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Hain Celestial 1Q earnings jump 69%

Lake Success-based Hain Celestial, maker of Celestial Seasonings

Lake Success-based Hain Celestial, maker of Celestial Seasonings herbal and specialty teas, reported Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2013, that its quarterly U.S. revenue has risen of 23 percent to $312 million. Credit: Newsday, 2012 / Thomas A. Ferrara

The Hain Celestial Group, one of the fastest-growing public companies on Long Island, Tuesday reported increased profits and record first-quarter sales driven by its existing brands and brands it recently acquired.

The Lake Success maker of natural and organic food products said its earnings rose to $27.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, a 69 percent increase from the $16.4-million profit the company made in the same period the previous year.

Sales rose 33 percent to $477.5 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, beating the average of analysts' estimates.

In the company's Hain Celestial U.S. unit, sales rose 23 percent to $312 million. Ella's Kitchen, an organic baby food brand, and BluePrint, a line of raw and organic fruit and vegetable juices, helped boost domestic sales, the company noted. Both brands were acquired after the first quarter of 2013.

Sales rose across Hain's numerous food brands, including Earth's Best organic baby food, The Greek Gods yogurt, Arrowhead Mills cereals and grains, and Linda McCartney vegetarian frozen meals.

The company's stock price fell 2 cents in after hours trading, following the earnings report, to $83.35.

"You're continuing to see a trend of eating more and more at home, where you can control what you eat," Irwin D. Simon, founder and chief executive of Hain Celestial, said on a conference call with analysts. "And remember, you are what you eat."

Simon described the company's BluePrint juice brand as a "hot category where we can gain tremendous distribution." He added, "We look to expand this brand into numerous other categories."

Simon also said that Washington state's ballot measure on labeling genetically modified organisms or food was a sign of growing consumer healthy eating habits and demand for nongenetically modified products.

"Eating healthy is not a fad. It's not a trend," Simon said. "It's here to stay."

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