Unified Grocers Continues Sales Growth in FY2015 Q1

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unified Grocers, Inc. announced improved net sales of $17.9 million (1.9%) for its first quarter of fiscal 2015 ended December 27, 2014.

This sales increase reflected ongoing improvement in the company's core business. "We are extremely pleased by the continued growth in sales," said Bob Ling, president and chief executive officer, Unified Grocers, Inc. "Our core wholesale distribution business is performing well and the most recent quarter's results demonstrate the company's strong fundamentals and the health of our retail customers."

"Last year was all about turning around the business and establishing positive momentum, and this year we're focused on continuing that trend," Ling continued. "These are exciting times for Unified Grocers. The new business with Haggen in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington will be reflected in our results later in the year, and we are pursuing a number of other growth initiatives."

The company reported a net loss for the quarter of $1.2 million, driven largely by a one-time charge of $3.2 million for early extinguishment of debt. This was incurred in connection with the company's debt refinancing in December and the payoff of fixed rates notes, which is expected to be largely recovered in lower ongoing interest expense.

The company filed a Form 12b-25 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notifying of a delayed filing of the company's Form 10-Q. The filing included the following financial highlights:

Selected Consolidated Statement of Earnings (Loss) Items (unaudited)
(dollars in thousands) For the 13 Weeks Ended
December 27,
December 28,
Gross billings $ 999,414 $ 979,153
Net sales $ 972,637 $ 954,719
Distribution, selling & administrative expenses (net of depreciation & amortization) 59,700 59,741
Depreciation & amortization 6,991 6,341
Operating income 5,355 9,275
Interest expense 2,740 2,857
Loss on early extinguishment of debt 3,200
(Loss) earnings before estimated patronage dividends and income taxes (585) 6,418
Estimated patronage dividends (1,492) (2,388)
Net (loss) earnings $ (1,237) $ 2,789

The foregoing information is preliminary and unaudited and may be subject to change in the Quarterly Report when filed.

About Unified Grocers, Inc.

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, which generated approximately $3.9 billion in sales during fiscal year 2014, offer independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry.

An online version of Unified's Form 12(b)-25, 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.

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

Source: Unified Grocers