SpartanNash Company reports 3Q 2016 financial results

  • Consolidated Net Sales Increased 1.4% Despite Prolonged Deflationary Environment
  • Reported Third Quarter EPS from Continuing Operations Improved $0.05 to $0.45 per Diluted Share; Adjusted Third Quarter EPS from Continuing Operations Improved $0.04 to $0.53 per Diluted Share
  • Announced Definitive Agreement to Acquire Caito Foods Service

Byron Center, MI, 2016-Nov-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — SpartanNash Company (the “Company”) (Nasdaq: SPTN) today (Nov 9, 2016) reported financial results for the 12-week third quarter and 40-week period ended October 8, 2016.

Third Quarter Results

Consolidated net sales for the 12-week third quarter increased to $1.80 billion from $1.78 billion in the prior year quarter, driven primarily by increases in the food distribution segment.

Reported operating earnings improved to $29.9 million from $29.2 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to sales growth at food distribution and lower operating expenses due in part to lower depreciation as well as productivity and efficiency initiatives, which offset the negative impact of deflation in all segments. Adjusted operating earnings improved to $35.1 million from $34.8 million in the prior year quarter.

Reported earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter increased to $16.7 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, from $15.2 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter. Reported earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter include a $0.02 per diluted share benefit associated with tax credits. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter increased to $20.1 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, from $18.6 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter. Current year adjusted earnings from continuing operations exclude net after-tax charges of $0.08 per diluted share primarily related to asset impairment and restructuring charges associated with the Company’s retail store rationalization plan as well as merger integration activities. Prior year adjusted earnings from continuing operations exclude net after-tax charges of $0.09 per diluted share primarily related to merger integration and acquisition expenses, as well as net restructuring and asset impairment charges. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations is a non-GAAP operating financial measure.

Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (Adjusted EBITDA) was $53.4 million, or 3.0 percent of consolidated net sales, compared to $55.2 million, or 3.1 percent of consolidated net sales in the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) financial measure. Please see the financial tables at the end of this press release for a reconciliation of net earnings to Adjusted EBITDA, and a reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable measure prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP.

“We are pleased with our ability to overcome the continued challenging economic conditions and prolonged deflationary environment to deliver third quarter sales and earnings growth,” stated Dennis Eidson, SpartanNash’s Chief Executive Officer. “These results reflect the strength of our strategy to provide innovative and impactful solutions for our food distribution and retail customers as we benefited from new customer supply agreements and our third consecutive quarter of improved retail comparable store sales trends. During the quarter, we continued to invest in our merchandising, pricing and promotional initiatives, including expanded produce and private brand product offerings, as well as the continued roll out of Open Acres™. We also celebrated the grand re-openings of our newly remodeled Omaha stores with encouraging results. In addition, we realized further benefits from our ongoing investments in our supply chain network.”

Gross profit margin for the third quarter was 14.2 percent compared to 14.6 percent in the prior year quarter primarily due to the mix of business operations and the impact of continued deflation.

Reported operating expenses for the third quarter decreased to $225.4 million, or 12.5 percent of sales, from $229.8 million, or 12.9 percent of sales, in the prior year quarter. Third quarter operating expenses would have been $220.2 million, or 12.2 percent of net sales, compared to $224.3 million, or 12.6 percent of net sales in the prior year quarter, if restructuring, asset impairment, and merger integration charges were excluded from both periods. The decrease as a rate to sales was primarily due to lower depreciation expense associated with fully depreciated assets and lower occupancy costs, as well as improved operating expense leverage resulting from sales growth and ongoing productivity and efficiency initiatives.

Food Distribution Segment

Net sales for the food distribution segment increased to $804.5 million from $762.3 million in the prior year quarter primarily due to new business gains as well as the growth of certain existing accounts, which more than offset the impact of continued deflation.

Reported operating earnings for the food distribution segment increased to $19.0 million from $16.5 million in the prior year quarter. Third quarter adjusted operating earnings increased to $19.8 million from $17.0 million in the prior year quarter. The increases were due to higher sales, supply chain improvements, and lower depreciation expense, partially offset by costs associated with a water main break, transition-related expenses associated with warehouse consolidation efforts, and continued deflation. Third quarter adjusted operating earnings exclude $0.8 million of net pre-tax charges primarily related to merger integration expenses. The prior year third quarter excludes $0.5 million of pre-tax charges related to merger integration and acquisition costs and other charges associated with cost reduction initiatives. Adjusted operating earnings is a non-GAAP operating financial measure. Please see the financial tables at the end of this press release for a reconciliation of operating earnings to adjusted operating earnings by segment.

Retail Segment

Net sales for the retail segment were $489.0 million in the third quarter compared to $507.2 million for the prior year quarter. Comparable store sales for the quarter, excluding fuel, improved to -1.8 percent from -3.0 percent in the second quarter. Despite the sequential improvements in comparable store sales as well as higher fuel gallons, the ongoing deflationary environment and continued challenging economic conditions, particularly in certain western geographies, contributed to the lower sales at retail. Specifically, the decrease in net sales was attributable to the negative comparable store sales, excluding fuel; $7.9 million in lower sales resulting from retail store closures; and $3.8 million due to lower retail fuel prices compared to the prior year.

Reported operating earnings in the retail segment were $8.0 million compared to $9.2 million in the prior year quarter. Adjusted operating earnings were $12.4 million compared to $13.2 million in the prior year quarter. Current year adjusted operating earnings exclude $4.4 million of pre-tax asset impairment and restructuring charges and merger integration expenses. The prior year third quarter excludes $4.0 million of pre-tax merger integration and acquisition costs, and net asset impairment charges. The decrease in adjusted operating earnings was primarily due to lower comparable store sales volumes and the impact of deflation, partially offset by favorable rebate programs, lower occupancy costs, and the impact of store closures.

During the third quarter, the Company opened one new fuel center and closed one store upon lease expiration, ending the quarter with 159 Company-owned retail stores, 79 pharmacies, and 30 fuel centers.

Military Segment

Net sales for the Company’s military segment increased to $506.6 million from $506.0 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was due to new business gains associated with the distribution of fresh products, partially offset by continued lower sales at the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) operated commissaries.

Reported operating earnings for the military segment were $2.9 million compared to $3.4 million in the prior year quarter. Third quarter adjusted operating earnings were $2.9 million compared to $4.5 million in the prior year period. In the prior year third quarter, adjusted operating earnings exclude $1.1 million of pre-tax restructuring and asset impairment charges primarily related to a facility closure. The decrease was primarily due to the lack of inflationary gains and a shift in the business mix.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Cash flow provided by operating activities for the year-to-date period was $78.6 million, compared to $129.9 million in the comparable period last year, primarily due to customer advances to support sales growth and the timing of working capital requirements.

Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, including current maturities, were $494.4 million at October 8, 2016 compared to $486.8 million at January 2, 2016. Net long-term debt (including current maturities and capital lease obligations and subtracting cash) for the Company was $468.0 million as of October 8, 2016 compared to $464.1 million at January 2, 2016. The Company’s total net long-term debt-to-capital ratio is 0.4-to-1.0 and net long-term debt to Adjusted EBITDA is 2.0-to-1.0, which approximates the Company’s goal, as of October 8, 2016. Net long-term debt is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please see the financial tables at the end of this press release for a reconciliation of long-term debt and capital lease obligations to total net long-term debt and capital lease obligations.

Outlook

Mr. Eidson continued, “While we anticipate continued deflationary pressure for the remainder of the year, we are confident that we will continue to improve our top line performance as we deliver value to our food distribution and retail customers through our solutions-focused approach and commitment to exceeding our customers’ expectations. We expect our targeted capital investments and enhancements to our merchandising, pricing and promotional strategies will offset some of the deflationary and competitive pressures in the retail segment. In our food distribution and military network, we continue to allocate resources to drive new business development, which will better enable us to pursue opportunities within the alternative channel space.”

The Company is narrowing its previously issued fiscal 2016 guidance of adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations to approximately $2.09 to $2.16, excluding merger integration costs and other adjusted charges and gains, compared to $1.98 in the prior year. The Company anticipates that reported earnings from continuing operations will now be in the range of approximately $1.58 to $1.65 per diluted share, compared to $1.67 in the prior year. The guidance reflects the continuation of negative comparable retail store sales and the variability associated with deflation and its related positive impact on LIFO.

The Company expects capital expenditures for fiscal year 2016 to now approximate $72.0 million, with depreciation and amortization of approximately $76.0 million to $77.0 million, and total interest expense of approximately $18.0 to $19.0 million.

Recent Developments

On November 3, 2016, the Company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of Caito Foods Service (“Caito”) and Blue Ribbon Transport (“BRT”) for $217.5 million in cash, in addition to reimbursing Caito for certain transaction costs and providing two earn-out opportunities that have the potential to pay the sellers an additional $12.4 million collectively if the business achieves certain performance targets. The purchase price will be funded with proceeds from the Company’s asset-based lending facility.

Founded in Indianapolis in 1965, Caito Foods Service is a leading supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to grocery retailers and food service distributors across 22 states in the Southeast, Midwest and Eastern United States. Caito and BRT, which generate combined annual revenues in excess of $600 million, currently service customers from facilities in Indiana, Ohio and Florida. Caito also has a central fresh cut fruit and vegetable facility in Indianapolis and is completing construction on its new 118,000 square foot Fresh Kitchen facility, also in Indianapolis. The $32 million Fresh Kitchen will process, cook, and package fresh protein-based foods and complete meals; it is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2017. The company offers temperature-controlled distribution and logistics services throughout North America through its affiliate Blue Ribbon Transport.

The acquisition will strengthen the Company’s product offerings to its existing customer base by expanding into the fast-growing freshly-prepared centerplate and side dish categories. The Company expects to close the acquisition by early January 2017, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Conference Call

A telephone conference call to discuss the Company’s third quarter of fiscal 2016 financial results is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, November 10, 2016. A live webcast of this conference call will be available on the Company’s website, www.spartannash.com/webcasts. Simply click on “For Investors” and follow the links to the live webcast. The webcast will remain available for replay on the Company’s website for approximately ten days.

About SpartanNash

SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries. SpartanNash serves customer locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 159 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market and Sun Mart. Through its MDV military division, SpartanNash is the leading distributor of grocery products to military commissaries in the United States.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These include statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise include the words “outlook,” “pipeline,” “optimistic,” “committed,” “anticipates,” “continue,” “expects,” “look forward,” “guidance,” “opportunities,” “position,” “focus,” or “plan” or similar expressions or that an event or trend “will” occur, or is “beginning.” Forward-looking statements relating to expectations about future results or events are based upon information available to SpartanNash as of today’s date, and are not guarantees of the future performance of the company, and actual results may vary materially from the results and expectations discussed. Additional risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the company’s ability to compete in the highly competitive grocery distribution, retail grocery, and military distribution industries. Additional information concerning these and other risks is contained in SpartanNash’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K and other SEC filings. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements concerning SpartanNash, or other matters and attributable to SpartanNash or any person acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements above. SpartanNash does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date hereof.

Investor Contact:
Chris Meyers
Executive Vice President & CFO
(616) 878-8023

Media Contact:
Meredith Gremel
Vice President Corpo

Source: SpartanNash Company

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