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Natural foods maker Hain Celestial: 50 new products spur record-high profit

Hain Celestial Group chief executive Irwin Simon at

Hain Celestial Group chief executive Irwin Simon at his Melville headquarters. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp, 2009

The introduction of more than 50 new products pushed Melville-based natural foods maker Hain Celestial Group. Inc. to record-high sales in the third quarter ended March 31, Hain said.

Net sales increased nearly 30 percent to $288.4 million, up from net sales of $222.1 million in the prior year third quarter, the company said in a Tuesday news release.

In the quarter, Hain earned $16.8 million in net income, compared to $2.7 million in the prior year third quarter. That meant Hain's reported earnings were $0.38 per diluted share, up from $0.06 per diluted share in the prior year third quarter.

"Our third quarter results reflect the strength of our brands and our solid execution across various classes of trade in the growing natural and organic industry," Irwin D. Simon, president and chief executive, said.

"All of our reporting units grew, both in the United States and abroad. Strong top line performance came from our grocery and snacks, Celestial Seasonings and personal care units with solid contributions from our Canadian and European units.," Simon said.

Key brands had double-digit sales growth, he said. Among them were Earth's Best infant and toddler products, MaraNatha nut butters, Spectrum oils, Dream non-dairy frozen desserts, Terra chips, Lima organic foods and Avalon and Alba personal care products.

Recently acquired brands Sensible Portions snacks and The Greek Gods yogurt also had steep sales growth.

Spurring the new sales were more than 50 new and improved products, Simon said.

Photo: Irwin Simon, Hain Celestial chief executive

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