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Hain Celestial reports record third-quarter sales despite strong U.S. dollar

Lake Success-based Hain Celestial Group Inc. Wednesday reported

Lake Success-based Hain Celestial Group Inc. Wednesday reported record third-quarter sales driven by brand growth and international acquisitions. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Lake Success-based Hain Celestial Group Inc. Wednesday reported record third-quarter sales driven by brand growth and international acquisitions. The increase came despite the negative impact of a strong U.S. dollar on international sales.

The organic and natural products company, with brands including Celestial Seasonings, Earth's Best, Terra and Spectrum, posted third-quarter net sales of $662.7 million, an 18.9 percent increase from $557.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Excluding the effect of foreign currency swings, sales would have been $688.7 million, or a 24 percent increase over the prior-year period.

"The strength of our core brands and contributions from acquisitions helped us to overcome foreign currency impacts to deliver our 18th consecutive year-over-year double-digit net sales growth," Hain CEO Irwin D. Simon said in a statement. He added during a conference call with analysts that Hain has made more than 50 acquisitions over the years.

Net income for the third quarter was $33.4 million, or 32 cents per share, down from $35.2 million, or 34 cents per share, in the corresponding period in 2014.

Hain said it has experienced price increases for leading ingredients including almonds, organic coconut, egg whites, organic virgin oil and organic wheat flour. As a result, the company has been sourcing almonds around the world, not just from California, which is the biggest producer of almonds in the world, Simon said.

"Almond prices . . . continue to rise," John Carroll, executive vice president and chief executive of Hain Celestial United States, said during the conference call. "What we're looking at is different-size packages to keep [products] within the consumers' budget."

Hain boosted its revenue forecast for fiscal 2015 to between $2.692 billion and $2.7 billion, an increase of about 25 percent compared with the previous fiscal year. Shares of Hain dropped $2.09, or 3.41 percent, to close at $59.17 Wednesday. They are up more than 35 percent in the past year.

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