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Central Garden & Pet Company Announces Fourth Quarter & Fiscal 2011 Results

Total debt at September 24, 2011 was $435.6 million compared to $400.3 million at fiscal year-end 2010. The quarter ending total leverage ratio, as defined in the Company’s credit agreement, was 3.6x. During the fourth quarter, the Company repurchased 3.2 million shares of its common stock, for $24.6 million, as part of a $100 million share repurchase program announced in June 2011.

Fiscal 2011 Details

For the year ending September 24, 2011, the Company reported net sales of $1.6 billion, an increase of seven percent, compared to $1.5 billion in the comparable 2010 period. Branded products sales were $1.4 billion, up nine percent over the comparable 2010 period. Sales of other manufacturers’ products decreased four percent to $253.0 million. Operating income for the period totaled $85.2 million compared to $109.1 million in the prior year. The Company’s gross and operating margins were adversely impacted by higher raw material input costs throughout the fiscal year. Net income for the year ended September 24, 2011 was $28.3 million compared to $45.8 million in the comparable 2010 period. Earnings per fully diluted share were $0.50 compared to $0.70 per fully diluted share in the year ago period. Included in the full year results for fiscal year 2010 is the non-cash, pre-tax charge of $12.0 million related to the impairment of an intangible asset. Excluding this charge, operating income for fiscal 2010 would have been $121.1 million, and net income and earnings per share would have been $53.5 million and $0.82, respectively. Depreciation and amortization for the fiscal year period was $28.6 million consistent with the prior year.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call today at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time to discuss its fourth quarter and fiscal 2011 results. The conference call will be accessible via the Internet through Central’s website,

To access the webcast link, log on to Central’s website and locate the link in the investor relations section of the website. Alternatively, to listen to the call by telephone, dial 617-597-5378 and enter passcode 86126177. A replay of the call will be available for three weeks by dialing 617-801-6888 and entering passcode 72823975.

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