DAYVILLE, Conn. -- United Natural Foods Inc. here said last week it sees its sales growing faster than the overall natural/organic foods industry.
During a conference call with industry analysts to discuss financial results for the second quarter and first half ended Jan. 31, Steven Townsend, UNFI's chief executive officer, said, "UNFI's growth continues to exceed that of the industry," which he estimated at 6% to 9%. In the quarter, sales increased 16.2% to $393.2 million.
Townsend said that in the first three weeks of February, the company had seen sales growth continuing at slightly above 10%.
However, he noted that the sales gains were not the result of the increased business the country's two largest supernaturals -- Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, and Wild Oats Markets, Boulder, Colo. -- achieved as a result of the four-and-a-half-month Southern California strike-lockout.
In the quarter, net income rose 27.9% to $7 million, and earnings per share were 35 cents, vs. 28 cents in last year's second quarter.
In the first half, sales rose 19.3% to $774.6 million, net income increased 45.3% to $13.8 million, and earnings per share were 68 cents, vs. 49 cents in last year's first half.