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Unified Reports Fiscal Year 2016 Results

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unified Grocers, Inc. (the “Company”), the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the Western United States, announced that it has filed results for the fiscal year ended October 1, 2016 (the “fiscal year”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Operating income rose significantly over the prior year ($8.99 million in fiscal year 2016 compared to $1.81 million in fiscal year 2015). This improvement was primarily due to improved gross margins and a focus on warehouse efficiencies and expense control. While net sales declined — primarily due to the loss of business from Haggen’s Pacific Southwest (California, Arizona, Nevada) stores and meat deflation — gross profit as a percentage of sales showed an improvement on 2015 (see financial highlights chart).

“2016 was a good year for Unified Grocers,” said Bob Ling, President and Chief Executive Officer, Unified Grocers. “The year-end financials are in line with the Company’s expectations. We accomplished what we set out to do at the beginning of the year, including the need to quickly wind down the Haggen Southwest business and normalize operations. Particularly gratifying is the fact that operating income outperformed the prior year by more than $7 million — even taking into account the lower sales volume from the loss of the Haggen Southwest business. With availability under our revolver of $127 million, we also have the liquidity to address the needs of the Company.”

“Looking at the bigger picture, there are many success stories around the organization,” Ling added. “Our Members now have access to a wide range of unique products through our membership in Topco, for example, and we successfully transitioned our Southern California dairy business through a preferred supplier arrangement with Dean Foods.”

“In many ways, 2016 was a year of course corrections and establishing a solid foundation for growth. We have a strong leadership team in place, an energized group of Associates, and a Member base that’s investing in remodeling stores and opening new locations. I’m very optimistic about where we’re heading. All the important trends are going in the right direction and the fourth quarter was particularly encouraging in terms of establishing sales growth momentum.”

For more information, see Unified’s Form 10-K filing with the SEC at sec.gov/edgar.shtml.

The filing included the following year-end FY2016 financial highlights:

Unified Grocers, Inc.
Selected Consolidated Statement of Earnings (Unaudited)
(dollars in thousands)For the 52 weeks ended For the 53 weeks ended
October 1, 2016 October 3, 2015
Net sales$3,761,464 $4,027,620
Gross profit$280,566 $283,285
Percent of sales 7.46% 7.03%
Operating income$8,988 $1,816
Loss from continuing operations$(7,923) $(14,645)
Net Gain/(Loss) from discontinued operations 281 $(6,874)
Net loss$(7,642) $(21,519)

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 offer independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry.

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 including the Company’s ability to grow operating income, provide sufficient operating capital and liquidity to fund operations and strategic initiatives, and grow sales through product differentiation. These factors and others 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, Corporate Communications (323) 881-4150 pdingsdale@unifiedgrocers.com

Source: Unified Grocers