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Hain Celestial shares up sharply after sales report

Products made by Hain Celestial group are displayed

Products made by Hain Celestial group are displayed in the boardroom in Melville. (Sept. 19, 2012) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Shares of The Hain Celestial Group Inc. climbed sharply on Thursday after the Lake Success-based natural foods company reported record second-quarter sales.

Hain shares rose 10 percent in early trading, to $80.28.

The Hain Celestial Group Inc. Wednesday reported higher profits and record sales for the April-June period.

The Lake Success-based manufacturer of Celestial Seasonings teas, Terra chips, Soy Dream beverages and other natural foods said its profit for the quarter ended June 30 totaled $26 million, a nearly 11 percent increase over 2012's $23.4 million.

Sales in the period totaled $463.5 million, up 32 percent from a year ago.

Chief executive Irwin D. Simon credited the strong performance to double-digit sales gains for Earth's Best baby food, MaraNatha nut butter, Spectrum condiments and oils, The Greek Gods yogurt, Linda McCartney vegetarian products and several beauty products.

He also said product lines acquired in the fiscal year ended June 30 were doing well, including Hartley's jams, Sun-Pat peanut butter, BluePrint drinks and Ella's Kitchen baby food.

"Our business continues to benefit from strong growth trends," Simon said.

For the full year, Hain reported a profit of $114.7 million, or about 45 percent higher than fiscal year 2012's $79 million.

Annual sales rose 26 percent to $1.7 billion, with U.S. receipts surpassing the $1-billion mark for the first time.

The earnings report was released after Wednesday's stock market close. Hain shares climbed 7 percent in after-hours Nasdaq trading to $78.

Investors were buoyed by Hain's prediction its sales for fiscal 2014 would increase 17 percent to $2 billion.

Separately, the company announced the hiring of Stephen J. Smith to be chief financial officer, succeeding Ira J. Lamel, who retires next week. Smith comes from cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden Inc.

With Joe Ryan

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