DAYVILLE, Conn. — United Natural Foods Inc. here yesterday said operational improvements and lower fuel prices helped drive gains in profitability for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, which ended Aug. 1.
Net income for the quarter was up 21%, to $15.5 million, on a sales increase of 0.8%, to $853.5 million, adjusted for an extra week in the year-ago quarter. For the year, net income rose 22.1%, to $59.2 million, on a sales increase of 4.7%, to $3.45 billion, also adjusted for the extra week. Unadjusted sales fell 6.4% for the quarter and rose 2.6% for the year.
Most of the sales growth came from the supernatural segment, the company said, as the company saw little growth among independent customers and saw sales to conventional supermarkets slide in the fourth quarter following the loss of customers in the wake of the Millbrook specialty distribution business.
Excluding the Millbrook losses, sales to conventional chains would have risen by at least 7%, the company said.
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