% on the news.

“Our results in the second quarter demonstrate that UNFI is well positioned to navigate through a challenging environment,” said Steven Spinner, president and chief executive officer.

United Natural moderated its outlook for the year, however, revising sales guidance for the fiscal year ending Aug. 1 to a range $3.45 billion to $3.50 billion, down from a previous range of $3.63 billion to $3.70 billion. It also revised earnings guidance to a range of $1.28 to $1.36 per diluted share vs. previous guidance of $1.30 to $1.38 per diluted share, citing the reduced sales outlook and uncertainties related to the recent peanut recall.

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