Unified Reports Fiscal Year 2013 Results

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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unified Grocers, Inc. ("Unified" or the "Company"), the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the Western United States, announced results for the fiscal year ended September 28, 2013 (the "fiscal year").

The Los Angeles-based cooperative reported gross billings of $3.743 billion and net sales of $3.692 billion, a decrease of 1.4% and 1.9% respectively compared to the prior fiscal year ended September 29, 2012. The Company reported a net loss of $17.6 million, compared to earnings of $2.0 million for the same period in 2012.

The year-end financials are in line with our expectations, given the previously announced actions the Company took on some very important issues. These included a fee for the early extinguishment of senior secured notes ($9.8 million) which provides greater flexibility in day-to-day operations and lower ongoing borrowing costs; an increase in workers' compensation reserves for claims exposure ($9.1 million); and disposal costs related to leases and equipment ($2.5 million).

"This was a year of transition, course corrections and establishing a solid foundation for growth," said Bob Ling, President and Chief Executive Officer, Unified Grocers. Ling, who has been President of Unified since June, 2011, succeeded Al Plamann as Chief Executive Officer effective May 1, 2013. "We have a strong leadership team in place and a plan that gives us a clear understanding of where the company is headed and how we're going to improve sales and profits. The fourth quarter was particularly encouraging in terms of establishing growth momentum. Sales trends are improving, we have solid performance in our core operations and all of our important business fundamentals are headed in the right direction."

"I see similar positive signs for our retailers," Ling added. "While some are experiencing ups and others downs, a significant number invested in the future growth and success of their businesses in 2013 by remodeling stores and in some cases opening new locations. This is an indication of confidence regarding future business prospects for independent retail grocers."

Founded in 1922, Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the Western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries offer independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry.

An online version of Unified's Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available on Unified's website at www.unifiedgrocers.com and at www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements about the future performance of Unified Grocers based on Management's assumptions and beliefs in light of information currently available to it. There are a variety of factors that could cause actual and future results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements made above. These factors are outlined in the Company's Form 10-K and other interim reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, Unified undertakes no obligation to update, amend or clarify forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Unified Grocers, Inc.
For the 52 weeks ended
(dollars in thousands, except for stock price)
September 28,
September 29,
Gross billings $3,742,706 $3,796,272
Less vendor direct arrangements $51,142 $35,075
Net sales $3,691,564 $3,761,197
Operating income $4,474 $25,119
(Loss) Earnings before estimated patronage dividends and income taxes ($18,117) $12,547
Patronage dividends $9,609 $10,787
Net (loss) earnings ($17,644) $1,953
Stock price (exchange value) per share $279.50 $316.11

CONTACT: Paul Dingsdale, Director of Communications (323) 881-4150 pdingsdale@unifiedgrocers.com

Source: Unified Grocers