Hain Celestial Sales Slow; Cash Flow Improves in Fiscal 2009

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. generated $28.1 million of operating free cash flow in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, an improvement of $33.2 million compared to the prior year quarter. This enabled the company to reduce its outstanding debt by $30.2 million in the quarter. For the full year, the company reduced debt by $47.2 million.

The company's net sales for the fourth quarter totaled $262.7 million versus the prior year's fourth quarter sales of $278.3 million. For the full year, the company's sales reached a record $1.135 billion, a 7.5% increase over the prior year's $1.056 billion in sales. Foreign exchange rates negatively impacted sales by $10.7 million in the fourth quarter and by $35.6 million for the year. Sales for the full year were also impacted by distributor, retailer and consumer de-stocking, and, in the U.K., by the loss of a co-pack contract and the recently commenced phasing-out of the supply of fresh sandwiches to a major retail customer.

The company also concluded the consolidation of its personal care operations and distribution centers. These actions collectively resulted in fourth quarter pre-tax charges of $7.8 million, or $0.12 per share, which includes $7.1 million charged to cost of sales for inventory and related items and $0.7 million charged to general and administrative expenses for severance and other costs.

The full report is available here.

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